67% of you made more in 2020 than in 2019

February 18, 2021, 3:25 PM UTC

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The party roared on for many of you during the pandemic.

That’s a big takeaway from the results of Semaphore’s 2021 Confidence Survey of private equity and venture capital professionals, including many Term Sheet readers.

Despite the economic downturn, some 67% of you say you earned more in 2020 than in the year prior, with another 67% expecting to earn more this year than last.

As one survey taker opined after what was considered a bubbly 2019: “Bubble, baby II!”

Here are the highlights of the survey:

  • 59% of you said COVID-19 hurt your business. Some 54% of you said you still expect the pandemic to hurt business in 2021.
  • 54% of you have confidence in the U.S. economy, compared to 37% who have confidence in the international economy.
  • 57% of you believe the tech giants should be broken apart.
  • 83% of you correctly predicted that President Donald Trump would not be convicted at his recent impeachment trial.
  • 56% of you express confidence in President Joe Biden, while 26% expressed a lack of confidence. In contrast, 69% expressed a lack of confidence in Trump last year.
  • 20% of you are confident in Congress, up by four percentage points from the year prior.
  • 30% of you believe the currently favorable tax treatment of Carried Interest income should be eliminated.
  • 78% of you say sexual harassment and gender bias remain a problem in the tech industry.
  • 68% of you believe racism to be an inherent problem in the tech industry.

About 32% of the 620 participants this year are venture capitalists, 21% work in private equity, and the rest are limited partners, operating executives, investment bankers, dealmaking advisors, or working in hedge funds. Some 80% of respondents are male, and 18% female. 2% identified as another gender.

While most of you made more in the pandemic, over 30% of you still made the same or less compared to the year prior, belying the divergent nature of this economy. Some companies, particularly in tech, have soared, but others in the travel and leisure space are hanging by a thread.

This bifurcation was evident in your survey responses. Here’s a sampling, though you can read the full breakdown here:

  • Last year I said Softbank needs to go away. Long live Softbank!
  • Deal levels are high and likely to remain so.
  • After a blip in Mar/Apr, it was full steam ahead.
  • Able to maintain but not grow.
  • (The pandemic) made it suck.
  • I was laid off.
  • Harder to raise funds from LPs.
  • I have encountered rapacious thieves in PE as well as some of the finest people I could ever hope to meet. If the industry is run by honorable people, the pie will get bigger. If the rapacious thieves predominate, the industry will end up with ugly restrictions driven by revenge and raw envy.

ROBINHOOD-GAMESTOP: Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev is set to appear before members of the House today to discuss the frenzied trading in shares of companies including GameStop. Much of the focus is expected to be on the issue of payment for order flow. Robinhood makes most of its money by passing customer orders to market makers.

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda
Email: lucinda.shen@fortune.com


- SpaceX, the Hawthrone, Calif., space travel company, raised $850 million, per CNBC. The deal values the company at $74 billion. Read more.

- Public.com, a New York-based stock trading platform with a social element, raised $220 million in Series D funding. Investors included Accel, Greycroft, and Lakestar, Intuition Capital, Tiger Global, The Chainsmokers’ Mantis VC, Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, Inspired Capital, Aglae Ventures, and Phil DeFranco.

- Standard Cognition, a San Francisco, Calif.-based provider of autonomous checkout, raised $150 million in Series C funding. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led the round and was joined by investors including CRV, EQT Ventures, TI Platform Management, and SK Networks.

- Blockchain.com, a London-based cryptocurrency wallet operator and blockchain company, raised $120 million. Investors included Moore Strategic Ventures, Kyle Bass, Access Industries, Rovida Advisors, Lightspeed Venture Partners, GV, Lakestar, and Eldridge.

- Boast.ai, a San Francisco-based company helping businesses find R&D tax breaks, raised $100 million. Brevet Capital led the round.

- Eden Health, a New York-based direct-to-employer medical provider, raised $60 million in Series C funding. Insight Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Amigos Health, Aspect Ventures, Company Ventures, Flare Capital, Flexcap Ventures, Max Ventures, and PJC.

- Sentry, a San Francisco-based maker of an application monitoring platform, raised $60 million in Series D funding valuing it at $1 billion. Accel and New Enterprise Associates led the round and were joined by Bond.

- vArmour, a Los Altos, Calif.-based cybersecurity company, raised $58 million. AllegisCyber Capital and NightDragon led the round and were joined by Standard Chartered Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Telstra, Redline Capital, and EDBI.

- Recogni, a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of vision tech for autonomous vehicles, raised $48.9 million in Series B funding. WRVI Capital led the round.

- Dandelion Energy, a Peekskill, N.Y.-based geothermal company, raised $30 million in Series B funding. Breakthrough Energy Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including GV, NEA, Lennar Corporation, Collaborative Fund, Building Ventures, Catchlight Ventures, and GroundUp.

- Kalshi, a San Francisco-based exchange for trading event contracts, raised $30 million in Series A funding. Sequoia led the round and was joined by investors including Charles Schwab (chairman of Charles Schwab Corporation), Henry Kravis (co-chairman & co-CEO of KKR), SV Angel, Neo, and YC Continuity. 

- Peak, a U.K.-based A.I. company, raised $21 million in Series B funding. Oxx led the round and was joined by investors including MMC Ventures, Praetura Ventures, and Arete.

- Carevive Systems, a Miami, Fla.-based oncology-focused health tech company, raised $18 million in Series C funding. Philips Health Technology Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Debiopharm Innovation Fund, OurCrowd, and Qure Ventures.

- Reprise, a Boston-based software demo platform for enterprise sales and marketing teams, raised $17 million in Series A funding. Bain Capital Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Glasswing Ventures and Accomplice VC. The round follows closely on a $3 million seed investment less than a year ago.

- ImmuneID, a Cambridge, Mass.-based immunology company, raised $17 million. Longwood Fund led the round and was joined by investors including Arch Venture Partners, Pitango HealthTech, In-Q-Tel, and Xfund.

- General Assembly Holdings, a Canadian pizza company, raised $13 million in Series A funding. Gravitas Securities led the round.

- Artie, a Los Angeles-based platform for mobile games, raised $10 million in seed funding. Investors include Mark Pincus (Zynga founder) and Thirty Five Ventures.

- Cambridge GaN Devices, a U.K.-based maker of energy-efficient devices, raised $9.5 million in Series A funding. IQ Capital, Parkwalk Advisors, and BGF co-led the round and were joined by Foresight Williams, Cambridge Enterprise, Martlet Capital, Cambridge Angels, and Cambridge Capital Group.

- RocketRez, a Canadian software provider for tours and attractions, raised $5 million in Series A funding. Blueprint Equity led the round.

- Leasecake, an Orlando, Fla.-based maker of software for real estate managers, raised $3 million in seed funding. Las Olas Venture Capital led the round.

- talkshoplive, a Los Angeles, Calif.-based livestream commerce company, closed a $3 million in seed financing. Spero Ventures led the round.

- Opiniion, a Lindon, Ut.-based maker of software for resident relations and reputation management, raised $3 million in funding. Frazier Group led the round and was joined by investors including RET Ventures, AIM Ventura Capital, and Tamarak Capital Partners.


- StandardAero Holding, backed by the Carlyle Group, agreed to acquire Signature Aviation’s (LON:SIG) engine repair and overhaul business for $230 million.

- Battery Ventures formed Behavioral Holdings, a software maker for behavioral-health and human-services organizations, through majority investments in Welligent, a Norfolk, Va.-based maker of workflow software for the industry, and DATIS HR Cloud, a Tampa, Fla. provider of human-resources and payroll software. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Diligent, backed by Insight Partners, Clearlake, and Blackstone, agreed to acquire Steele Compliance, a San Francisco-based internal and external compliance solution. While financial terms weren’t disclosed, a source pins the deal value in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

- Integrated Polymer Solutions, a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management, acquired IRP Group, a maker of elastomeric sealing components in Southern California. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- MAPAL Group, backed by PSG,  acquired GetCompliant, a Sweden-based maker of checklists and documentation for compliance purposes. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Vance Street Capital merged Calculex, Argon Corporation, and FDS Avionics to form Spectra A&D Holdings, a designer and manufacturer of highly avionics and electronics solutions primarily for the aerospace and defense market. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


- Bharti Airtel, the Indian telecom company, will acquire a 20% stake in its direct-to-home television arm from Warburg Pincus for 31.3 billion rupees ($429.3 million). Read more.

- CrowdStrike (Nasdaq: CRWD) agreed to acquire Humio, a London-based cloud log management company, for about $400 million. Accel and Dell Technologies Capital backed Humio.

- Oaktree Capital Management agreed to acquire a stake in Rand Logistics, a Williamsville, N.Y.-based marine transportation company, from American Industrial Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- KKR agreed to acquire Flow Control Group, a Charlotte, N.C.-based provider of industrial machinery and engineering systems, from Bertram Capital. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Triton agreed to acquire SCHOCK, a Germany maker of quartz composite kitchen sinks, from IK Investment Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


- Energy Transfer agreed to acquire Enable Midstream Partners (NYSE:ENBL), an Oklahoma City, Ok.-based natural gas infrastructure business, for about $7.2 billion.

- Alden Global Capital, will buy shares it does not already own of Tribune Publishing Co. (Nasdaq: TPCO), a Chicago-based newspaper operator, and take the business private in a $630 million deal.

- IHeartMedia (Nasdaq: IHRT) agreed to acquire Triton Digital, a Los Angeles-based audio advertising company for $230 million from E.W. Scripps (Nasdaq: SSP).

- Total Produce and Dole Food Company, two producers and marketers of fresh fruit and vegetables, agreed to merge as Dole. The company plans to list in the U.S. and raise $500 to $700 million.


- Beijing DMall E-commerce, a Chinese online retail service, is planning an IPO in the U.S. that could raise $500 million, per Bloomberg. Tencent and Wumart Group back the firm. Read more.

- Hayward Holdings, a Berkeley Heights, N.J.-based provider of pool equipment and systems, filed to raise up to $100 million. CCMP backs the firm. Read more.


- BlackSky Holdings, a Herndon, Va.-based provider of geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services, agreed to go public via merger with Osprey Technology Acquisition, a SPAC. A deal values the firm at $1.5 billion.

- Quantum-Si, a New York-based semiconductor chip-based proteomics maker, will go public via merger with HighCape Capital Acquisition, a SPAC sponsored by HighCape Capital. A deal values the firm at $1.5 billion.

- Humacyte, a Durham, N.C.-based developer of bioengineered human tissues and organs, agreed to go public via merger with Alpha Healthcare Acquisition, a SPAC, per Reuters. A deal values the combined company at about $1.1 billion. Read more.

- Warburg Pincus Capital I-B and Warburg Pincus Capital I-A, formed by Warburg Pincus, filed to raise $500 million and $250 million respectively.

- InterPrivate II Acquisition, InterPrivate IV InfraTech Partners, and InterPrivate III Financial Partners, a trio of SPACs from InterPrivate, filed to raise a combined $650 million.

- Taiga Motors, a Canadian electric jet-ski maker,  plans to go public via a merger with Canaccord Genuity Growth II, a SPAC, in a deal valuing it at about C$537 million ($422 million).

- Pathfinder Acquisition, a SPAC backed by leaders at HGGC and Industry Ventures, raised $300 million. Read more.

- Lakestar SPAC 1, a SPAC by Lakestar, is seeking to raise 275 million euros ($331 million) in Germany. Read more.


- Battery Ventures, a Boston-based investment firm, closed Battery Ventures Select Fund I, a fund for topping up its later-stage companies, with $400 million.

- Adjuvant Capital, a New York-based fund focused on public health issues, raised a $300 million fund.


- Sapphire Sport, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based venture firm, named Chloe Steinberg as a partner.

- Nyca Partners, a New York-based venture firm, promoted Jeremy Solomon to partner and Sol Lee to principal.

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