If you’re a French entrepreneur, there’s a new venture capital firm in town. Ovni capital announces an initial close of €50 million ($54 million at the current exchange rate) for its seed fund.
The two managing partners of the company Arnaud Lawrence And Augustine Sayer have already invested in several companies in their previous jobs. Laurent has worked with Didier Soucheyre to create XLR Capital and invest in startups such as MWM And On off. He has also invested in early stage startups through WeSprinta startup accelerator.
Sayer grew up in the US and started his career there. More recently he was a partner at Newfund Capital where he invested in 22 different startups, such as FairMoney And Umiami.
When it comes to the company’s investment thesis, Omni Capital aims to support new startups with strong international ambitions from day one. According to the Ovni team, many French entrepreneurs think too late about global expansion. Therefore, the number of unicorns per capita is higher in Berlin or Stockholm than in France.
“Statistically, we also see that French startups are three times more likely to pick up a Series B if they follow this international approach from the start,” Augustin Sayer said in a statement.
In addition to that focus on startups with foreign employees or startups that communicate internally in English, Ovni Capital will favor deep tech startups over platform games, marketplaces or vertical software-as-a-service products. And the VC firm plans to support entrepreneurs by bringing experts to its board of directors.
Ovni Capital tried to collect as much money as possible from successful entrepreneurs. In total, the company managed to convince 50 French tech entrepreneurs to support the fund. If some of them want to get involved in an operational way, they can represent Ovni Capital on the boards of directors of portfolio companies.
The company plans to invest between €250,000 and €2 million in 30 different startups. In some cases, Ovni Capital can invest in follow-up rounds up to €4 million. The first portolio company is Axeptioa user permission management startup that recently raised €3.5 million from Isai, Evolem and Ovni Capital.