VC Fund CapHorn Invest, specialized in startups who can help Industrial players transition to digital, has announced the first closing of its second fund at €100 Million, with a goal of reaching €125 Million for their final closing. This comes on the success of their first €50 Million fund, which invested in the likes of connected toothbrush Kolibree, among others.
CapHorn invest is backed by the industrial sector – companies, but also their CEOs directly – and their investments always have an angle of “Can this startup help industrial companies – retailers, manufacturers, logistics companies, etc. – become digital-first companies (products, services, etc.). With their new fund, CapHorn has already made their first investment in Lille-based Critizr, a service currently available only in French, which allows consumers to give feedback on retail locations.
I’ve known CapHorn since their first fund, and have often talked with the team – notably Romain Vidal – and I must say I’m hesitant about the idea that industrial LPs and an industrially-driven strategy can lead to investing in the very startups that will help Industrial companies change (as it implies that Industrial players know what they need in order to adapt & evolve, which has been shown time & time again to be false). For example, many of CapHorn’s investments today break the mold of investing in increasingly global-first companies, showing the same France-first tendency that newer funds & founders reject.
Nonetheless, CapHorn is not the first fund to be backed by Industrial players – Partech is backed by BNP Paribas (as in, bnpPARibasTECH), Xange by LaPoste, and so on – and the investment team is hungry, with a discourse that is clearly seducing LPs to jump on board. Their €125 Million fund will be among the largest early stage funds in France, ahead of Elaia & Partech. Let’s hope all these Seed Funds spawn new Growth funds, which is where the real investment gap lies in France.