Banexi Ventures races to €130m final close

In a further sign of restored investor confidence in the European venture market, Banexi Ventures Partners has closed its fourth, heavily oversubscribed early stage vehicle.

French early stage investor Banexi Ventures Partners has announced the final close of its fourth venture fund on €130 million ($167 million), having launched in January.

The new fund, BV4, was launched in January and received indicative offers of €200 million, according to chairman and general partner Michel Dahan.

Investors in BV4 included the fund’s cornerstone investor, BNP Paribas, which contributed 20 percent of the total. The fund also welcomed international fund of funds Adams Street Partners as a new investor.

Other investors in the fund included Access Capital Partners, Adams Street Partners, Alpha Associates, CDC, FEI, LGT Capital Partners and Quartilium. 50 percent of the fund’s investors came from outside France.

In an interview with PEO, Dahan outlined the changing face of investor appetite for European venture: “The market is now led by fund of funds, it’s no longer family offices or direct investors. European fund of funds have made up their mind that it’s a good idea to invest in European venture and they’re in it for the long term.”

Crucially, Dahan explained that what he described as “a nice bunch” of fund of funds were also moving more quickly: “They’re not spending months, they know they need to hurry up and take a seat at the [venture] firms they want to invest in.”

Dahan confirmed that the firm would continue its investment strategy of

European funds of funds have made up their mind that it’s a good idea to invest in European venture and they’re in it for the long term.

Michel Dahan, chairman Banexi Ventures Partners

participating in early stage European technology. The fund will invest primarily in France, though may invest in Switzerland and opportunistically on specific projects outside France.

The fund’s main focus will be in the semiconductor, mobile platforms and Internet sectors. The firm scored a major success in 2004 with the disposal of French online price comparison service Kelkoo to Yahoo for €475 million.

The close of the Banexi fund is the latest in a wave of recent impressive European venture fundraisings. In February, Index Ventures closed a €300 million vehicle and Sofinnova Partners, the French venture investor backing life science and IT companies across Europe, closed a fully subscribed new venture capital fund, Sofinnova Capital V on €385 million.

Last September, the European arm of international venture capitalist Benchmark Capital closed its second European fund on $375 million.

In December, Munich-based early-stage investor Wellington Partners posted a first closing of its Wellington Partners III Technology Fund on €85 million and Advent Venture Partners held a first close of its fourth venture fund on £128 million.