After 37 years of existence, the Iris Capital fund continues to focus on the development of technology platforms, software, and fintech, by continuing to invest. “The idea for us is to identify projects that truly transform the market, we are looking for disruptive technologies,” underlined Julien-David Nitlech, managing partner, alongside Curt Gunsenheimer and Erik de la Rivière.
To support new entrepreneurs, Iris Capital has just raised €150 million to create Iris Venture IV. A fund supported by its historical investors Orange, Publicis, and Bpifrance, alongside European family offices, tech entrepreneurs, and founders of portfolio companies such as Fred Potter, founder of Netatmo, or Yannis Yahiaoui, co-founder of Adot.
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Focus on the French and German fintech markets
This new fund should finance the development of 15 to 25 companies in seed and in series A thanks to tickets ranging from €1 million to €8 million. “The objective is to support companies that have already started developing their product and which are beginning to have interactions with their targets,” specified the managing partner.
Iris Capital investors also want to focus on the French and German markets. “We have a Franco-German DNA and the conviction that these basins are very rich and complementary,” said Julien-David Nitlech, based in Paris, who operates in particular alongside Curt Gunsenheimer, based in Berlin. The fund, which employs 20 people, now supports 45 companies and manages €800 million. Among them, 40% are French, and many are German. The others are based in Asia, the Middle East, and the United States. “These are very competitive markets, where it can be difficult to find a place. Whereas in France and Germany, we are performing very well,” specified Julien-David Nitlech.
In the past, Iris Capital has indeed contributed to the emergence of six ambitious tech companies. Among them, Netatmo, created in France, develops connected objects for the home. France’s artificial intelligence platform, Shift Technology, meanwhile detects fraudulent claims for insurers, and Exotic, a robotics company, is touted as France’s first industrial unicorn.
But investors remain cautious. “Over the past ten years, we have seen a little more innovation every day than the day before, with the emergence of many unicorns. At the end of 2019, many people thought the market was starting to show signs of weakening. But the Covid generated a number of investments never seen before, which generated an astronomical valuation of certain companies,” contextualizes Julien-David Nitlech. In recent months, however, many financial players have disappeared, in connection with the rise in credit rates and record inflation. “The entire equity market is in the process of being reformed, believes the investor. Funding for growth companies has slowed sharply, we are in a period of adjustment.”
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First published in Maddyness, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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