You might remember that I covered a $240 million growth fund from Paris-based VC firm Partech Ventures back in January 2015. As I noted at the time, it was just the first closing and other limited partners kept investing in this fund. The very same growth fund is now bigger at $440 million (€400 million).
Everything I wrote a couple of years ago still holds true. Partech plans to invest tens of millions of dollars in a handful of companies every year. At the time, the team also told me that this fund wasn’t specifically focused on French startups.
And it looks like this is exactly what’s happening as the VC firm has already made 5 investments using this fund in American, British and Finnish companies — Made.com, FreedomPop, Brandwatch, M-Files and RockYou. None of these companies are based in France.
Given the size of the investments, you definitely have to expand your geographical focus in order not to miss out on promising deals. That’s why Partech is now competing with some of the biggest funds in Europe and even the U.S. As growth investment is something new for Partech, it’s too early to say whether this strategy will be successful.
Some of the limited partners behind this growth fund are Bpifrance, CNP Assurances, AG2R La Mondiale, Carrefour, Ingenico Group, Renault and more.
Partech also has a seed fund and a building in Paris where startups can rent some space, the Partech Shaker. In the past, according to multiple sources, a startup was kicked out of this building after Partech couldn’t invest in this startup for various reasons.
This isn’t a great precedent and let’s hope that Partech can become more startup-friendly in the future — I hope this was just a misstep. Don’t get me wrong, a French growth fund is great news. But having more money than anyone else is just one thing.