Private equity fundraising has slowed in the throes of the coronavirus downturn, but a handful of managers are braving the choppy environment with new funds.
Even more challenging are those funds raised by new managers, which seems like a truly monumental task in this environment.
Yet, Crosspoint Capital Partners is attempting the challenge. The firm was launched last year by Greg Clark, the former CEO of two private equity backed mega-companies, Symantec Corp and Blue Coat Systems.
The firm is in the market targeting $1 billion for its debut fund, two sources with knowledge of the firm told Buyouts. Crosspoint Capital invests in North American companies focused on cybersecurity, data privacy and infrastructure software, according to Crosspoint Capital’s Form ADV.
Crosspoint Capital’s target was described as “ambitious” by a limited partner who has heard the fund pitch. Indeed, first-time funds rarely shoot for such lofty amounts. A few first-timers have crossed the billion-dollar mark in recent years, including Cove Hill Partners, which closed its first fund on $1 billion in 2017. Cove Hill was launched by well-known Bain Capital executive Andrew Balson.
Also, Gamut Capital Management, launched by Stan Parker and Jordan Zaken, two ex-Apollo Global Management executives, achieved the $1 billion mark for its first fund in 2017.
Park Hill Group is working as placement agent on the fundraising. No one at Crosspoint Capital responded to a request for comment Wednesday.
Prior to Symantec, Clark led Blue Coat Systems as CEO, until its acquisition by Symantec in August 2016, according to his biography on Crosspoint Capital’s website. He was also an operating partner with Thoma Bravo from 2012 to 2015.
Other executives at Crosspoint Capital include managing partners Steve Luczo, former CEO of Seagate Technology, and Matt MacKenzie, former senior vice president and chief of staff at Symantec from 2016 to 2019. MacKenzie also worked as chief of staff and general counsel at Blue Coat, his biography on the website said.
Managing partners John Mumford, founder of Crosspoint Venture Partners in 1982, and Hugh Thompson, former chief technology officer at Symantec, round out the leadership team at Crosspoint Capital.
Overall, US and Canadian private equity firms raised about $161.9 billion in the first half of 2020, according to PEI data. That compares to $444 billion for all of 2019.
That amount is actually on par with last year, which was a record fundraising year. Firms had collected about $165.2 billion in the first-half of 2019, PEI found. Much of what has been raised this year are funds that had been in the market prior to the emergence of the pandemic, and subsequent government lockdowns of people and businesses.
Since then, the pace of new fund launches has slowed, sources told Buyouts in past interviews. The results of that slowdown will be felt in future numbers.
Update: This story was updated to specify fundraising numbers involved US and Canadian PE firms.