Future Positive Capital collects $57.1 mln for fund


Future Positive Capital has raised $57.1 million for its new fund. The initial target was $55 million. The backers include Bpifrance, Draper Esprit, the European Investment Fund and Isomer Capital. The Paris and London-based firm “backs companies that use advances in artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, genetics, and other deep technologies to solve the world’s most pressing challenges such as sustainably feeding the world’s growing population, combating climate change and serving the ageing population.”

PRESS RELEASE

Paris, 28 May 2019

Though the initial target size for the fund was $55m, Future Positive Capital fund is oversubscribed at first close with $57.1m in commitments as backers show strong interest in companies that solve the world’s most pressing problems.

The Paris-London based investment team seeks Europe’s boldest entrepreneurs who use advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, synthetic biology, genetics, and other deep technologies to solve problems such as feeding the world’s growing population sustainably, tackling climate change and coping with an ageing population.

Future Positive Capital targets blind spots in existing European venture capital funding. Many venture capital investors remain highly concentrated in a handful of sectors (consumer, fintech, marketing etc.) focusing on web and mobile technologies that target wealthier consumers. This leaves a long tail of investment opportunities for independent investors who are willing to back the next generation of visionary entrepreneurs who are building successful businesses that solve the world’s most pressing problems. The team believes major factors of change, such as the acceleration and convergence of advanced technologies, new aspirations from the workforce and consumers, huge macro demographic shifts and stronger regulation have led to a real tipping point in our global economy which has created unique conditions for these new companies to thrive.

“Future Positive captures the zeitgeist of our time. At a macro level, we see a universalization of challenges, where problems that once were those of “others” are now those of everyone. The growing recognition of the economic and social ramifications of climate change is the most obvious example.” said Sofia Hmich “the time is right to build an investment firm based on the conviction that the greatest value creation will be driven by companies whose existence is necessarily interconnected with improving the human and planetary condition.”

Future Positive Capital is building a concentrated portfolio of 20 to 25 investments in startups at seed and Series A, with a strong capacity to follow-on at Series B, where desirable. Investments will range between ~€300,000 and ~€5m.

The team has also published a blog post detailing their investment thesis on Medium “The Future Positive Thesis”.

Two investments already made
Future Positive Capital has already invested in two companies: Meatable, a Dutch company that is developing in-vitro, lab-grown clean meat from stem cells, and BioBeats, an Oxford-based company that built the world’s first unified computational model for wellbeing.

“We exist to back a new wave of entrepreneurs and scientists which is on the rise,” said co-founder Alexandre Terrien, “the sharpest and most ambitious minds who deploy market-ready solutions to global challenges. The problems they seek to solve are global, complex and require radical innovations. Their relentlessness, combined with their long-term vision attracts the best talent. This increases the chance that these companies will go from $10 million businesses to $1 billion category leaders.”

David Plans, founder of BioBeats, said: “We decided to re-open our round for Future Positive because they understood the specificity of our technological approach and were 100% aligned with our long term vision. It is exciting to work with the team because they’re entrepreneurs at heart who understand the challenges of a start-up and can offer the support we need.”

A complementary team led by a passionate female founder
Sofia is not a typical VC. The child of first generation Moroccan immigrants, the 31 year old grew up and studied in Paris’s banlieue at La Courneuve and made it from there to one of Paris’s elite business schools, HEC Paris. At the intersection of entrepreneurship and investment, her career has encompassed tech innovation throughout with stints at Index Ventures, Europe’s top venture capital firm, and Deezer, the worldwide digital music service, where she was in charge of international expansion. Prior to setting up Future Positive Capital, Sofia spent two years investing and building the pillars of the firm. This saw her investing in companies including what3words and HomeTree and, in collaboration with renowned investors, Streetbees and Ynsect. Convinced that investing in these types of opportunities requires shifting towards a more holistic view of how value is created and assessed today, she decided to build a firm to fully deploy her investment thesis. Sofia is one of the very few female Founding General Partners in the world. According to estimates by European Women in Venture, only 5% of Managing Partners of EU-based venture capital firms are women.

“Like most entrepreneurs, it is frustration that inspired me to start my own firm. The frustration that no European venture capital firm was exclusively (and truly) focused on those companies and maximising their chances of success” says Sofia. “Starting from scratch gives you the freedom to build a firm that is fully aligned with your vision and culture”

Sofia Hmich’s co-founders are Alexandre Terrien and Michael Rosen. Terrien previously worked with Harvard biomedical engineering professor David Edwards to build companies at the frontiers of science and design. Terrien also co-founded pan-African education media franchise Kukua, and scaled the French and Swiss businesses of VC-backed General Assembly (which recently sold to Adecco for $412m). Rosen brings 13 years of experience of private equity through Pamplona Capital Management, investing across a range of sectors and geographies. He has also been an active investor in a large number of early stage technology businesses. Other members of the team are CFO Eva Sitbon and General Counsel Maarten Scholten, who was the former General Counsel at Total.

Europe is at the forefront of this shift and can become a global leader
Future Positive Capital team has secured backing from some of Europe’s largest institutions such as Bpifrance, Draper Esprit, the European Investment Fund and Isomer Capital. Backers also include family offices and established investors such as ex-World Bank CFO Bertrand Badré, founder of Butler Capital Partners Walter Butler, former AXA CEO Henri de Castries, Board member of Stena AB and co-founder of Heartflow Ventures Marie Eriksson, Localglobe co-founder and former venture partner at Index Ventures Robin Klein, serial entrepreneur and corporate social responsibility pioneer Francois Lemarchand; and Former Chairman of Wendel and CEO of Allegro Cantabile Frédéric Lemoine.

Walter Butler, Investor and Entrepreneur – Founder, Butler Industries
“By targeting the blind spots of the venture capital industry, Future Positive Capital is uniquely positioned to identify the next wave of leading European companies – those that can become global leaders while solving important global needs. This is why it’s the first fund I have invested in.”
Uli Grabenwarter. Deputy Director – Equity Investments at European Investment Fund (EIF)

“Future Positive Capital is a pioneer for a new breed of venture capital firms. New technologies are revolutionising our lives; it is now the time for businesses to show how they can be used for responding to the world’s biggest societal challenges. The team has brought together change makers with the ambition of catalysing the pivotal businesses of tomorrow on which the sustainability of our society ultimately will depend.”

The team believes that Europe is at the forefront of this shift and can become a global leader in commercializing scientific advances and innovating in the global economy’s largest industries.

“International corporations are now investing in and buying European technologies and companies. Across Europe, different innovation hubs have built complementary expertise in areas like AI, robotics, or genomics.” Michael Rosen says” Those assets have been under-invested to date and that’s where we see the opportunity.”

The Fund is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing.

About Future Positive Capital:
Future Positive Capital backs companies that use advances in artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, genetics, and other deep technologies to solve the world’s most pressing challenges such as sustainably feeding the world’s growing population, combating climate change and serving the ageing population. The London-and Paris-based firm will seek to invest up to €100m of progressive capital at Seed and Series A across Europe. Past investments include Meatable, who are pioneering the next generation of lab-grown meat, and BioBeats, the world’s first unified computational platform for preventative mental health. Future Positive Capital’s community-powered platform of 100+ experienced operators, scientists and engineers helps accelerate the development of portfolio companies. Find out more at www.futurepositivecapital.com