Tiger Global and its star software partner are parting ways much earlier than expected.
John Curtius, whose departure had been revealed in one of the firm’s letters to investors earlier this week, wasn’t supposed to leave until June sources had told Fortune. But, as of today, he has already left, say three people familiar with the matter, who spoke with Fortune on condition of anonymity. A Tiger spokeswoman didn’t respond to an immediate request for comment.
Curtius’ earlier-than-expected departure comes after a flood of press coverage this week that has drawn attention to his exit. Curtius is the most active private investor at the firm and has backed portfolio companies including Databricks, Snyk, Toast, Snowflake, SentinelOne, GitLab, and Kustomer, among others. Some would say the timing isn’t ideal: Just today, Tiger went to market to fundraise for its next fund, according to a letter obtained by Fortune that was first reported by Axios. The firm is only seeking to raise $6 billion for its sixteenth fund, less than half of the $12.7 billion fund it closed just earlier this year, according to the letter. The firm says in the letter it is expecting the first close in mid-January. That lower figure showcases the change in the startup environment, which had reached new heights only a year ago. With the public markets in decline and interest rates climbing, venture capital firms have slowed their pace of dealmaking and valuations have begun to fall in new deals, with startups occasionally experiencing down rounds. Tiger said in the letter that “a number of” its larger holdings are profitable and preparing to go public when markets improve. A Tiger spokeswoman declined to comment on the new fund.
Curtius, who joined Tiger in 2017, is planning to launch his own early-stage software fund called Cedar Investment Management, which will back startups in Series A to Series C rounds, as Fortune reported earlier.
Curtius’s exit may prove to be challenging for Tiger, particularly as the firm’s performance suffers in the public markets. Tiger’s private funds have distributed $30 billion since inception and generated a net IRR of 24%, with its first 10 funds “having returned between 130% and 1,058% of called capital,” according to the letter, but Tiger told investors earlier this week that the firm had decreased valuations every month this year.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with details from the letter Tiger Global sent to its investors Oct. 6 and to clarify that sources told Fortune Curtius was leaving in June.
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