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Idinvest raises €140m digital fund

Idinvest Digital Fund II will make digital technology investments in France and the rest of Europe

Idinvest Partners, a Paris-based firm which invests in French and European small and medium sized businesses, has held a final close on its Idinvest Digital Fund II at €140 million, according to a statement from the firm.

The fund is focused on minority investments in France and across Europe in the digital and new technology segments, including media, mobile, e-commerce services and software.

Launched in 2013, Digital Fund II was initially targeting €120 million and held a first close on €60 million in October 2013. The final amount raised is “very close to the hard cap”, Idinvest managing partner Christophe Bavière told Private Equity International

The capital collected includes a GP commitment of one percent, Bavière said.

Investors in the fund include French media group The Lagardère Group, which has committed €11 million, Bpifrance, and Allianz France, which has committed more than €10 million, according to Bavière. Insurance companies, banks, family offices and corporates also number among the investors.

The fund’s predecessor, Idinvest Croissance 2005, a €39 million vehicle, is currently delivering a 3.3x return, Bavière said.

Idinvest Digital Fund II has already invested in 10 companies, including social media monitoring platform Synthesio, in which Idinvest invested $20 million, and French start-up Sigfox, which builds low-cost wireless networks to connect objects, thereby creating the infrastructure for the “Internet of Things”. So far 30 percent of the capital has been drawn down.

“This fund could be fully put to work in three years,” Bavière said, adding that the vehicle will be looking to make between 20 and 25 investments.

Bavière sees a strong pipeline for the new vehicle.

“It’s more active than ever, and it’s a better quality than ever,” he said. “The quality of entrepreneur has never been as good. The quality of innovation, and especially the quality of European innovation in the digital space, is impressive.”