Ex-TCV general partner David Yuan launches Tidemark Capital

Tidemark, which is marketing a $350m inaugural fund, makes growth equity investments in lower-mid-market technology companies in North America.

David Yuan, a TCV veteran with a track record of high-profile technology exits, left that firm to set up his own growth equity shop, Buyouts has learned.

Yuan departed his role as a TCV general partner in December, according to his LinkedIn profile. A month later, he founded Tidemark Capital, a San Francisco private equity firm that invests in the technology industry.

Yuan remains a senior adviser to TCV, representing it on the boards of several portfolio companies.

Though only nine months old, Tidemark is already raising a debut offering, an August report by Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management said.

Tidemark is targeting $350 million for Tidemark Fund I, the MassPRIM report said, to provide growth equity capital to lower-mid-market technology businesses situated mostly in North America. The strategy borrows from Yuan’s two decades of experience at TCV and JP Morgan Partners.

MassPRIM, which agreed to commit $75 million, said the fund is expected to hold a close this summer.

There are few other specific details available about Tidemark’s strategy and criteria. In a website post introducing the firm, Yuan said it is “purpose-built to help companies win and scale, run by a small group of thematic and fundamental investors, in partnership with a community of world-class operators.”

Tidemark, Yuan added, “is an oceanographic term that refers to the high point where the sea meets the land.” He said the concept speaks to the “category leaders” Tidemark is looking to back.

Yuan has been with TCV for just over 16 years, focusing on internet, software and tech-enabled services investing. He invested in seven businesses that went public and eight that were acquired, among them starry names like Facebook, LinkedIn and Splunk.

Yuan has twice been recognized by Forbes on its Midas List of the top 100 global technology investors, according to his Tidemark biography.

Along with marketing a fund, Tidemark is actively doing deals. It was in May part of a syndicate led by Tiger Global Management that invested $550 million in Kajabi, a knowledge-oriented e-commerce platform. A couple of months later, Tidemark again joined a Tiger Global-led group to invest $175 million in Contentful, a content management system operator.

Other members of Tidemark’s team include partner Kevin Cheng, formerly with Sumeru Equity Partners, and partner Adam Smith, formerly with Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Growth equity has gained stature in this year’s robust fundraising market. In the first half, the strategy accounted for 19 percent of nearly $297 billion collected in total, up from an 11 percent share in 2020, Buyouts reported. A prominent example of the trend was the $4 billion close of TCV’s 11th flagship fund.

Tidemark declined to comment on this story.