Sofinnova raises €260m for Fund VI

The French venture firm missed its €300 million target despite a sealing a trio of strong exits in 2009.

French venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners has closed its sixth vehicle on around €260 million, just shy of its €300 million target, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Sofinnova Capital VI is significantly smaller than its 2005 predecessor, which raised €385 million.

The Paris-based firm – aided by a series of high-value exits – raised the capital during a tough year for venture capital fundraising in Europe. In 2009 the volume of capital raised for venture was €597 million on average per quarter, according to the latest data from the European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association. In 2008 the figure was more than twice that amount, at €1.4 billion per quarter.

Sofinnova – led by managing partners Antoine Papiernik, Denis Lucquin and Jean Schmitt – completed three major trade sales in the life sciences sector during 2009. The first of these, the $700 million-plus sale of device company CoreValve to US trade buyer Medtronic in February, was the largest in Sofinnova’s 35-year history.

The team subsequently completed two more exits, both at more than $500 million.

Sofinnova declined to comment.

Earlier this week, US-headquartered venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates raised nearly $2.5 billion for its thirteenth fund. Although marginally smaller than its predecessor, the firm said the fund, which is to be invested across the US and Asia, represented about 17 percent of all US venture capital funds raised last year.