Spanish VC fund closes

Adara Ventures, a Luxembourg-based private equity firm focused on Spain, has closed its inaugural fund on €50m, just over a year after its June 2005 launch.

The fund is to be managed by a four-strong team based in Spain consisting of Alberto Gómez, Nico Goulet, Roberto Saint-Malo and Jesús Sainz, all of whom will be drawing on their experience at EDS, McKinsey & Co, Monitor, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Telefónica.

Adara Ventures will target opportunities which are either based in Spain or have a significant presence in the Spanish market, and since its launch the fund has already made five investments, all focusing on technology and software.

The fund counts among its investors the European Investment Fund, through the MAP-ETF Start Up Facility, a European Communities Growth and Employment Initiative; Fonditel, Telefónica’s pension fund; Energías de Portugal; and Banistmo, a Latin American bank recently acquired by HSBC. Institutional investors make up 63% of the total commitments, with private investors accounting for 37%. Spanish, other European, and Americas investors account for 45%, 30% and 25% respectively.

Adara’s founders believe that Spain has traditionally lacked the kind of early-stage investment and support for entrepreneurs than has been present in other European countries, and have sought to redress the balance by launching this new vehicle. The firm emphasises assistance in product development, strategy, organisational development, financial management, as well as the definition and execution of go-to-market efforts.