Paris-based global technology investment firm, Partech has closed its fourth seed fund. The Partech Entrepreneur IV was closed at €120 million hard cap, making it the biggest seed fund for the VC yet.
The investment round saw participation from financial institutions, corporations and 35 entrepreneurs who were previous recipients of its investments. According to the VC, backers of the round are entrepreneurs, business angels and senior managers of tech groups that are both public and private.
The VC firm plans to invest funds between €300,000 and €3 million in around 50 startups across the globe.
The target and the hard cap were raised in response to investor interest. Partech Entrepreneur II hit its new hard cap of €100 million, closing the fundraising round with more than triple the assets of Partech Entrepreneur I.
The new fund, he says, will continue the strategy pursued by its predecessor. Specifically, Partech Entrepreneur II is targeting startups with the capacity for major technological innovations that are destined to become game changers in high-potential markets.
These companies include Flirtey, a startup that specializes in e-commerce and drone product delivery. It also includes Elon Musk’s Hyperloop One, which is developing a new mode of transportation that will move people and things more quickly while having little impact on the environment, Resolution Games, a virtual reality game studio created by the creator of Candy Crush, and Alan, the first independent health insurer to be launched in France in thirty years.
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Following on the heels of Partech Entrepreneur I, Partech Entrepreneur II was launched in April 2015 to fund startups in the seed phase.
Romain Lavault, now the General partner of the VC firm, started France’s first AI software company in 2002, receiving the most significant seed round France had seen at that time, €5 million from the firm. Afterwards, he rejoined the company after his departure in 2011.
Romain believes that the VC has developed a seed model that works for entrepreneurs and investors. “Dedicated support is vital, with Partech helping and structuring startups as they grow. Every member of the investment team is a former entrepreneur.”
“That is how I made the move from being on the other side of the table to investing,” when asked about his experiences as a VC investor. “Now, all of our partners are in that situation. And two of us had Partech’s support, he added.
Using former entrepreneurs gives the company a vital insight into the startup world, as well as an enormous wealth of experience for its portfolio. The result has been an impressive track record, including Alan, the health insurance app, Sorare, the NFT fantasy sports platform, and the south-east Asian payment infrastructure, Xendit.
In explaining the choice of startups the company chooses to finance, Romain maintained that such startups show huge potential and are promising regarding market disruption.
“We only finance projects that we see as likely disrupters. We want to go where no one else is brave enough to venture”,
The new fund differs significantly from the previous in two key aspects, despite the same underlying philosophy.
First, the rate of investment. Partech Entrepreneur II has three times the resources of the first fund. It will be used to finance roughly 80 entrepreneurs at a rate of three new investments each month on average.
It will also have a more international feel, with two-thirds of investments in Europe (outside France) and the US.
In describing the function that the VC firm plays in the life of its investees, CEO Patrick Hurenkamp said that the company strives to be an operational partner to investee enterprises, whether they are aiming to expand globally, strengthen sales & marketing, or hire in critical roles.
“Partech helped us to craft our market conquest, sales and overseas recruitment strategy”
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