Bill McGlashan, who oversees TPG Growth — the growth investing platform of the global firm TPG — is reportedly fundraising right now for a $2 billion vehicle called Rise that will seek both financial and social returns.
He tells Dealbook the fund was inspired by bets TPG Growth has already made, including in a cellphone tower company in Myanmar called Apollo Towers that helped the country progress from zero cellphone penetration to roughly 70 percent, which has translated into 5 percent G.D.P. growth — as well as doubled the value of TPG’s investment.
McGlashan has enlisted some high-wattage names as board members in order to help sway investors. Among them, says Dealbook: Bono; eBay founder Pierre Omidyar; Jeff Skoll, who served as the first president of eBay; Laurene Powell Jobs; Richard Branson; Reid Hoffman; Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments; philanthropist Lynne Benioff; and investor Mo Ibrahim.
According to the report, so far, “at least two large pension funds and one sovereign wealth fund have committed nine figure sums.”
McGlashan has led TPG Growth since 2004. The unit, within 23-year-old TPG Capital, had begun life with a $500 million venture fund in 1999. (At the time, it was one of the largest-ever first time funds.) Then the market famously crashed, and McGlashan was brought in to head up a new, growth-fund strategy.
In a chat with this editor last year, McGlashan noted that TPG Growth now invests typically in between 10 and 15 companies each year where it can accelerate the business.
When it comes to what to green-light, there about 30 partners across TPG and 8 managing partners and an investment committee that includes members of TPG Growth. As McGlashan explained at the time, “We don’t have several wizards who are pushing a red or green button. [Firm cofounders David] Bonderman and [James] Coulter and other senior partners are [involved in all the] decisions. It’s important because if you’re an entrepreneur and we’re investing $50 million, we want you to know the firm cares as much about your company as it does with a $1 billion investment.”
Some of TPG Growth’s better known investments to date include Uber, Airbnb, and Fender, the guitar maker.
The unit is investing out of a $3 billion third fund that it closed on in April of last year.