- Why this is important: Wildcat recognized enormous investment opportunities in the fertility sector.
Wildcat Capital Management’s decision last week to make a growth equity investment in California-based Spring Fertility did not come lightly.
“It took us a long time,” Drew Tarlow, Wildcat’s principal, told Buyouts.
Wildcat is the family office investing the wealth of David Bonderman, chairman and founding partner of private equity powerhouse TPG. Wildcat has $2.7 billion in assets under management, according to SEC documents, and serves six high net worth individuals, 10 pooled investment vehicles and one charitable organization.
Wildcat was formed by Bonderman in 2011 and its chief investment officer is Leonard Potter. Tarlow told Buyouts in an email that the family office “was launched to manage David Bonderman’s non-TPG investments so that he could dedicate his focus on TPG and its investors.”
“In any case where we are looking at an investment and the investment is suitable for a TPG Fund, the TPG Fund is always given the first opportunity to invest so that we avoid any conflicts with Bonderman’s role at TPG,” Tarlow said.
Tarlow said honing in on Spring Fertility, which has a lab in San Francisco and patient centers in Oakland and Redwood City, California, capped a multi-year process of researching the health care sector.
The firm discovered that fertility services had “really strong macro tailwinds,” due to two big factors: increased demand, as women wait until later in life to have children and LBGTQ couples start looking into having children, and some supply constraints on the doctor side.
From there, the firm cast out to find the right partner, and through industry contacts came upon Spring.
“Really, right off the bat we were impressed,” Tarlow said. “In general, we’re direct investors and there’s a certain amount of rigor to a diligence process if you’re going to make direct investments…it’s essential to be granular, detailed and really do your work.”
Tarlow worked at Pegasus Capital and Wood Creek Capital Management before joining Wildcat in 2013. He told Buyouts Wildcat has a small but growing team, most of whom come from a private equity background.
“They just love the flexibility and the duration of capital here and the ability to do some creative things,” Tarlow said.
While healthcare is a definite theme for Wildcat, Tarlow describes them as “generalists” with interest in a wide variety of industries. Wildcat has invested in Hubble Contacts, a direct-to-consumer contact lens business, Skillz, an online mobile gaming platform and an Ohio-based car wash company called Express Wash Concepts.
“We have the flexibility to be invested indefinitely,” Tarlow said. “We look for investments where we can…be a long-term investor that can advantage the business.”
Tarlow declined to identify any of the funds in which Wildcat is invested. Filings show Wildcat owns public shares in CoStar Group and Facebook, among others.
The firm likes to do a little bit of everything—including work with other family offices.
“Certainly our focus is on direct investments but we are happy to partner with other families,” Tarlow said. “We are always open to and excited to work with other long-term investors.”
Action items: reach out to Drew Tarlow at email@example.com.
Read more about Wildcat in our Family Office Directory here.