Launch of Generation Innovation 1

Siparex, the French private equity group, has launched a new fund, Generation Innovation 1, which aims to raise up to 30 million to invest in French technology start-ups.

Generation Innovation is structured as an FCPI (Fonds Commun de Placement Innovation- similar to the UK’s Venture Capital Trusts) and offers private investors tax incentives to participate in the fund. Siparex currently manages four other FCPIs with banks in the Netherlands, France and Italy. It has two with ING, one with Credit Agricole and one with Sanpaolo. This is the first fund Siparex has raised in conjunction with Oddo Asset Management, a French asset management group, which is acting as placement agent. Oddo Asset Management has raised 213 million for FCPIs under the names Jet Innovation and Oddo Innovation in the last three years. The firm will help Siparex raise 30 million by the end of the year and is also responsible for the administration of the fund. Financial advisors or CGPs (Conseillers en Gestion de Patrimoine) will also promote the fund.

Siparex, an independent French investment company, will be responsible for sourcing deals, due diligence and the on-going management of the fund’s portfolio. The group, which also includes a corporate finance business under the name Sigefi (Siparex Ingenierie et Finance), manages assets of 616 million. Of this, 152 million is allocated to venture capital investments in France and the US.

According to Paul Tholly, a partner at Siparex, the fund will target technology start-ups in France. Of the fund 40 per cent will be invested in IT related businesses- Internet tools, software and security, and a further 40 per cent is designated to healthcare and biotech investments. The remainder of the fund will be invested in sectors such as semiconductors, nanotechnology or electronics. Participations from Generation Innovation are likely to be 1 million but the fund will co-invest as a side fund of Siparex Ventures, one of Siparex’s seven funds. This syndicate will be able to invest up to 4 million in a round of financing or up to 10 million in a single company over its early stages of growth.