Sofinnova fund IV raises E330m

Sofinnova Partners has secured E330 million for its new fund, Sofinnova Capital IV. The high demand for places in the fund from previous and new investors meant that it exceeded its original target of e230 million.

This fund will follow Sofinnova’s existing investment policy looking for early stage opportunities in IT and life sciences, in particular network technologies, biopharmaceuticals and medical instruments. The fund started making investments in November 2000 and has already invested e18 million in six companies. One of these is T-Source, a telecommunications seed fund managed by I-Source Gestion. This is Sofinova’s first investment of this kind but others may follow. Sofinnova invested e2 million in T-Source and up to 1.5 per cent of the fund’s total may be invested in similar venture capital funds.

Over the next three years the fund will invest in another 25 companies, contributing e8 million to e12 million to each over a number of financing rounds. Of the fund invested 50 per cent will be in France and 35 per cent in Europe. Approximately 15 per cent of the fund is destined for the US where investments are made alongside San Francisco-based Sofinnova Ventures.

Sofinnova III raised e120 million in 1998, 60 per cent of which is invested. Jean-Bernard Schmidt, managing partner of Sofinnova said raising this fund had been more difficult than raising the last one. He said: “It went well despite a difficult environment.” In total the company now has e535 million under management.

Investors in Sofinnova’s three previous funds AGF, Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, Fondinvest, HarbourVest Partners, JP Morgan and Swiss Re have reinvested. The company has succeeded in attracting new financial and industrial investors including IBM, Dow Chemical, LGT and PartnersGroup. Gerard Hascot, the entrepreneur behind Sofinnova-backed, has contributed to the fund, along with the founders of other portfolio companies.