Every quarter in recent memory, the pecking order of private equity preference has been clear. The most activity, somewhere around 40%, occurs in the B2B sector. Second choice has been B2C, with IT ranking a somewhat-distant third.
But no more. In 1Q 2017, IT has overtaken B2C as the second-most popular destination for private equity investment, according to PitchBook data, with investors completing 275 deals in the tech space compared to 256 in the consumer sector. (With 474 new investments, B2B is still the clear top dog.) Among other things, this change likely reflects the maturation of the tech market, as more and more companies in the space grow old enough to draw traditional private equity interest.
The trend has been led by some of the industry’s biggest names: KKR, TA Associates and ABRY Partners were all among the top five PE investors in IT during 1Q, according to the PitchBook Platform. That’s also reflected on a list of the busiest private equity investors of 1Q across all verticals, with a top eight that includes plenty of big names: