Talde on track with Fund IV

Spanish venture veteran Talde is well on the way to closing its fourth fund. Launched earlier this year the EURO60 million fund looks set to close at the end of this year, or the beginning of next. While many funds are struggling to attract investor interest, Talde has over 25 years’ experience and a solid shareholder base with investors from its previous funds also committing to the new venture. These include a mix of financial institutions and industrial investors with the majority from savings banks in the Basque region.

The firm has a generalist focus on small- to medium-sized Spanish businesses with a turnover of between EURO6 million and EURO10 million. Average investment size is between EURO1 million and EURO4 million, although the maximum investment size from the new fund will increase and total funds under management will reach EURO130 million.

Talde also has a focus on venture investments and in 2000 started building its technology portfolio, which now comprises ten investments.

Julia Salaverria Monfort, director new funds and investments, says: “These companies are performing well. We invested at the right time, at the time of the bubble. Also we have always been very conservative with our investments. We put in money stage by stage and ask for milestones before we provide further funding. We are also very demanding in terms of valuations. We look for a low valuation to start, but as the company progresses, if it achieves the milestones, we can be very generous in the next stages.”

At the moment, she says, as in the rest of Europe, technology investments have come to a standstill. There are actually more opportunities in biotech companies, which according to Karen Berstein, editor of Biocenture Publications, are significantly under-funded compared to their US counterparts.

Another Spanish fund hoping for a year-end close is the third offering from Spanish investment boutique Riva Y Garcia. Sebastian Waldburg, director of the private equity department who joined the firm three years ago to help set up the venture capital division, says fund raising has been tough and they have been marketing for a year and a half. The fund, named Spinnaker after a powerful yacht sail, has attracted EURO21 million so far and hopes to close on EURO30 million.

The firm also manages Invercat, a EURO24 million start-up fund set up by the local government to target investments in Catalonia, and Webcapital, a EURO3 million seed capital fund.

For the moment the firm is specialised in early stage VC investments. But Waldburg does not rule out raising a buyout fund in the future once the team has gained sufficient experience in the early stage sector. “We could raise a buyout fund. The buyout market is probably the more traditional market for investment in Spain. It depends on what we’d be able to raise and whether we’d proved ourselves with our first funds. Our corporate finance experience would definitely stand us in good stead.”

NMAS1 is one Spanish buyout fund doing exceptionally well on the fund raising front see EVCJ September issue. The fund is expected to announce its final close shortly.