Singular is a brand new Paris-based VC agency with $265 million – TechCrunch

Meet Singular, a brand new VC agency primarily based in Paris that simply completed elevating its preliminary fund. The agency was based by two former Alven companions — Raffi Kamber and Jérémy Uzan. They’ve some bold objectives and an attention-grabbing funding mannequin that might assist them stay concerned even throughout late-stage rounds. General, the agency raised €225 million, or $265 million at at the moment’s change charge.

If you happen to browse Singular’s web site, you’re not going to search out numerous info. Right here’s what it at the moment seems like:

Picture Credit: Singular

The Singular group doesn’t need to be secretive. However they don’t like speaking about themselves. That’s why you could have seen Singular’s title in a couple of articles I wrote over the previous few months. However now it’s time to speak a bit about what the agency has in thoughts in relation to startup funding.

Jérémy Uzan and Raffi Kamber spent 11 and eight years at Alven. They’ve been behind among the agency’s most profitable investments, reminiscent of Dataiku and OpenClassrooms. “However each time you elevate one other fund, you enroll for a very long time,” Uzan advised me.

The duo left Alven fairly naturally as they felt it was time of their careers to take their future in their very own arms. There’s no exhausting feeling with their earlier fund.

It was the suitable timing personally but additionally the suitable timing for the tech ecosystem. Whereas Singular relies in Paris, the agency plans to construct a real European VC agency with its headquarters in Paris. Singular desires to be Index Ventures, besides that it doesn’t suppose London ought to be the middle of gravity for European tech funding.

Singular began fundraising in late 2019 and early 2020. Kamber and Uzan didn’t know something about elevating a fund and didn’t work with an exterior monetary agency to deal with the fundraising effort.

When requested concerning the coronavirus pandemic and the influence on the method, they each mentioned that the lockdown really helped as everybody was caught at house. Round two-thirds of the restricted companions that invested in Singular are primarily based exterior of France.

“These are historic VC buyers. They actually imagine in tech — and Europe too. They’ve seen that Europe has been taking off for the previous two or three years,” Kamber advised me.

Identical to a startup, Singular needed to be backed by some well-known buyers. And a few of these buyers are injecting cash in a French VC fund for the primary time. Restricted companions embrace a mixture of pension funds, funds of funds, sovereign funds and household workplaces.

Ontario Lecturers’ Pension Plan, Bpifrance, Classic Funding Companions, Axa Enterprise Companions, Sofina, MACSF and Mubadala Capital are a few of Singular’s backers. Until you’ve raised a VC fund previously, you might uncover a few of these names for the primary time. And but, these buyers are important. For example, whilst you won’t be conversant in the Ontario Lecturers’ Pension Plan, they’ve over $200 billion in web belongings.

Singular began closing funding offers round October 2020. Up to now, the corporate has invested in six completely different startups:

  • A Collection B spherical in Gtmhub, an OKR administration service
  • A Collection B spherical in Indy, an accounting automation software program suite
  • A Collection A spherical in Soda, an enterprise-grade information monitoring platform
  • A seed spherical in, a psychological well being resolution for workers
  • A seed spherical in Resilience, a full-stack software program strategy to enhance most cancers therapy
  • One other undisclosed Collection A spherical

It’s exhausting to search out some frequent tendencies round this record of investments, however I’m going that can assist you. First, let’s begin with the common test measurement.

“We’re largely targeted on Collection A/B as a result of we predict there’s numerous room to develop at that stage,” Kamber mentioned. And Singular can make investments as a lot as €20 million in a single spherical ($23.6 million at at the moment’s change charge).

In terms of verticals, Singular brazenly says that it doesn’t need to give attention to a particular space specifically. “We’re a generalist fund and we’re fairly opportunistic,” Uzan mentioned. Singular doesn’t need to select between B2B and shopper, between AI and e-commerce, and many others.

The place Singular stands out is that it has a singular strategy to late-stage rounds. When a portfolio firm reaches the Collection C or Collection D stage, Singular won’t come up with the money for beneath administration for infinite follow-on investments.

The VC agency didn’t need to elevate its personal late-stage fund. So Singular will have the ability to construction special-purpose funding autos with its restricted companions. A couple of restricted companions might put some cash on this funding automobile immediately and the startup might settle for to lift a brand new spherical with this new funding automobile as a substitute of a late-stage fund.

This manner, Singular stays very a lot concerned with the portfolio firm in query. It might maintain a board seat and have a say in relation to the startup’s subsequent phases.

It’s nonetheless too early to see how it could work in actual life and it’s going to occur on a case-by-case foundation. However the truth that Singular can provide that form of investments is critical — it might be interesting for some entrepreneurs. You don’t have to simply accept it and also you’re not tied with Singular without end, however the provide is on the desk.

In order that’s Singular — Eva Mayoud, Alexandre Flamant and Sonia Pélisson additionally joined the group. It’s not that always {that a} French VC agency begins from zero and raises a €225 million fund in a yr. It’s going to be attention-grabbing to trace the agency’s upcoming investments. Within the meantime, right here’s some TechCrunch protection of Singular’s previous offers:

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