U.S. Firms Dominate HEC Paris Ranking Of Top Growth Capital Firms

U.S. Firms Dominate HEC Paris Growth Capital Ranking

If you’re an already successful company looking for help in significantly leveling up, your best bet is to hire a firm based in North America — especially if it’s in the United States.

That’s the takeaway from a new global ranking of growth capital firms by HEC Paris Business School. The 2023 HEC Paris-Dow Jones Growth Capital Performance Ranking finds that North American firms overwhelmingly dominate in terms of achieving the best return on investments.

Nine of the top 10 and 13 of the top 20 firms in the ranking are based in the U.S., with a Canadian company the lone top-10 exception. France’s Keensight Capital, based in Paris, is the highest-ranked firm from outside North America, at No. 11.

LARGE FIRMS CAN BRING LARGE RETURNS

The ranking, developed by HEC Paris Professor Oliver Gottschalg, lists the world’s top growth Capital firms in terms of aggregate performance based on all growth capital funds raised between 2010 and 2019 by drawing on a comprehensive set of data.

The final list, says Gottschalg, challenges the notion that larger fund sizes necessarily lead to lower returns. The majority of firms in the ranking invest in a variety of sectors, he notes, though specialist firms like Ten Coves Capital, focused on the financial services sector, and Verdane Capital Advisors and PSG Equity, both concentrating on IT, also claimed spots in the top 20.

The new ranking also reveals that the top 10 firms’ average fund size of $3.2 billion is more than double the sample average.

“This ranking shows how growth capital firms with both broad investment mandates and sector specialists can perform well for their investors,” he says. “With the top 10 firms having double than average fund sizes, it also shows how large firms can also generate strong returns.”

106 FIRMS ANALYZED WITH EQUITY VOLUME OF $172B

In the second annual iteration of the ranking, the top four firms are the same as in the first, with Ampersand Capital Partners, based in Wellesley, Massachusetts, once again claiming the top spot with a performance score of 2.79. Ampersand was again followed by Spark Capital, with headquarters in San Francisco, New York, and Boston, with a score of 1.96; and Spectrum Equity, in Boston, San Francisco, and London, with a score of 1.65.

The Canadian firm of Clairvest Group, based in Toronto, was No. 4 for the second year. Three firms based in Europe and another three based in Asia also made the new top 20 global ranking; in the inaugural ranking, the top 20 included 12 U.S. firms, four from Asia, three from Europe, and Clairvest.

In total, Gottschalg analyzed performance data from 106 growth capital firms and the 279 funds they raised between 2010 and 2019, with an aggregate equity volume of $172 billion.

See below for HECD Paris’ top 20 of the 2023 and 2022 rankings of global growth capital firms.

2023 GLOBAL RANKING: TOP 20 GROWTH CAPITAL FIRMS 

2023 Rank Company Performance Score Headquarters
1 Ampersand Capital Partners 2.79 United States
2 Spark Capital 1.96 United States
3 Spectrum Equity 1.65 United States
4 Clairvest Group 1.57 Canada
5 Bregal Sagemount 1.49 United States
6 FTV Capital 1.45 United States
7 Ten Coves Capital 1.42 United States
8 Silversmith Capital Partners 1.24 United States
9 Insight Partners 1.11 United States
10 Summit Partners 1.00 United States
11 Keensight Capital 1.00 France
12 Verdane Capital Advisors 0.98 Norway
13 PENM Partners 0.88 Vietnam
14 PSG Equity 0.86 United States
15 KJK Capital 0.80 Finland
16 Primus Capital 0.72 United States
17 LLR Partners 0.71 United States
18 The Raine Group 0.63 United States
19 Creador 0.49 Malaysia
20 HighLight Capital 0.46 China

2022 GLOBAL RANKING: TOP 20 GROWTH CAPITAL FIRMS 

2022 Rank Company Performance Score Headquarters
1 Ampersand Capital Partners 2.60 United States
2 Spark Capital 2.21 United States
3 Spectrum Equity 1.51 United States
4 Clairvest Group 1.43 Canada
5 Riyada Managers B.V. 1.36 The Netherlands
6 Ten Coves Capital 1.27 United States
7 Whiz Partners 1.24 Japan
8 Bregal Sagemount 1.11 United States
9 Insight Partners 1.07 United States
10 Summit Partners 0.83 United States
11 Verdane Capital Advisors 0.79 Norway
12 JMI Equity 0.75 United States
13 Camden Partners 0.72 United States
14 Keensight Capital 0.71 France
15 PENM Partners 0.62 Vietnam
16 FTV Capital 0.51 United States
17 Advantech Capital 0.35 Hong Kong
18 Faering Capital 0.34 India
19 Edison Partners 0.27 United States
20 Primus Capital 0.23 United States
Source: HEC Paris

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