The first quarter was not a good time to be a new kid on the private equity block.
Preqin, which tracks the private equity sector, said that 25 first-time funds secured an aggregate $5 billion in the first quarter, the lowest quarterly fundraising for the period since 2008.
This amount was just 5% of total capital raised by all private equity funds that closed in the first quarter, compared with 7% for funds closed in 2013 and 13% for funds closed in 2008.
Preqin said the first quarter result was worrying for the 641 first-time managers that were actively seeking to raise their first funds, targeting a combined $141 billion.
Investor appetite for first-time funds has also declined. Preqin said only 19% of investors its researchers interviewed in December were open to investing in first-time funds, down from 29% of investors in 2012.
However, 20% of investors in December said they may consider investing in first-time funds in the future, up from 6% the previous year, indicating potential for improvement in first-time fundraising figures.
Preqin’s new report found that 47% of first-time funds that closed in the first quarter failed to meet their target size, compared with 28% of funds raised by experienced fund managers.
Moreover, 64 private equity funds that were aiming to raise $34 billion were abandoned during 2013. Fifty-seven percent of these funds were being raised by first-time fund managers, up from 48% of abandoned funds in 2012.
Preqin noted that first-time managers typically spend slightly less time in market than experienced ones, largely because they are raising much smaller funds. First-time funds closed in the first quarter spent on average 16.7 months in market, compared with 17.6 months for all private equity funds.