Cisco, Nokia Back Partech’s Latest $312 Million EU Venture Fund

  • Depite Brexit, “environment is extremely favorable’ for VCs
  • Scouting for e-commerce, fintech, connected objects startups

In a further signal that Brexit hasn’t dampened appetite for tech startup investments, venture capital group Partech Ventures has raised a new 280 million-euro ($312 million) fund to back such companies in Europe -- and thinks it can grow the fund to 350 million euros by the end of the year.

The Partech International Ventures VII fund will focus on startups in e-commerce, fintech, virtual reality and connected objects, mostly in Europe. Investors putting up financing include Cisco Systems Inc., Nokia OYJ, Renault SA as well as insurers and family offices.

“We don’t see an immediate impact from Brexit,” managing partner Philippe Collombel said in Paris, one of the company’s three offices alongside San Francisco and Berlin. “The environment is extremely favorable for VCs: Disruption is accelerating, there are quality entrepreneurs and money is flowing.”

The same confidence in European startups may not extend to the U.K., however, after it voted to leave the EU.

“If there’s an impact from Brexit, it’ll rather be on the other side of the Channel,” fellow managing partner Jean-Marc Patouillaud said.

Partech is riding the tide of the fast-growing European startup scene, providing fresh money for fledgling businesses, particularly in France and Germany. The VC company typically invests one third of its funds in the U.S. and it has put money in more than 300 companies since Collombel and Patouillaud took over in 2008, including and Sigfox.

The new fund is the latest in a series for Partech. On July 5, it won a mandate to manage a 50 million-euro fund backed by Paris’s top engineering schools. A week earlier, it added an extra 100 million euros to its growth fund, bringing it to a total 400 million euros. Partech is also raising the second round of its seed fund, increasing it from 60 million euros to a total 100 million euros.

The new fund will seek four to six investments a year, with a first deal already in store: Chronext, an online marketplace for luxury watches based in Cologne, Germany.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.