French VC firm Iris Capital announced it has opened its doors in North America with a $15 MM investment from Teralys Capital to focus on opportunities in the IT sector in Quebec. Iris Capital is supported by France-based Orange and Publicis Group.
MONTREAL, Oct. 23, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ – Teralys Capital is proud to announce a $15 million investment in Iris Capital III, a $200 million international venture capital fund well-capitalized to support high-growth enterprises. This commitment will be invested entirely with local companies from Québec and facilitates the immediate opening of the first North American office of this leading European investor in the new digital economy.
Iris Capital, with its head office located in Paris, is a successful investment firm with over 25 years experience in venture capital and growth financing. Specializing in Media, Telecommunications and Information Technologies, Iris Capital offers significant sector expertise with over 200 transactions and €900 million ($1.2 billion) invested to date in technology companies.
The project is strongly supported by Publicis Groupe and Orange, two leading international corporate groups in communications and telecommunications which chose Iris Capital to manage their Joint Corporate Venture initiative of a total amount of €300 million. In this context, Orange and Publicis invested in the funds OP Venture managed by Iris, have become minority shareholders in the management company Iris Capital Management, and have concluded an open innovation partnership; this will facilitate on the one hand a dialogue with Iris on strategy and investment opportunities, and on the other the development of portfolio companies.
“Québec offers unique world-class technology expertise which agrees with our investment strategy”, said Pierre de Fouquet, Managing Partner of Iris Capital. “Furthermore, with Teralys Capital’s commitment, we are very pleased that we can now maintain a permanent presence in Québec and thus facilitate our search for new investment opportunities.”
Didier Lombard, President of Iris Capital’s Strategic Committee, ex-Chairman/CEO of Orange, and Chairman of the Board of ST-Micro, said: “Growth of the digital economy is at the heart of Iris’ activity. To reach this objective as quickly as possible, one must be where creative forces are most active, and choose the right partners. This announcement of our new office in Montréal and of our partnership with Teralys Capital is a stepping stone for our future investments on the North American continent”.
Iris Capital has been active in Québec for over 15 years and realized investments of over $50 million in total in 7 Québec companies. “The new Montréal office will provide local entrepreneurs permanent access to Iris Capital’s unique expertise and international reach, and privileged access to the business networks of Publicis Groupe and of Orange”, added Jacques Bernier, Managing Partner of Teralys Capital.
As with every Teralys Capital portfolio fund, this financial commitment will be entirely reinvested in local Québec companies. Teralys Capital has financed 7 sector funds in Information Technologies since its launch, which total over $1 billion in financing now accessible to Québec entrepreneurs. These funds encompass every investment phase from startup financing to growth and expansion capital, offering local innovating technology companies the capital and expertise required at every stage of their development.
About Teralys Capital
Teralys Capital is a fund of funds created to finance private venture capital funds focused on investing in life sciences, information technology and cleantech companies. The fund has over $700 million in capital commitments from Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Solidarity Fund QFL and Investissement Québec. Teralys Capital also manages two existing portfolios of venture capital funds with additional assets under management of over $600 million. It is currently the largest fund of funds in Canada. Visit www.teralyscapital.com for more information.
About Iris Capital
Iris Capital is a pan-European venture capital fund manager specializing in digital economy. Since its inception in 1986, the Iris Capital team has invested more than €900 million ($1.2 billion). Iris Capital targets opportunities in service or technology companies, seeking growth capital in order to realize their mid to long-term strategy. It provides active support to its portfolio companies on the basis of its strong sector specialization and experience. Iris has offices in Paris, Düsseldorf, Montréal, Dubai and Riyadh. In spring of 2012, Iris Capital entered into a strategic partnership with Orange and Publicis to manage their joint corporate venture capital initiative.
France Telecom-Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of €45.3 billion for 2011 and has 170,000 employees worldwide at 30 June 2012, including 105,000 employees in France. Present in 33 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 224 million customers at 30 June 2012, including 166 million mobile customers and 15 million broadband internet (ADSL, fibre) customers worldwide. Orange is one of the main European operators for mobile and broadband internet services and, under the brand Orange Business Services, is one of the world leaders in providing telecommunication services to multinational companies. With its industrial project, “conquests 2015″, Orange is simultaneously addressing its employees, customers and shareholders, as well as the society in which the company operates, through a concrete set of action plans. These commitments are expressed through a new vision of human resources for employees; through the deployment of a network infrastructure upon which the Group will build its future growth; through the Group’s ambition to offer a superior customer experience thanks in particular to improved quality of service; and through the acceleration of international development. France Telecom (NYSE:FTE) is listed on Euronext Paris (compartment A) and on the New York Stock Exchange. For more information: www.orange.com, www.orange-business.com, www.orange-innovation.tv.
About Publicis Groupe
Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, part of the CAC 40 index] is the third largest communications group in the world, offering the full range of services and skills: digital and traditional advertising, public affairs and events, media buying and specialized communication. Its major networks are Leo Burnett, MSLGROUP, PHCG (Publicis Healthcare Communications Group), Publicis Worldwide, Rosetta and Saatchi & Saatchi. VivaKi, the Groupe’s media and digital accelerator, includes Digitas, Razorfish, Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia. Present in 104 countries, the Groupe employs 56,000 professionals. Website: www.publicisgroupe.com.