With a heritage that goes back to the fabled times of the year 2000 (since then it has backed 160 European teams) Paris-based early-stage fund Alven has something of a reputation to keep up. After investing in unicorns such as Qonto, Dataiku, Algolia, Stripe and Ankorstore, it now has €2 billion in assets under management.
But that was yesterday. And today it’s coming out with its sixth fund, having hit a hard cap of €350 million after exceeding the initial target of €300 million, making it one of the largest early-stage funds operating out of France. The fund will write cheques from €100,000 to €15 million and has plenty of reserves for follow on investments. After more than 70 exits, those recent ones include the sale of Sqreen to Datadog, Cardiologs to Philips and Frichti to Gorillas.
While Alven is known mainly as being a Francophile fund, it also now has a London office that it plans to expand. Part of the fund will be deployed across Europe, as well as to back European founders in the U.S. in relevant sectors.
Charles Letourneur, co-founder of Alven, said:
We pride ourselves in building long-term relationships with entrepreneurs, and this also applies to investors in Alven. Not only [have] our existing LPs continually invested in us, but we’ve also welcomed a number of new investors that want to be part of the French Tech success story.
Alven recently launched Operation3, a talent program aimed at web3 entrepreneurs. The fund will also now put an emphasis on new growth areas in crypto (it has invested in Kaiko, a market data provider for digital assets), developer and data tooling (it invested in Mindee, a document parsing tool for developers), climate tech, MyTraffic (physical location data analytics), Carbonfact (a carbon footprint API) and Stoik (data-driven cyber insurance).
Over a call, partner François Meteyer told me:
We’ve been consistently hiring what we think is the next generation of successful VCs, first in France, and then in Europe. So our LPs trust us and every backer from our previous fund invested again in this new fund. And then we decided to extend the LP bases and bring more global institutions in as LPs.
I asked him, given they exited Frichti to Gorillas, and given the potential recession looming, if just-in-time groceries have a future. He said: “We have seen many M&A in the past and we’ll seen more and more. We think just-in-time groceries is going to continue to matter — it will be about price.”