John Curtius is leaving Tiger Global as the prolific investment firm continues to reduce its stakes in private technology companies.
The Midas List investor is leaving Tiger Global in a transition now underway, the company told investors Monday in a quarterly letter obtained by forbes. Curtius will “work closely with other members of the investment team over the coming months as we transition his responsibilities,” the firm wrote. “We are grateful for all of his contributions to Tiger Global and appreciate his work ethic and intellect.”
The letter made no mention of Curtius’ plans after Tiger. But Curtius expects to start his own firm, called Cedar Investment Management, after his permanent departure in June 2023, a source with knowledge of his mindset shared forbes.
The move comes as Tiger Global’s multibillion-dollar public funds continued to generate losses in the third quarter, the company’s letter said, in part due to long-term positions in China-based companies. The company said its sizable private portfolio of venture capital-backed startups is also down as Tiger lowered the valuations of its holdings every single month in 2022.
Tiger Global declined to comment through a spokesman. Curtius declined to comment.
In a letter spent most of the grief Death of Julian Robertsonthe billionaire founder of hedge fund Tiger Management and the mentor and first supporter of Chase Coleman III, founder of Tiger Global, Curtius’ brief mention near the end, following a series of other announcements from junior executives, seems like a tight end to a five-year plus stint in which the investor bought back more than 250 private technology companies.
During this time, Tiger became known as one of the most active tech investors. Under Midas List Fixture Scott Shleifer, the venture side of Tiger’s business grew into his largest, accounting for up to two-thirds of his fortune, which reportedly reached $95 billion a year ago. In April, an analysis by Crunchbase News found that Tiger had led 87 investment rounds in startups in the first quarter of 2022 alone, for a total of $7.6 billion in invested capital — more than $2 billion more than the next largest checkwriter, the Soft Bank Vision Fund.
Curtius, who joined the firm from Elliott Management in 2017, was the latest celebrity face behind many of those startup deals, especially after Lee Fixel, another Midas list fixture and longtime Coleman lieutenant, left in 2019 to start his own new firm to found. Eventually named Tigers software and business-to-business startup investment leader, Curtius made a splash in the Miami area when he bought a $22 million Coral Gables mansion last year that previously belonged to singer Marc belonged to Anthony. In April, his portfolio helped him debut at No. 64 on Midas’ list of the world’s top private technology investors.
More recently, Tiger’s has made headlines for the billions it has lost in its public market positions. The firm’s flagship fund lost half its value in the first six months of the year, billions of dollars worth of positions; In August, Reuters reported that the company was trimming positions in tech companies like Coinbase, Crowdstrike, and Snowflake, while exiting positions in others like DocuSign, Robinhood, and Zoom. Recently public companies backed by Curtius, such as data infrastructure companies Snowflake and Confluent, are down about 50% or more for the year.
And as Tiger’s investor note revealed, the company has also quietly downgraded its private company valuations since Curtius’ appearance on the Midas list — downgrades that are unlikely to be taken given the lag in re-rating private companies versus publicly traded stocks. Curtius’ portfolio includes pre-IPO companies like data infrastructure company Databricks and cybersecurity firm Snyk, which may struggle to defend their recent valuations of $38 billion and $8.5 billion.
Then there’s healthcare automation startup Olive AI, which was backed in December 2020 at a valuation of $1.5 billion and at its more recent funding round in July 2021 Curtius and Tiger at a valuation of $4 billion -dollars were involved. Last month, Olive AI announced that its chief financial officer and chief product officer were leaving the startup, two months after it laid off 450 employees. Curtius also invested in London-based virtual events startup Hopin in December 2020 at a valuation of $2 billion and continued to invest up to its $7.8 billion valuation in August 2021. The virtual events platform fired 29% of employees last July.
Amid such losses, Tiger Global told investors this summer that it would slow its startup investments in order to write earlier, smaller checks, according to a TechCrunch report. Curtius’ alleged departure, meanwhile, became a common theme at other VC firms, with several partners speaking out forbes They had heard about the move (they asked to remain anonymous so as not to risk future business). As late as August, sources close to Tiger Global denied Curtius left, a source said forbes that Curtius was still investing in the firm.
In a funding round announced last week, a $50 million Series B round raised by data onboarding service Flatfile, Curtius was cited on behalf of Tiger, the round’s lead investor. Startups sometimes wait months to announce their funding news, meaning such an announcement could have been delayed.
In their letter to investors, Tiger Global’s partnership said they “look forward to working closely with Curtius and finding ways to work together.”
According to the source, Curtius plans to continue supporting software and business-to-business companies in his proposed new company, Cedar, through Series A through C phases. Curtius has already spoken to founders about potentially stepping into the new company after it launches next year, the source added.
However, Curtius will have to do so, pointing to investment returns at Tiger that appear lower, at least for now. “We enter the final quarter of 2022 after acknowledging that this will not be a year for which the Scoreboard will make us proud and with our minds firmly set on the future,” the company wrote.
This story has been updated with information about Curtius’ future plans.