Pictet Alternative Advisors, part of Geneva-based private bank Pictet Group, has launched its first tech-focused fund, a $300m private equity vehicle.

The new strategy, Pictet Thematic Private Equity – Technology, will target funds of all sizes and companies from early stage to buyout.

It is expected to make up to 25 investments of $5m to $15m in global tech funds as well around 20 direct and co-investments of $3m to $10m in the technology sector.

Pierre Stadler, Pictet’s head of thematic private equity, said technology remains a “fertile sector” with “many attractive investment opportunities” as the world continues to experience a “digital transformation”.

“A new cohort of disruptive companies will emerge. Some of these firms will become household names. Others will have a lower public profile but still provide strong investment returns,” he noted.

With a global mandate, the vehicle will make deals in the US, Europe and Asia, mainly in China, during its investment period, which is planned to be concluded until 2024.

Stadler anticipated the firm is also planning to set up a healthcare-focused fund next, but did not provide further details.

Private equity activity in Pictet’s two latest bets – technology and healthcare sectors – have remained strong in Europe during the pandemic.

Tech, for example, accounted for a third of all deals from March through mid-September, up from the 16% stake it had in the same period last year, according to data from Preqin. Three out of the five largest buyouts in the region since the pandemic hit were in the software and technology sectors.

“Software remains the fastest-growing sector globally, with an expected double-digit compounded annual growth rate over the next five years. And, while internet use has surged, there is still much further to go, with 41% of the world still lacking access to the web,” Stadler added.

Dominick Mondesir, PitchBook’s EMEA private capital analyst, told Private Equity News, that themed investments such as these have come to stay.

“There is no doubt the secular shifts towards investing in technology and healthcare assets have been accelerated due to the pandemic and we expect this to continue,” he said.

Source: Private Equity News


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