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TechFund raises E25m for European fund

The Silicon Valley firm is past the first closing on its first European fund, which is expected to close at E100m by the middle of the year.

TechFund Capital, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist, has secured E25m for the first closing of its new European seed and early-stage venture capital fund, TechFund Capital Europe. Investors in the fund include the European Investment Fund, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, Thomson Multimedia and EDF.

The target set for the vehicle is E100m by the middle of the year. A team of managers led by Jean-Michel Barbier all formerly of Thomson-CSF Ventures (now Thales Corporate Ventures) will manage the fund from TechFund’s Paris office. The team left the corporate venturing arm of the French defence contractor to establish TechFund’s European presence.

“Today there is a wealth of attractive investment opportunities for seed and early-stage venture capital investing in core technologies in Europe,” said Barbier. He added that there were three important investment trends the firm would be trying to take advantage of – “the huge reserve of attractive and untapped technologies in Europe; the rapidly expanding trend toward entrepreneurship in Europe; and the fact that the established VC industry is currently focusing on later-stage investments and spending more time with existing portfolio companies.”

By contrast, said Barbier, TechFund Capital Europe will be aimed at companies operating in the enabling technologies sector such as networking, telecommunications, wireless, and multimedia. Geographically the focus is France, and then on Germany, ultimately looking the rest of Europe.

In Europe TechFund has already invested in 6Wind, a spin-off from Thales/Dassault developing software that enables businesses to migrate to a new version of internet protocol, IPv6.