Jul 7, 2021 - Economy

StepStone Group to buy Greenspring Associates

Illustration of somebody whispering into somebody's ear.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

StepStone Group (Nasdaq: STEP) agreed to buy Greenspring Associates, a Baltimore-based direct and indirect VC and growth equity investor.

Why it matters: This is part of a burgeoning boom in "private equity" firms going public, either directly or via merger. And, yes, the last time this happened was right before the financial crisis.

Details: The deal includes $185 million in cash, $540 million in stock and an earnout of up to $75 million. Greenspring's portfolio includes companies like Scopely and TripActions, plus funds managed by firms like Accel and Benchmark.

The bottom line: Greenspring, which ran a bank process, is betting on a flywheel effect whereby direct VC deals lead to fund stakes which lead to secondaries.

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