Having waxed extensively about the opacity of France’s venture capital industry, I’ve decided it’s time that I practice what I preach.
The venture capital sector in France operates in a fog of complexity, with limited accountability, and in some cases deliberate secrecy. I believe this is wrong. I believe that a VC fund’s investors, portfolio companies, and partners will be best served in the spirit of openness and transparency.
Accordingly, I want to demonstrate some leadership in this area by opening the kimono on VC performance starting with my own personal track record during my first 10 years as a VC. As you’ll observe from the infographic, my performance remains a far cry from the tier-1 VCs of the US and UK. Although it’s not disastrous, it isn’t something to boast about either, especially when you consider that half my investments were late stage which in theory should translate into a high exit rate. A lot of traveling and hands-on activity, but I feel like I haven’t done enough. Regrettably, I cannot disclose IRR figures due to data being either insufficient or confidential in nature. Other notes: this data spans a period that already ended over a year ago; it covers three different VC structures I’ve worked in; it excludes the brief periods that I had strayed from VC into the LBO and mezzanine areas; and of course only starts after my prior life as an entrepreneur.
Hopefully this exercise will inspire other VCs in France to do the same.