ISAI announced today that they have put a hard cap on their latest fund, “ISAI Expansion,” closing €50 Million, now including department store Galeries Lafayette (think French Macy’s), in addition to video media giant Groupe M6 & Groupe Amaury among their “corporate” investors. The new fund, which will include investments between 1M-7M€ (up to 15€ with others involved), will put ISAI back in business, who hasn’t invested in a new startup since January of this year, when they invested in web-to-store startup Pubeco.
Despite what we may have said about the ISAI investment strategy at times, things have been going pretty well for ISAI’s investments. This year alone, Shopmium ($5.6M), StickyAds (3.1M€) & Instantluxe (2M€) have each had new rounds from new investors, suggesting promising growth. Meanwhile, star investment Blablacar has gone to expand in Benelux & Germany, announcing 3 registered Million users in April of this year (their competitor, the German Carpooling.com, announced 5 Million users today, and has launched a partnership with Eurolines & Deutsche Bahn in order to provide real-time price comparison between ride-sharing, buses & trains).
These successes have no doubt contributed to ISAI’s ability to raise a new fund, normally the mark of how healthy a VC fund is doing with its previous investments. In the past year, Ventech has raised a new €75 Million fund, as has 360 Capital Partners, which took them a fair amount of time. Alven Capital raised a fourth fund at €120 Million, and Elaia Partners launched Elaia Alpha last October, a €45 Million fund for early stage, while they wait on the pending Criteo IPO, of which they were the first VC investors.
ISAI will undoubtedly remain a “French fund,” that is, they will invest in French companies who have traction in France and are considering growth in France & internationalization; however, France still lacks its late-stage funding, a ‘European fund based in France’ if you will. Nonetheless, with a little more cash in hand, ISAI should be able to continue to bolster growth for France’s most promising startups.