(Bloomberg) -- General Atlantic, the investment firm whose bets have included Facebook Inc. and Airbnb Inc., has confidentially filed for an initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said. 

The firm is considering listing as soon as next year depending on market conditions, according to the people, who asked not be identified because the information is private. 

A General Atlantic IPO would test investor sentiment toward alternative asset managers as the industry grapples with the end of the era of cheap debt that fueled easy dealmaking. Despite those headwinds, publicly traded peers such as Partners Group Holding AG and Bridgepoint Group Plc have each gained about 30% in the past year. 

Global IPO fundraising has fallen 30% this year to $139 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. CVC Capital Partners has also been preparing an IPO, while private credit firm HPS Investment Partners confidentially filed for an IPO more than a year ago, Bloomberg News has reported. 

Companies sometimes file for an IPO to allow them to move quickly when a listing window opens, and General Atlantic’s submission doesn’t mean it is planning to sell stock imminently. The investment firm could still opt to remain private for longer, the people said. 

A representative for General Atlantic declined to comment. 

General Atlantic, led by Chief Executive Officer William Ford, considers itself a pioneer in so-called growth equity, which generally means making minority investments in well-established, growing companies that have yet to go public. Established in 1980, the firm now has $77 billion in assets under management, according to its website. 

Read More: General Atlantic CEO Revamps Firm to Push Beyond Growth Equity

While perhaps best known for its successful track record backing tech firms that also included Uber Technologies Inc., General Atlantic is also active in consumer, health care and financial services. The firm closed its sixth growth equity fund at $7.8 billion in 2021. Bloomberg News reported last year that it was considering going public. 

--With assistance from Gillian Tan.

(Updates with IPO market context in fourth paragraph.)

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