Succés Europe leads Helveta

French VC firm Succés Europe has led a £3m funding round into Helveta, a software company in the timber sector.

The Oxford based company also received backing from existing investors Albion Ventures and Oxford Capital Partners. The money raised will be used to grow the company internationally and expand it.

Helveta’s software enables customers to track timber through the supply chain to ensure the legality of their assets. Illegal logging costs the governments of timber-producing countries between €10bn and €15bn a year, and contributes to the rate of deforestation. Both the US and the EU have implemented legislation regarding the legality of timber trade.

Helveta uses mobile software applications and barcode technologies which are linked with a web-based product o keep track of goods.

“Helveta has made encouraging progress since we last invested in 2008, winning a number of highly significant contracts and playing a strategic role in helping countries comply with the requirements of the EU’s Forestry Law Enforcement, Government and Trade (FLEGT) process,” said Ed Lascelles, a partner at Albion Ventures. “As the only commercially deployed, electronic traceability system in the timber sector Helveta is uniquely placed to become the industry standard.”

Both Albion, then known as Close Ventures, and Oxford Capital Partners led a £1.8m round in June 2008, with additional funding coming from Finance South East, a UK regional development agency fund.