What Do Different Commercial Data Sets Tell Us About Private Equity Performance?
This paper examines private equity (both buyout and venture funds) performance around the globe using four data sets from leading commercial sources. For North American funds, our results echo recent research findings: buyout funds have outperformed public equities over long periods of time; in contrast, venture funds saw performance fall after spectacular results for vintages in the 1990s. For funds outside North America, buyout funds show performance similar to those in North America while venture fund performance is weaker than in North America. Venture samples outside North America are, however, relatively small and strong conclusions await further research. The similarity of performance estimates across the data sets strengthens confidence in conclusions about the results of private equity investing.