European private market activity in Q1 and the implications of COVID-19

European venture experienced a record-setting year in 2019. Private equity, too, had enjoyed a decade-long bull run in deal flow and fundraising. Now, in the midst of a sudden and sharp recession, our analysts dissect how the quarter unraveled and share their expectations for the coming months.

Key findings include:

  • VC fundraising commenced 2020 in very strong fashion, whereas PE fundraising in Q1 dropped substantially and is on pace for one of its lowest readings in recent years.
  • While bolt-on activity accounted for a new Q1 decade peak, we expect private investment in public equity (PIPE), growth, carveouts and take-privates to also gain traction this year.
  • PE exit activity continued its falling trend from 2019 as GPs held onto portfolio companies longer. Similarly, VC-backed exit activity is dwindling amidst valuation pressures.

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