Iris Capital raises €144m for venture deals

The French venture firm, formerly known as Part’Com Management, has held a second close of its latest venture fund, Iris Capital II.

Paris-based venture capital firm Iris Capital has announced the second closing of its latest fund, Iris Capital II, at €144 million ($177 million).

The venture fund held an initial close at €100 million in December 2003, backed by cornerstone investments from the French Caisse des Dépôts Group and Ergo Equity Partners, the private equity unit of German insurer Ergo.

At the same time, the firm announced the change of its name from Part’Com Management and its independence from French bank CDC Ixis. The fund has a final target of €200 million, which it is aiming to achieve by Q4 this year.

Iris Capital II has attracted a number of new investors, according to Antoine Garrigues, managing partner at Iris Capital. Garrigues said in a statement: “Up until this fund, we had received our capital largely from a single source, so we have been pleased by the response from the broader investment community we have talked to.”

The fund has made four investments since inception, with two most recently in the media and information technology sectors.

Iris Capital II invested €5 million as co-lead investor in Exception Wild Bunch, an audiovisual production and distribution company. It also put in €2 million to lead the second round of financing in Libelis, a software development company.

Founded in 1986, Iris invests in venture opportunities in the media, communications and information technology sectors. The 13-strong team of investment professionals led by Garrigues and Pierre de Fouquet manage more than €500 million in capital and have made more than 180 investments since inception.

The firm typically makes investments of between €4 million and €10 million in early stage and expansion companies in France and Europe. Iris is understood to be preparing exits in Mutithematiques, a TV operator, SES, an electronic tags producer and Outremer Telecom, an alternative telecoms operator.