Idinvest triples its digital fund–VCJ fund profile


Christophe Bavière and Benoist Grossmann, CEO and Managing Partner of Idinvest respectively

Idinvest Partners, an investor in Dailymotion, Criteo and Deezer, recently finalized its second digital fund at €140 million ($158 million), almost three times the size of its predecessor.

Apropos for a Paris-based firm that spun out of a German insurance company, Idinvest has a pan-European remit, although at least half of the new fund will be deployed in France.

Series A and B deals of €3 million to €6 million ($3.5 million to $7 million) are the firm’s sweet spot, but at least a third of the fund is earmarked for smaller seed and larger growth tickets. And Idinvest augments its firepower through its retail (FCPI) funds, which will invest alongside Idinvest Digital II.

Secondary, debt, co-investment and other venture funds comprise the rest of Idinvest’s €5 billion ($5.5 billion) under management, but within digital venture it focuses on Web-based, media, mobile, ecommerce, and software businesses.

Ten companies have been added to the new fund’s portfolio since its first close in 2013. Idinvest counts two family offices, two corporates and several institutional investors as LPs in the new fund.

Alongside French state body bpifrance, LPs include a sovereign fund from the Spanish region of Catalonia, which is quite a coup for a French firm.

“We’d made two investments in Catalonia, but there aren’t many VCs over there so the sovereign fund went with us because they want to promote venture in their region,” said Benoist Grossmann, managing partner of Idinvest.

Closer to home, the firm capitalized on the relationship it had built with such companies as Total, Michelin, EDF and Orange in separate healthcare, mobility and cleantech funds to attract further corporate backing from Lagardère Group and Up Group, which committed €10 million ($11 million) each.

A win for Grossmann has been ad-tech developer Criteo, which Idinvest took from a seed investment in 2003 to a $250 million IPO on Nasdaq a decade later.

That exit and several others mean that Idinvest expects to return 3x to 4x the capital in its first digital fund, and Grossmann is confident that LPs in other European digital funds will receive similar rewards.

“Within two to three years, many of the VC funds that have been raised within the last five years will be returning a lot of money to investors,” he said.

This story was written by Alex Derber, a U.K.-based contributor. He can be reached at [email protected].

This story first appeared in affiliate magazine Venture Capital Journal, which is published by Buyouts Insider. Subscribers can read the full story by clicking here. To subscribe to VCJ, click here for the Marketplace.

Photo of Idinvest CEO Christophe Bavière (left) and Managing Partner Benoist Grossmann courtesy of Idinvest Partners.

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