Bonderman family office Wildcat finds opportunity in fertility

  • Wildcat Capital Management invests on behalf of PE titan David Bonderman
  • Family office serves six high-net-worth individuals, 10 pooled investment vehicles and one charitable organization
  • Invested in Spring Fertility because fertility sector has “strong macro tailwinds”

Wildcat Capital Management’s decision to make a growth equity investment in California-based Spring Fertility did not come easily.

“It took us a long time,” said Drew Tarlow, principal of Wildcat, the family office that invests the wealth of PE titan David Bonderman. Wildcat has $2.7 billion in assets under management, according to SEC documents, and it serves six high-net-worth individuals, 10 pooled investment vehicles and one charitable organization.

Bonderman, chairman and founding partner of TPG, founded Wildcat in 2011 with Leonard Potter, who is CIO of the operation. Tarlow said via 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 fertility sector.

The firm discovered that fertility services had “really strong macro tailwinds,” due to two big factors: supply constraints on the doctor side and increased demand as women wait until later in life to have children and LBGTQ couples start looking into having children.

From there, the firm cast out to find the right partner, and through industry contacts came upon Spring Fertility. “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,” he said. “It’s essential to be granular, detailed and really do your work.”

Prior to joining Wildcat in 2013, Tarlow worked at Pegasus Capital and Wood Creek Capital Management. He said Wildcat has a small but growing team, most of whom come from a private equity background.

Portfolio companies “just love the flexibility and the duration of capital here and the ability to do some creative things,” he said.

While healthcare is a definite theme for Wildcat, the family office is interested in a wide variety of industries. It has invested in Hubble Contacts, a direct-to-consumer contact lens business, Skillz, a mobile gaming platform, and Express Wash Concepts, an Ohio-based car wash company.

“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.”

Wildcat has invested in both private equity and venture capital funds, but Tarlow declined to identify any of them.

Filings show Wildcat owns public shares in CoStar Group and Facebook, among others.

The firm likes to do a little bit of everything, including working 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 Item: Drew Tarlow can be reached at