Insight Article Desktop Banner
Media Appearance
October 30, 2021

Morgan Stanley Capital Partners Claims a Spot on the Inc. 2021 List of Top Founder-Friendly Private Equity Firms

Insight Video Mobile Banner
October 30, 2021

Morgan Stanley Capital Partners Claims a Spot on the Inc. 2021 List of Top Founder-Friendly Private Equity Firms

Media Appearance

Morgan Stanley Capital Partners Claims a Spot on the Inc. 2021 List of Top Founder-Friendly Private Equity Firms

Share Icon

October 30, 2021


Meet 146 Investment Firms That Founders Will Love

Now including venture capital firms, this year's list of founder-friendly investors is the biggest one yet.

Reproduced with permission of:




FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS, Inc.'s Founder-Friendly Private Equity Firms list has shined a light on the PE outfits that support founder-led companies through both good times and, well, global pandemics. This year, we had an epiphany while compiling the list: Private equity firms don't have a monopoly on being founder-friendly. Venture capitalists are people too.


Growth of U.S. private equity and related investment from the first half of 2020 ($89.2 billion) through the first six months of 2021 ($227.2 billion).


Growth of U.S. private equity-backed exits from the first half of 2020 ($51.2 billion) through the first six months of 2021 ($125.1 billion).


Growth of U.S. private equity and related fundraising from the first half of 2020 ($146.7 billion) through the first six months of 2021 ($218.3 billion).


Growth of U.S. private equity and related deals from the first half of 2020 (1,598) through the first six months of 2021 (2,575).


Growth of U.S. venture capital investment from the first half of 2020 ($57.9 billion) through the first six months of 2021 (a record $128.2 billion).


Growth of U.S. venture capital-backed exits from the first half of 2020 ($24.9 billion) through the first six months of 2021 ($130.8 billion).


Growth of U.S. venture capital fundraising from the first half of 2020 ($40.5 billion) through the first six months of 2021 (a record $66 billion).

The good news: Whether your company is seeking venture capital or private equity, there's no shortage of dollars to chase. During the first half of 2021, U.S. venture capital fundraising reached $66 billion in commitments, setting a record for capital raised during the first two quarters of a year, according to financial data firm Refinitiv. Private equity fundraising grew to $218 billion in commitments, the highest figure in a decade. Surprisingly, there's perhaps never been a better time for business owners in need of investment capital.

Of course, the only money that comes without strings is money you find in the couch. Accept private equity, and the conversation inevitably turns to whether you should remain as CEO post-investment. "It could be that making your company grow from $0 to $10 million is something that only you could have done, but helping your company grow from $10 million to $100 million is not something you have the skills to do, and you need help," says David Snow, co-founder of Privcap Media, a creative agency for private equity firms and No. 4,571 on the 2021 Inc. 5000 list. "That should be a candid conversation that takes place at the outset of negotiations." A candid conversation, that is, between your investors, your company--and you.


Inc.'s Founder-Friendly Investor list comprises firms identified by our editors or submitted to us through an application process. To confirm those firms' commitment to investing in entrepreneur-led companies, we gather data on how their portfolio companies have grown and extensively interview entrepreneurs, including those who've exited, on their experiences with the firms. On that basis, we produce a proprietary score that determines the private equity, growth equity, and venture capital firms whose missions most significantly support startups and the men and women who found them.



There is no assurance that a portfolio will achieve its investment objective. Portfolios are subject to market risk, which is the possibility that the market values of securities owned by the Portfolio will decline and that the value of Portfolio shares may therefore be less than what you paid for them. Market values can change daily due to economic and other events (e.g. natural disasters, health crises, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) that affect markets, countries, companies or governments. It is difficult to predict the timing, duration, and potential adverse effects (e.g. portfolio liquidity) of events. Accordingly, you can lose money investing in this portfolio. Please be aware that this portfolio may be subject to certain additional risks. In general, equities securities’ values also fluctuate in response to activities specific to a company. Investments in foreign markets entail special risks such as currency, political, economic, market and liquidity risks. The risks of investing in emerging market countries are greater than risks associated with investments in foreign developed countries. Stocks of small- and medium-capitalization companies entail special risks, such as limited product lines, markets and financial resources, and greater market volatility than securities of larger, more established companies. Illiquid securities may be more difficult to sell and value than publicly traded securities (liquidity risk). Derivative instruments may disproportionately increase losses and have a significant impact on performance. They also may be subject to counterparty, liquidity, valuation, correlation and market risks. Privately placed and restricted securities may be subject to resale restrictions as well as a lack of publicly available information, which will increase their illiquidity and could adversely affect the ability to value and sell them (liquidity risk).

Morgan Stanley Capital Partners manages a middle-market private equity platform. The team has invested capital in a broad spectrum of industries for over two decades.


The views and opinions are those of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change at any time due to market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. Furthermore, the views will not be updated or otherwise revised to reflect information that subsequently becomes available or circumstances existing, or changes occurring, after the date of publication. These views do not constitute investment, financial, tax or other advice. The views expressed do not reflect the opinions of all portfolio managers at Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) or the views of the firm as a whole, and may not be reflected in all the strategies and products that the Firm offers. The information contained herein may refer to research, but does not constitute an equity research report and is not from Morgan Stanley Equity Research.

Forecasts and/or estimates provided herein are subject to change and may not actually come to pass. Information regarding expected market returns and market outlooks is based on the research, analysis and opinions of the authors. These conclusions are speculative in nature, may not come to pass and are not intended to predict the future performance of any specific product.

Certain information herein is based on data obtained from third party sources believed to be reliable. However, we have not verified this information, and we make no representations whatsoever as to its accuracy or completeness.

Morgan Stanley has paid to be considered for this award. This award is based on the analysis of and information gathered by Inc. Magazine using its own methodologies and criteria.  Information regarding such methodologies and criteria is generally not known to Morgan Stanley, and Morgan Stanley has not investigated this award. Other third parties or investors may disagree with the award given to Morgan Stanley. Potential investors should make their own determinations about the prospects for the Fund’s investments. A ranking or award may not be representative of a particular investor’s experience or Morgan Stanley or the Fund’s future performance, and there is no guarantee that similar rankings or awards will be obtained by Morgan Stanley in the future.

All information provided has been prepared solely for information purposes and does not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell any particular security or to adopt any specific investment strategy. Investing involves risks including the possible loss of principal.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.


This is a Marketing Communication.

Check the background of our firm and registered representatives on FINRA's BrokerCheck

It is important that users read the Terms of Use before proceeding as it explains certain legal and regulatory restrictions applicable to the dissemination of information pertaining to Morgan Stanley Investment Management's investment products.

The services described on this website may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all persons. For further details, please see our Terms of Use.

Not FDIC Insured—Offer No Bank Guarantee—May Lose Value
Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency—Not A Deposit

Subscriptions    •    Privacy & Cookies    •    Terms of Use

©  Morgan Stanley. All rights reserved.

Morgan Stanley Distribution, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC.