September 29th, 2023 - This Week in Alternative Investments

Wells Fargo became the latest global bank to launch a private credit fund


Bite sized market updates

Wells Fargo launched a $5 billion private credit fund. This comes as private credit fundraising outpaced venture capital in the first half of 2023.

The most expensive wine auction ever is coming in November. Taiwanese billionaire Pierre Chen is auctioning off over 25,000 bottles that are worth an estimated $50 million.

A 1972 Wilt Chamberlain jersey sold for $4.9 million at auction. It’s the third highest price ever for an NBA jersey.

So-called “party rounds” in venture funding have been declining. The average number of VC investors per round has dropped to the lowest level in six years.


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Market Updates

Private credit fundraising has surpassed venture capital so far in 2023. This according to Pitchbook’s H1 2023 Global Private Debt Report, which saw total commitments rise to $94.9 billion from $91.4 billion a year ago.
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo became the latest major global bank to launch a private credit fund, announcing a $5 billion partnership with Centerbridge Partners. This follows other recent announcements from DeutscheBank, Societe Generale, Barclays and JPMorgan Chase.

Billionaire Pierre Chen is auctioning off $50 million worth of wine. The five-part sale begins in Hong Kong this November with other parts scheduled for Paris, New York and Burgundy. While he is selling off approximately 25,000 bottles, it apparently is only a small part of a collection that is estimated to contain over 100,000 bottles in total. Notable bottles include 1985 and 1999 La Tache “methuselahs” (a six liter bottle) expected to sell for over $100,000 each, and a 1982 Chateau Petrus methuselah expected to fetch $65,000.

A game-worn jersey from Wilt Chamberlain’s Finals MVP season sold for $4.9 million. The photo-matched 1972 jersey is from the first championship in Los Angeles for the Lakers, and was worn in the series-clinching game 5 victory. It shattered the previous record of $1.79 million for Chamberlain memorabilia and became the 3rd most expensive NBA jersey ever, following Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan jerseys that both sold since September 2022.

The average number of VC investors per round has been steadily decreasing. While it hit a peak of 5.84 in 2021, the number has fallen to 2.91 as of July of this year. “Party rounds”, where smaller amounts of capital are raised by multiple investors in lieu of a lead investor, have also been on the decline as the bull market has receded. In a tighter funding environment, it becomes more important to have lead investors who have more of a vested interest and can offer support to startups who may need it.

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