On the back of LaFourchette exit, Otium Capital ramps up seed investments in France

Apr 4, 2016
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Otium Venture, an early stage VC fund focused on marketplaces, SaaS and innovation media models, announced two seed round investments this week: Stratumn(€0.6M), a Blockchain development product; and Shippeo (€2.0M), a haulage management platform.

Otium Venture has €50m to deploy and was created by Pierre­ Edouard Stérin following the sale of LaFourchette to Tripadvisor. Their portfolio already includes several European startups such as Balinea (beauty salons marketplace), Camping­and­co (campsites marketplace) and Octoly (Youtube influencers marketing SaaS).

Launched in 2014, Shippeo is SaaS road freight optimisation platform, targeting a market worth more than €200 billion. Around 20 customers already track transport flows through this tool, including leading players of the transport and logistics industry such as FM Logistic, Castorama (Kingfisher Group) and Viapost Services (La Poste Group).

This seed round allows the company to double its workforce in 2016, especially in account management and business development, with the aim to recruit between 60 and 70 new clients this year and conquer the European market.

The Paris-based startup Stratumn created the first Blockchain integration product developed in France. It is also the only Blockchain company in the country to successfully raise funds, which will allow the company to grow to a dozen people this year and reinforce its presence on the French and European markets.

The Blockchain protocol they use allows the creation of infallible decentralized databases, and their platform delivers an API which enables features such as irrefutable proof­-of-­existence for digital documents. They recently announced partnerships with several great French companies, in the bank, health, and supply chain domains; which represents just a few industries where this type of technology can be applied, such as public sector or finance. “The Blockchain’s ability to create trust without a central authority has the potential to disrupt nearly every industry and many will start to question the legitimacy of actors whose sole purpose was to provide third party trust. It’s the final link in the Uberisation chain” — says Bruno Raillard, Partner at Otium Venture.

Currently available in private beta only, developers can start using the Stratumn API in their apps by visiting the website and requesting an invitation.

Investing in such innovative and ambitious companies is a way for Otium Venture to gain ground in the areas they focus on. With the prospect of future co-investments in Europe, they joined Invitalia’s Investor Network along with Impact Hub and Oltre Venture. The VC firm also announced that two new investments are coming soon.