New York-based specialist firm Energy Impact Partners has brought in former Carlyle Group director Nazo Moosa as managing partner for Europe as it seeks to expand growth-oriented technology investments across the region.
Moosa will head the firm’s London office – its second outside of the US – and work alongside chief executive and managing partner Matthias Dill to ramp up its European portfolio. Dill manages the firm’s office in Cologne, it is understood.
Prior to joining EIP, Moosa was senior strategic partner at venture firm Paladin Capital Group for two years, according to her LinkedIn profile. She was previously co-founder and managing partner of v | t partners, a specialist platform that invested in European technology companies focused on transport and logistics, manufacturing, energy and healthcare. Before v | t, Nazo served as chief executive and managing partner at C5 Capital, Europe’s first cybersecurity fund, which she joined after 12 years at Carlyle, where she was a founding team member of the Europe Technology Fund.
EIP is eyeing tech companies in Europe that are ready to scale internationally, the firm said in a statement.
The firm aims to take the same model it has in the US into Europe and focus on disruption and the transformation of asset-intensive industries, deploying between €10 million and €35 million per transaction, Moosa told Private Equity International.
“It’s classic growth territory,” she said. “It is an area that is for the most part difficult to address because there are a handful of funds, but the challenge is that every fund grows larger and larger by every generation. Trying to get to these smaller equity cheques becomes more difficult in Europe and this is the gap we want to address.”
EIP intends to build out its investment teams in Munich and London and has started to recruit principals and associates. “We want to make sure we have people with sector knowledge,” Moosa said. “Ultimately, we want to make sure we have the capacity to have at least two or three investment teams that can be engaged in a transaction at any one time. We hope to be there in the next quarter.”
Its debut fund, the $530 million 2014-vintage Energy Impact Fund is mostly fully invested, Moosa said. She would not be drawn into discussion about fundraising but did acknowledge that her own experience at Carlyle leads her to believe that geographically dedicated funds tend to provide better visibility and better capture local dynamics, especially deal values below $50 million.
The firm invests across six broad themes – intelligent operations, mobility, cybersecurity, smart homes, cities, and buildings, distributed energy and customer engagement – at the growth stage.
It is unclear whether EIP will raise a Europe-dedicated vehicle for the strategy. Moosa declined to comment on fundraising.
Capital raised for growth equity investing in Europe reached €7.8 billion in 2018, more than double the figure in 2015, according to data from Invest Europe. PE-backed growth investments in the region in 2018 hit €11.9 billion, with 2,106 companies financed.
Among firms that are seeking to tap into Europe’s booming growth capital scene are Permira, Eurazeo and Providence Equity Partners. Permira raised €1.5 billion for its Permira Growth Opportunities Fund I in June. Eurazeo is set to launch its third growth fund this year, targeting €1 billion, chief executive Virginie Morgon said during its half-year earnings call in July. Meanwhile Providence Strategic Growth, the firm’s unit which backs mid-market software and technology-enabled service companies, launched its debut Europe-focused growth fund this year seeking €750 million, as previously reported by PEI.