This week in Paris, French VC fund Partech Ventures announced it has closed €200 Million from investors including Carrefour, Renault, Ingenico, Bpifrance & others for a fund that is capped at €300 Million. The fund will be used to make investments in Mid-Stage startups – typically $12 – $50 Million investments.
Partech’s been on fire since they raised their first seed fund Series A fund, and after they launched their own shared office Partech Shaker last December, I declared them the first Tier 1 European VC in France (next to Accel, Index, Balderton, and very few others). That declaration is only enforced by this most recent announcement, which will enable Partech to get in the door early through Partech Entrepreneur (they are also raising a second seed fund, after making 30 or so investments last year from their seed fund alone), follow up with their Series A fund, and follow through up to $50 Million.
France has been making big deals in the past 12 months: Blablacar’s $100 Million round, SIGFOX’s €100 Million round work in progress, and even Cityzen’s €100 Million work in progress – so there are deals to be made at home; however Partech is already doing many deals outside of France, and even hired new General Partner Mark Menell last May, based in the Silicon Valley, to continue grabbing deals outside of France.
As one VC told me last week over coffee, Partech could’ve easily rode its wave of great deals – from Business Objects to Dailymotion – however, led by General Partner Philippe Collombel’s vision for VC in France, Partech is pushing the very barrier that the fund itself set for French VC, forcing other VCs to match their push or get out of the way.
European VC is largely underserved – the fingers could be pointed in many directions when searching for causes – but no doubt that part of this is due to lack of ambition from the VC side. Partech has broken that paradigm, fighting as hard as an Silicon Valley VC to get in on great deals, lamenting missing out on deals that were too big, and making the moves that need to be made, but don’t always seem safe at the time.