PARIS – Viventures Partners invests in seed- to early-stage Internet, information technology, engineering and telecommunications companies in the United States and Europe.
The firm in May wrapped its inaugural fund, the $120 million Viventures Partners, which was launched in January 1998 and held an initial close on $85 million in November 1998. Viventures decided to raise the fund’s $85 million cap after sensing interest from additional limited partners at the time of the vehicle’s first close, Partner Ed Colby said.
Initially, the firm had planned to make investments ranging from $2 million to $2.5 million over several rounds of financing, but that amount was increased to $4 million to $6 million once the size of the fund grew, Colby said.
At press time, about $40 million of the fund had been invested in 25 companies, and the firm plans to be completely invested or committed in a total of about 40 companies by the fourth quarter of 2000, he added.
Viventures typically leads investments in France and occasionally leads other European deals, but in the U.S., it usually makes follow-on investments.
The fund raising for a first-time vehicle was difficult at the beginning, Colby said, but the pace picked up once the firm secured investments from Vivendi and Societe Generale Asset Management, the firm’s first two limited partners, who together make up about half the fund. Other L.P.s include Mannesmann AG, Audio Media-Audio Fina, Compagnie Nationale a Portefeuille and Cisco Systems Inc.
The firm is led by Managing Partner Jean-Pascal Tranie and Partner Benoist Grossmann in France, and Colby in San Francisco.
Viventures plans to launch a second fund at the beginning of the third quarter of 2000, but a target amount has not yet been set, Colby said.
The following is a selection of Viventures portfolio companies:
Adauction.com (San Francisco) is an on-line media exchange offering business-to-business e-commerce service for buying and selling ad space.
Co-investors included Convergence Partners, Amerindo Investment Advisors and Lehman Brothers.
Centerpoint Broadband Technologies Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) is a developer of high bit-rate communications products.
Communications Ventures and Cisco Systems Inc. were co-investors.
Cyras Systems Inc. (Freemont, Calif.) is a developer of optical networking products.
Menlo Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Worldview Technology Partners were co-investors.
Direct Hit Technologies Inc. (Wellesley, Mass.) analyzes and provides Internet search results.
Draper Fisher Jurvetson was a co-investor.
HiFive.net Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) delivers network support software solutions to enterprises and to the outsourcers who service those companies.
Co-investors included Red Rock Ventures and Convergence Partners.
iMediation S.A. (Paris) is a global provider of Internet distribution platforms for sales, marketing and other services on the Web.
Apax Partners & Cie was a co-investor.
LightLogic Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) is a developer of laser-based components in the fiber optics telecommunications field.
Co-investors included Bessemer Ventures and Ridge Capital Corp.
nCipher Corp. Ltd. (Cambridge, U.K.) develops hardware for server applications including Web sites, e-commerce and digital certification.
Co-investors included Newbury Ventures, 3i Group PLC. and Celtic House.
Netonomy SARL (Paris) is a software company that helps telecommunications companies improve customer satisfaction and profitability through Internet-based solutions.
Atlas Venture was a co-investor.
Ugo Networks Inc. (New York) is an on-line content provider of news, reviews, downloads and editorials about Playstation, Nintendo, Sega and PC games.
Co-investors included Global Retail Partners and George Soros Funds.
Xpedion Design Systems Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) is an electronic design automation company targeting commercial and defense wireless communication systems and integrated circuits.
Telesoft Ventures was a co-investor.
Viventures is located at Tour Sequoia, 1, place Carpeaux, F-92915 Paris La Defense Cedex. tel: 33 1 55 68 20 59, fax: 331 55 68 20 73 and at 66 bovet Road, Suite 318, San Mateo, Calif. 94402. tel: (650) 356-1071, fax: (650) 356-1074. The firm’s Web site may be found at www.viventures.com.