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Paul Gompers – Harvard Business School

9 October 2020 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Venture Capitalists Decisions and COVID-19

Paul Gompers, Will Gornall, Steven N. Kaplan, and Ilya A. Strebulaev

August 2020

We survey over 1,000 institutional and corporate venture capitalists (VCs) at more than 900 different firms to learn how their decisions and investments have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We compare their survey answers to those provided by a large sample of VCs in early 2016 and analyzed in Gompers, Gornall, Kaplan, and Strebulaev (2020). VCs have slowed their investment pace (71% of normal) and expect to invest at 81% of their normal pace over the coming year. Not surprisingly, they have devoted more time to guiding the portfolio companies through the pandemic. VCs report that 52% of their portfolio companies are positively affected or unaffected by the pandemic; 38% are negatively affected; and 10% are severely negatively affected. Overall, they expect the pandemic to have a small negative effect on their fund IRRs (-1.6%) and MOICs (-0.07). Surprisingly, we find little change in the allocation of their time to helping portfolio companies relative to looking for new investments. In general, we find only modest differences between institutional and corporate VCs.



Private Equity and COVID-19

Paul A. Gompers, Steven N. Kaplan, and Vladimir Mukharlyamov

September 2020

We survey more than 200 private equity (PE) managers from firms with $1.9 trillion of assets under management (AUM) about their portfolio performance, decisionmaking and activities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Given that PE managers have significant incentives to maximize value, their actions during the current pandemic should indicate what they perceive as being important for both the preservation and creation of value. PE managers believe that 40% of their portfolio companies are moderately negatively affected and 10% are very negatively affected by the pandemic. The private equity managers—both investment and operating partners— are actively engaged in the operations, governance, and financing in all of their current portfolio companies. These activities are more intensively pursued in those companies that have been more severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result of the pandemic, they expect the performance of their existing funds to decline. They are more pessimistic about that decline than the VCs surveyed in Gompers et al. (2020b). Despite the pandemic, private equity managers are seeking new investments. Relative to the 2012 survey results reported in Gompers, Kaplan, and Mukharlyamov (2016): the PE investors place a greater weight on revenue growth for value creation; they give a larger equity stake to management teams; and, they also appear to target somewhat lower returns.


9 October 2020
10:00 am - 11:30 am
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