Auriga II achieves second close

French IT and life science specialist, Auriga Partners has announced the second closing of Auriga II at EURO110 million. The fund hopes to achieve a final close of between EURO120 million and EURO130 million, twice the size of its first fund, which was launched in 1998 and closed on EURO65 million.

Fund raising has taken longer than expected because the decision-making process of institutional investors takes longer now, says partner Damien Salauze. There has however been increased interest from non-French investors for the new fund with around 60 per cent coming from foreign investors.

Partner Sebastien Descarpentries said of the fund raising: “It has been a very difficult task because of the period of uncertainty for financial investment we are facing. However, all our financial investors from Auriga I (CDP Capital, EIF, SGAM, FPCR, AXA, CPR) decided to invest in Auriga II.” This, he says is partly due to the good performance of their previous funds and the strong experience of the management team whose founding partners Bernard Daugeras, Jacques Chatain and Patrick Bamas, have been working together in the venture capital industry for the last 12 years. Auriga I is now fully invested in 29 companies and has achieved seven exits with a combined multiple of 2.5 over an average investing period of one year. The firm’s most recent exit was last September. Snaketech, a software designer of submicron SoCs, merged with a US company (Simplex) and subsequently went public on Nasdaq.

The second fund will have the same focus as the first fund with an equal split of IT and life science investments, and average investments of EURO4 million. The team is looking for high potential ventures in seed or early development stages in Europe, North America and Israel.

Coinciding with the fund close, Auriga also announced the appointment of Francois Lainee as partner for information technologies. His main focus will be to participate in the assessment of investment opportunities for the new fund.