CapHorn Invest announces €100 Million first closing of its 2nd fund

CapHorn Invest announces €100 Million first closing of its 2nd fund
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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.

One Response

  1. Avatar
    romain vidal

    Interesting point of view !
    If I may, I’d add a few specifics about CapHorn.

    We do not think Industrial players know what they need.

    But they no where it hurts, which allows us to bring in startups that have developped things they haven’t thought of about or cannot develop themselves. (Just like SalesForce solves the CRM problem or Zendesk solves the customer relation problem)

    The real goal of having LP backers is therefore to accept that they don’t know sometimes, and that they have to share some of the value with small expert players.
    That is why one of our partners is dedicated to build bridges (or open doors depending on how you look at it) between our portfolio and our network (which includes our LPs AND our LPs’ network, meaning we our absolutely not limited to our backers when we push our startups.)
    We use their moral backing in order to reduce the sale process duration, because network is a important part of a B2B sale

    On our 1st fund , we introduced our startups 150 times to clients (mainly outside of our LPs) which led to more than 30 signed deals (and therefore Revenue, and therefore increased Value for our portfolio).
    We will grow this indicator significantly in the coming month with new tools and technology (because we also are a startup, and we are and have been reinventing French VC for the last 5 years)

    On the global first part of your argument, I think this situation is inheritant to some B2B models, and not at all to a France first symptom (as you will see very soon with many of our investments) :

    You have to run your solution on a few actors first and learn to solve the problems your client has in a in-depth way.
    Then only can you decide to duplicate your solution globally.

    You will notice that we invested in Critizr with Point Nine Cap and Runa (not exactly the France first, non global investors..)

    It just takes a bit more time going from MVP to V1 (France) to V2 (World) when you deal with big players and their complexity instead of consumer !

    We are specific and we don’t communicate a lot because we prefer to work on our portfolio, but we are trying to make as much sense as possible in building the next world leaders in B2B (Adents, Vekia, Intercloud, Critizr, …).

    I’d be happy to answer any additional questions about CapHorn if you or your readers wish

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