Auriga II closes below target

French IT and life science investor Auriga Partners has closed its second venture fund on E115m, below the original target of E150m.

Auriga Partners, the French early-stage investor in life sciences and IT, has closed its second fund below target on E115m.


Auriga had initially hoped to close the fund on around E150m. After a strong start last year, fundraising proved challenging though, as market sentiment and institutional interest in venture capital deteriorated rapidly. In December 2001, the firm held a first close on E51m and went on to secure another E59m in commitments before holding a second close in June 2002.


Investors in the fund include AXA, Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec, Chevrillon Associés, the European Investment Fund, FPCR, SGAM, CPR Private Equity and Mitsui. Around 60 per cent of the capital raised was generated from overseas investors.

The fund will be managed by the group’s founding team – Patrick Bamas, Jacques Chatain and the chairman Bernard Daugeras – and will be used to invest in early-stage technology companies across Europe, the US and Israel. 50 per cent will be committed to life sciences companies and 50 per cent to IT ventures, with individual investments not exceeding E5m. The firm may also participate in bigger transactions via co-investment opportunities.


Auriga’s most recent investment came as part of a E20m round for French drug research company Innate Pharma, a Marseille-based developer of treatments for tumors and cancer-related disorders. In April, the firm joined Soffinova in backing Faust, a firm specialising in research into diseases of the central nervous system.


Auriga II is double almost double the size of its predecessor, which raised E65m in 1998 and invested in 29 companies, four of which have since been written off. The firm expects to achieve an IRR of 20 per cent on the first fund.