Using a firm-level perspective, this study examines the effect of specialization on the fundraising activities of private equity (PE) firms. We consider three dimensions of specialization: stage, industry and geographic location. Using a large sample of U.S. PE firms, we find that specialized firms raise new funds more quickly than generalists only if the type of the new fund coincides with the current area of the firm's expertise, suggesting that expertise cannot be easily extended to other areas. We further explore what explains the observed link and provide evidence supporting the idea that specialization accelerates future fundraising through increased value-adding to the current portfolio of PE firms. We also show that, specialization benefits increase as the PE firm becomes more experienced.