Viventures sets up UK office

Paris-based Viventures Partners has expanded its business activities into the UK market. Vivek Tandon has joined the team as principal and will focus on building the firm’s UK investments from the new office, based in Reading, which is outside London. The opening of the office coincides with the closing of the firm’s second fund at e638 million.

Tandon will focus primarily on investments in the telecoms, media and information technology sectors. In particular, he has extensive technical experience in optical systems, optical networks and optical components. Prior to Viventures, Tandon was VP of marketing and business development at Kymata, director of product marketing and management at CINEA, and optical systems engineer and business development manager at British Telecommunications PLC. He also co-founded VICOM Group, a wholesale bandwidth reseller.

Jean-Pascal Tranie, managing general partner of Viventures Partners, is bullish regarding the European market’s potential. He said: “We are very excited about opening another office in Europe. Through our business expertise, strong technology knowledge and experienced investment teams in Paris, San Francisco, Singapore, London and Stockholm, we can now be even more proactive on a global basis for our portfolio companies and limited partners.”

Viventures recently closed Viventures 2 at e638 million. A third of the fund is financed by VivendiNet, the Internet arm of Vivendi Universal. The remainder includes commitments from over 30 corporate and financial investors worldwide. The fund will provide venture funding, as well as strategic and financial guidance to promising Internet and communications start-ups. Reading, where the UK office is located, is where many TMT companies have based their UK headquarters.

The first Viventures fund was launched in September 1998 by Vivendi Universal. As at December 31, 2000, the fund had invested e118.1 million in 49 companies.