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Performance Measurement Survey 2020
Published 30 Sep 2021

This report has been produced by the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) to demonstrate the returns generated for investors by our members to 31 December 2020. The statistics in this report are the results of the BVCA’s Performance Measurement Survey, an annual survey of fund level cash flows and valuations collected from our members.

With a significant presence in the UK, developed over the past 30 years, private equity and venture capital funds provide companies with the finance and know-how to deliver sustainable business growth. Active ownership, over the medium to long term, delivers economic and social value to those involved in the businesses (from employees, management and owners on the one hand, to customers and suppliers on the other) and a wide group of stakeholders (from local communities and local and regional economies, to national policy makers focused on issues such as climate change, diversity and inclusion and social issues).

Both private equity and venture capital firms are focused on delivering sustainable growth for the companies in which they invest: venture capital funds typically support early stage and younger companies, holding minority stakes in the businesses, while private equity funds typically acquire controlling stakes in more established businesses.

The Performance Measurement Survey looks at funds which invest in businesses at all stages of the growth lifecycle – from venture capital funds specialising in start-ups to large buyout funds investing in global corporations. We at the BVCA firmly believe that private equity and venture capital funds are an exciting and attractive investment opportunity for pension schemes and other investors and the results of this survey show us why.

In 2020 we received responses from 119 members out of a total eligible pool of 158 members, a response rate of 75%. For comparison, in 2019 we received response from 117 members out of a total of 154 who were eligible. 

A summary version of this document can be found in the Performance Measurement Survey Highlights brochure.

This year, for the first time, we have made the data tables in this report available for download on the BVCA website here, in excel format. We hope this will prove a valuable resource for industry participants, researchers and others wishing to find out more about the performance of private equity and venture capital funds.

The BVCA is currently working on further analysis comparing private equity and venture capital performance to public markets – look out for our Public Market Equivalent analysis report which will be available before the end of the calendar year.


Some key findings from this year’s report include:
  • A new metric looking at the performance of private equity and venture capital funds has revealed a strong industry return of 19.6% per annum over the last decade. This compares to an industry return since 1980 (the first year for which the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) has data available) of 14.6% per annum.

  • These annual returns are equivalent to investors nearly doubling their money, getting a 1.9x return on capital invested over the past decade and 1.8x capital invested since 1980, including the value of unrealised investments as at 31 December 2020.


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