Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. successfully maintained its reputation as a venture and growth capital leader, attracting a consistently high flow of matters from investors and issuers. Technology matters account for the majority of transactions, with other key instructions originating in the e-mobility, software, retail and insurance markets. The team of practice heads Pierre Karpik and David-James Sebag also impresses with its experience in private investments in public equity and its ability to assist with employee and management packages and incentive plans. The launch of the online platform Gide Venture in 2017, aimed at providing entrepreneurs, start-ups and growth companies with a number of counselling tools, attested the firm's dedication to France's venture and growth capital scene while the 2018 launch of Gide 255, the firm's digital transformation hub, underlined its commitment to guide its clients through the challenges and opportunities brought on by the digital transformation.
Private equity: venture/growth capital in France
Pierre Karpik; David-James Sebag
Other key lawyers:
Louis Oudot de Dainville
‘Very experienced in the technology venture capital field, which is really important for us when we choose outside counsel. Experience is not just at partner level – they have a good team.’
‘David-James Sebag – great experience and really responsive. All that you could wish for in a client relationship partner as well as your main transactional partner.’
‘The team is exceptional both for the skills shared by all team members and for their intimate knowledge of market practices, market players and business and regulatory issues.’
‘Pierre Karpik and David-James Sebag lead the team with talent. They are very involved in the files, very available. Julien Negroni and Donal Davy are exceptional assets for the team.’
‘Extremely professional team, perfectly familiar with the workings of the Parisian venture capital market, very efficient and conscientious.’
‘I work with Louis Oudot De Dainville as well as his collaborators: they are precise, meticulous, have a good knowledge of the files, are good negotiators and very aware of what is market practice and what is not.’
- Advised investment fund Temasek on its investment in ManoMano, a company that operates an e-commerce website for DIY, home improvement and gardening products, with Temasek leading the round and General Atlantic, Eurazeo, Piton Capital, Bpifrance and Kismet Holdings also participating.
- Advised investment fund Idinvest Partners for its investment in Lumapps, a French social intranet company.
- Advised MWM (Music World Media), a France-based music application publishing start-up, for its fund raising of €50m in a new Series B round led by Blisce/, Idinvest Partners, Bpifrance, Aglaé Ventures, and Xavier Niel.
Jones Day specialises in the technology and biotech sectors, advising start-ups and growth companies -as well as their investors- on the entire lifecycle in this market segment, from seed capital through to late-growth financing. The practice manages one of the busiest caseloads in the French market and is an integral part of the firm's wider private equity offering that extends to a strong transactional practice and a dedicated capital markets team. Renaud Bonnet 's role as Paris practice-head alongside Charles Gavoty Jean-Gabriel Griboul and Geoffroy Pineau-Valencienne, in addition to his role as co-chair of the firm's global private equity practice, underscores the importance of the venture and growth capital practice for the French office.
Renaud Bonnet; Charles Gavoty; Jean-Gabriel Griboul; Geoffroy Pineau-Valencienne
Other key lawyers:
‘The team works closely with funds but also companies, as such they have a very business-oriented approach. They are one of the best players in their field in Paris.’
‘Renaud Bonnet, Charles Gavoty and Geoffroy Pineau Valencienne are very pleasant individuals, easy to work with. ’
‘The venture/growth capital team I’m working with combines two distinct capabilites that do not often go together: a strategic understanding of the rationale and the objectives of the transaction for which legal documentation is required and an attention to details in order to deliver documents that are fully compliant and flawless. For me as client, reviewing legal documnetation is a painful exercice. I want to be able to focus my attention on making sure that the company’s intent are reflected in the documentation without having to bother with details. With the Jones Day Paris venture team, I can (and that was not always the case with other firms).’
‘What stands out when working with the team assembled around Geoffroy Pineau-Valencienne is that it is a true team. There is clearly a great respect for the contribution of each member from the paralegal to the partner. The interactions within the team are fluid and transparent for the client.’
‘Very strong experience in venture capital transactions. Detailed knowledge of market practices and legal details, but also ability to advise on negotiating tactics. The team makes negotiations efficient and doesn’t slow down the process (as others might do). Impressive and consistent ability to deliver and to be transparent’
‘We have worked most with Jean-Gabriel Griboul. He is highly available, provides good advice, delivers on time with his team.’
‘Frankly, I have nothing special to say except : incredible team! Responsive at any time of the day (and night..), attentive team, with a great experience. They have made zero mistakes in the last few years. ’
‘We work closely with Jean-Gabriel Griboul’s team. I am personally a huge fan of him, and I know that my legal team think the same thing.’
- Assisted EcoVadis (a provider of environmental, social, and ethical performance ratings for global supply chains), in connection with its $200m Series B round of financing led by CVC Growth Partners.
- Assisted Valar Ventures and Alven Capital in connection with the €104m Series C round of financing of Qonto (a finance entity for SMEs and freelancers), which included China-based Tencent and DST Global as two new global investors.
- Represented French beauty-appointment platform, Planity, on its €10m financing round led by Crédit Mutuel Innovation alongside historical shareholders Alven, Bpifrance, and Eiffel Investment Group.
Bird & Bird has ramped-up its activity for start-ups and growth companies, while maintaining a busy caseload acting for venture capital funds and CVCs. With a clear focus on the technology and life-science sectors, the Paris team -which frequently works in conjunction with the firm's international venture capital group- is a particularly good choice for multi-jurisdictional matters in these two key sectors. Ties with their colleagues in Germany and the Nordics are also particularly close. Another asset is the Paris team's cross-practice strength, with the restructuring and finance teams as important complementary service offerings. Emmanuelle Porte is the co-head of the French corporate team alongside Gildas Louvel, as well as the French life sciences team practice head and the co-lead of the venture capital team, alongside David Malcoiffe in Lyon. Technology expert Bertrand Lévy is the key contact for the LBO practice.
Emmanuelle Porte; David Malcoiffe; Bertrand Lévy; Gildas Louvel
Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations
Bpifrance (SPI Investment fund)
Bpifrance (Large Venture)
- Advised Bpifrance, through its SPI and EIB SPI funds, on the Kineis round table, for a total amount of €100m, alongside players in the space industry (CLS, Thales, Hemeria), public sector (CNES, IFREMER) and private investors such as BNP Paribas Développement.
- Advised a biotech company specialized in the development of innovative therapeutic approaches regarding its €46m Series E Fund raised from Symbiosis, Takeda and its historical investors (Health For Life, Nestlé Healthcare, Omnes, Principia), and the drawdown of the first tranche of a €40m financing granted by the European Investment Bank.
- Advised Isatis Capital on the disposal of Graitec to Apax, including on the negotiation of the SPA and other transaction documents with Apax and assisting secure the transaction by reviewing the financing structure prepared by the purchaser.
Chammas & Marcheteau
French firm Chammas & Marcheteau enjoys a very good reputation in the venture and growth capital segment. With demonstrable expertise that spans from seed financing to buy-outs and distressed investments, the team is able to take on a high volume of complex transactions -including a number of the market's most significant fundraisings- each year. The healthcare, life sciences, technology and fintech sectors are the group's mainstay and as advisers to both investors and target companies, the practice offers a well-rounded approach to transactions in combination with in-depth sector knowledge. Co-founders Lola Chammas and Denis Marcheteau direct the practice together with Camille Hurel, whose specialisms include restructuring matters, and Nicolas Lecocq, who is also an expert in LBO transactions.
Lola Chammas; Denis Marcheteau; Camille Hurel; Nicolas Lecocq
‘What makes the firm unique is the way Denis Marcheteau and Lola Chammas lead the team, but also their way with the clients: available and open. They never refuse to think outside of the box, they do not tell us ‘it’s impossible‘.’
‘They have brilliant partners from broad horizons who know how to be efficient without being overly zealous.‘
‘They know how to be humble and they are efficient.’
‘Very good knowledge of the new technology industry. Very good knowledge of the mid-market and of how to adapt to interlocutors’
‘Commitment, flexibility and innovative proposals.’
‘Very attentive and very responsive.’
‘Very good knowledge of venture capital and development capital. Strong creativity with the constant concern to take into account the business aspect of transactions. Flexibility and responsiveness.’
‘Very good knowledge of the business . Very good knowledge of market practices. Very strong reactivity and ability to offer solutions to specific situations. Business spirit.
Exceptional responsiveness of Lola Chammas + solution-oriented and not just adverse to risk, Lola has indisputably allowed us to make deals succeed.’
- Advised JobTeaser on its €50m Series C funding round, raised from its historic investors Alven Capital, Idinvest, Korelya Capital and Seventure, and the UK-based fund, Highland Europe.
- Advised Bpifrance, CMCIC, and Omnes Capital on their €13m investment in Wizaplace, the France-based developer of a B2B marketplace-creation platform.
- Advised Eyevensys on its €27m fundraising, led by Boehringer Ingelheim in conjunction with the funds, Global Health Sciences and Pureos Bioventures, and with the ongoing support of its historical shareholders Pontifax, Bpifrance, CapDecisif and Inserm Transfert.
At Dechert LLP, the team co-led by Anne-Charlotte Rivière and François Hellot is a key part of the office's wider venture capital group, with the IP, employment and tax teams as additional cornerstone practices. With its high volume of transactions in the healthcare and life-science sectors, the venture and growth capital caseload reflects the broader firm's strong positioning in these sectors, but the Paris practice also demonstrates strength in a range of other sectors, including fintech, fashion, and food and beverages. The group is well versed in acting for both target companies and investors and is regularly called upon to advise on major fundraisings. Pro bono activities -for example the pro bono law clinic for Women Innovating Together in Healthcare-, training sessions at X-Tech Incubator and the team's partnership with France Biotech for its HITD events in 2019 and 2020 all attest to the group's dedication to the venture and growth capital sector in France.
Anne-Charlotte Rivière; François Hellot
‘Indispensable and excellent practice in France.’
‘Very high availability of teams and looking for innovative solutions to advance the work.’
‘The team led by Anne-Charlotte Rivière and Xavier Leroux has a perfect command of all subjects related to fundraising operations and is extremely efficient in managing a group of international investors.’
‘Xavier Leroux is an excellent technician and turns out to be a great teacher, whether with the founders or with investors. Anne-Charlotte Rivière is particularly proactive in case management and offers innovative solutions to facilitate the completion of operations.’
‘Very good organisation, level of advice on complex situations, performance of the service over time, broad and international competence.’
‘Availability, proactivity, sense of advice, especially for difficult negotiating points.’
Wellington Partners Venture Capital
Alexandria Venture Investments
Big Bag ‘N Go
- Advised Vestiaire Collective on its new €59m Series G round.
- Advised Robocath on its €40m Series C round, as well as regarding its strategic agreement with MicroPort to set up a China-based joint-venture company.
- Advised a group of new investors in connection with Imcheck Therapeutics’ €48m Series B round.
Goodwin stands out for its particular strength in transactions involving the US and French jurisdictions, along with its experience in assisting investors and target companies. The credentials of Maxence Bloch and his team include advising institutional investors and venture capital funds, as well as experience in fundraising and governance matters. The life sciences and technology constitute the group's key sectors, with fundraisings in both areas -namely, those involving biotech and medtech companies- accounting for a significant number of instructions. Thomas Dupont-Sentilles is also a key contact.
Other key lawyers:
Thomas Dupont-Sentilles; William Robert; Jérôme Jouhanneaud; Benjamin Garçon; Félicien Beardsley
‘Excellent practice of venture capital operations, particularly in medtech and technology companies’.
‘A rising team in this field, the experts at Goodwin are excellent technicians and know this field perfectly.’
‘William Robert and Thomas Dupont-Sentilles are excellent, pragmatic and very good negotiators. It is a real asset to have them on your side.’
‘Law practice specialised in VC/PE with an American mindset in France, characterised by pragmatism, good communication in English, strong project management, pro-activity, thinking in solutions (not problems), delivering on promises, available after business hours.’
‘Thomas Dupont-Sentilles: we choose Goodwin over another firm because of Thomas. In addition to having experience and a track record in the healthcare VC/PE sector in France, he has a number of personal capabilities that we value. Pragmatic, a good communicator in English, a good project manager, proactive, thinking in solutions, very balanced legal advise, delivering on what is agreed within timelines, available after business hours, going the extra mile.’
‘Felicien Bardsley: Felicien was very efficient in turning around documents, keeping us up to date on progress, answering questions by email. High quality work, right first time. This gave us as an investor a lot of comfort. ’
Bpifrance Participations-Large Venture
Experienced Capital Partners
Gilde Healthcare Partners
Mirabaud Patrimoine Vivant
Morningside Venture Investments
- Advised DST Global regarding the $115m Series C financing round for French fintech Qonto.
- Advised BPI Large Venture on a new $25m Series A financing, followed by an additional $18m financing, for US medtech startup OWKIN.
- Advised French fintech Lemon Way on its €25m Series B financing led by Toscafund.
Latournerie Wolfrom Avocats fields an 11-strong practice group with three partners, namely Christian Wolfrom, Caroline Basdevant-Soulié and Pierre Lafarge. The trio's track record of assisting with complex venture capital transactions (including in the healthcare and life sciences sectors), and its loyal client base attest to the group's strong expertise in fundraisings. Clients also benefit from the team's cross-border skills and additional complementary practices -notably the tax and employment teams- from the firm's broad service offering.
Christian Wolfrom; Caroline Basdevant-Soulié; Pierre Lafarge
‘Proximity to clients, understanding of business issues and proposals for solutions adapted to these issues.’
BNP Paribas Développement
Paris Fonds Vert
Estève et Compagnie
- Advised Kouros on its investment in Hype, a pioneering project in a city of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, for the development of innovative solutions in the field of energy transition and green mobility.
- Advised Ring Capital on its investment in EasyMovie, a ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) company that allows clients to produce videos for themselves and at scale.
- Advised GBRF and Estève et Compagnie on the acquisition of 100% of the four subsidiaries of Pinet, alongside Picardie Investissement, Pinet and its management, and others.
Neptune Avocats acts for investors and target companies and demonstrates particular strength in the healthcare and biotech sectors, the core specialisms of David Sitruk who directs the practice together with Patrick Douin who, in turn, brings his investment fund knowledge and UK in-house experience to the table. The practice consistently acts on significant fundraisings, frequently combining its corporate strength in the Paris office with its Lyon-based tax team. The French boutique counts a number of Anglo-Saxon investment funds among its clients.
Patrick Douin; David Sitruk
Highland Capital Europe Partners
- Advised this investment fund on various investments, particularly on the successive fund raising of its participations, most notably Contentsquare, with one of the largest fundraisings in 2019 and the largest in 2020.
- Assisted the management of digitizing-logistics start-up, Chronotruck, with the structuring of its acquisition by supply chain solutions company, Gefco.
- Advised RG Safety on various post-LBO strategic acquisitions, with said build-ups (Veltis, EPI Center, etc.), enabling it to become a leader in its sector.
Orrick Rambaud Martel gained a new partner with the promotion of Olivier Vuillod in January 2020 and attracted a number of new clients despite the challenges presented by the onset of the Covid-19 crisis. The firm's French desk in Silicon Valley, its longstanding experience in domestic and cross-border matters and the well-rounded nature of its practice (that includes advising on both investor-side and target company-side mandates), make the team a highly popular choice for the full range of venture and growth capital transactions. The lead trio consists of Benjamin Cichostepski and senior counsel Olivier Edwards (who splits his time between France and California) - the pair co-heading the Silicon Valley French desk; and Vuillod, the 10-strong team's most recent partner addition.
Benjamin Cichostepski; Olivier Edwards; Olivier Vuillod
‘This team offers a wide range of legal skills. Able to adapt to all levels of their interlocutors, the Orrick team (and Olivier Edwards in particular) is always very appreciated by the managers which is one of the reasons why I recommend them systematically. Their knowledge of the practices and players in the world of VC in France and the USA makes them an essential adviser for any ambitious start-up or unicorn.’
‘I mainly work with Olivier Edwards and his team (including Olivier Vuillod and Etienne Boursican). Olivier is a fount of legal knowledge. Plus, he literally knows VCs all over the world (whom he has often worked with in his long career). Supported by a team of very high-level specialists, Orrick has a team with which I try to work as often as possible.’
Diamond Edge Venture
Five Seasons Venture
Kaiko Challenger Deep
Xange Private Equity
- Advised Dataiku and Serena Capital regarding the sale of Serena Capital shares to CapitalG (formerly Google Capital), a transaction bringing the client into the restricted circle of French ‘unicorns’.
- Advised Astanor Ventures on its €16m additional investment -as lead investor- in Ynsect’s Series C round.
- Advised Algolia on its $110m Series C financing, led by existing investor Accel and with additional investments from Salesforce Ventures and several other prominent firms.
French corporate boutique Villechenon is one of the most established venture and growth capital practices in the market. Able to assist investors and target companies alike, the practice sets itself apart through its loyal client base and particularly longstanding track record of assisting on the most important fundraisings in France, including transactions involving cross-border elements. The firm's in-house tax team frequently joins forces with the venture and growth capital practice group, whose key contacts are Isabelle Burel-Blasoni, Morgan Hunault-Berret, Alexander Kotopoulis and Erwan Tostivint. Arnaud Levasseur joined from Jeausserand Audouard in March 2020, adding his LBO expertise, as well as his venture and growth capital experience, to the team.
Isabelle Burel-Blasoni; Morgan Hunault-Berret; Alexander Kotopoulis; Erwan Tostivint
‘An unfailing responsiveness, powerful practice, very good interpersonal skills, pedagogical approach.’
‘Villechenon is a niche firm offering a high quality service.’
‘Morgan Hunault-Berret is a real pleasure to work with and probably one of the best skilled corporate lawyers (also from a technical point of view).’
‘Villechenon is a leader in the sector with real expertise. The partners are hands-on and very involved. Excellent reputation. First-class professionalism.’
‘ Availability and responsiveness. Professionalism. Ability to find a solution and provide added value. Very pleasant to work with Villechenon’
‘Very experienced team around Morgan Hunault-Berret, diligent and rigorous.’
‘Experience, availability, attention to detail, standards, pleasant interpersonal skills.’
Expert & Finance
Orange Digital Ventures
Axa Venture Partners
- Advised Prime Ventures on a €205m investment in Meero, alongside Eurazeo Growth, Avenir Growth and GR Capital.
- Advised Arkea, Bpifrance and Macif on a €75m investment in SRS.
- Advised the investors on Intercloud’s €22m fundraising.
‘The Bignon Lebray team is efficient, technical and delivers solutions.‘
‘Remarkable partner: Edouard Waels. He sets himself apart through his fine understanding of transactions and the context of negotiations. He is an extraordinary negotiator with remarkable expertise.‘
- Advised Perspective Habitat and its managers on its fundraising, including drafting all documentation related to the transaction and relations between the partners.
- Advised Red River West, Cap Horn and French / American investment fund Raise Ventures, on their investment in Worldia for a round of €19m.
- Advised investment funds Demeter and Capagro, the historical shareholders of Toulouse-based robot manufacturer, Naio Technologies, on its latest (€14m) financing round.
Henri-Louis Delsol; Philippe Dumez; Pierre Gougé; Emmanuel Kaeppelin; Philippe Malikian; Amaury Nardone
‘Quality equivalent to the best Anglo-Saxon firms for a more reasonable cost.’
‘Availability, pragmatism and good humour.’
‘Extremely responsive and direct contact with the partners. Global service and not split between the different skills: company law, social, taxation, contracts. Detailed understanding of the constraints/challenges of listed entrepreneurial/family businesses. High level of experience/expertise in companies/investment funds.’
InControl / Biorganotec
Rhône-Alpes PME Gestion and Sofimac Régions
Quilvest Private Equity
- Advised InControl and Biorganotec on the sale of their portfolio of onshore wind development projects in France to Cubico Sustainable Investments.
- Advised MediaSchool on its first major fundraising round, conducted by Florac Investissements.
- Advised Rhône-Alpes PME Gestion on its OBO of Impack supported by Sofimac Régions.
Nathalie Younan; Coralie Oger; Sylvain Clérambourg
- Advised French space agency CNES on the fundraising for independent private satellite operator, Kinéis, an emerging player in the ‘New Space sector’, from various industrial and financial investors.
- Advised ADM Capital as lead on the €60m fundraising round for biologic crop-protection company, M2i Life Sciences.
- Advised ACE Management on its investment in Egerie Software.
Marie-Laure de Cordovez; Olivier Cognard; Thibault Chareton
Nissan Automotive Europe
- Assisted Andjaro with its last fundraising for an amount of €13.4m.
- Assisted SEB Alliance with a €12m fundraising for IEVA Group.
- Assisted Qarnot computing with its last fundraisings, totalling €7m.
Thomas Saltiel; Virginie Belle; Aymeric Degrémont; Romain Soiron; Christophe Joffe
Intercloud (Série C)
Acton Capital Partners
- Advised Bpifrance Large Cap regarding Vestiaire Collective’s €60m fundraising.
- Advised Intercloud and historical funds (CapHorn Invest, Ventech, Hi Inov, SNCF Digital Ventures and Bpifrance – FSN PME Ambition Numérique) in the context of its €22m fundraising.
- Advised Demeter on Outsight’s €18m fundraising.
Lerins & BCW
Laurent Julienne; Cédric Vincent
- Assisted Takeda Pharmaceuticals, historical investor and long-term industrial partner of Enterome, on the investment in Enterome’s new Series E round, involving several French and foreign key investors.
- Assisted the client and its management with the reorganisation of the group (mergers, transfers of securities, securities contribution, company set-up, real estate acquisition), the acquisition of Locarchives, a cash-out for family shareholders and funding by Montefiore Investment.
- Advised Reworld Media with an agreement subject to precedent conditions with two of the main shareholders in Tradedoubler relating to a contribution-in-kind of shares to Reworld Media.
Gilles Amsallem; Nicolas de Witt; Laurence Lapeyre; François Mary, Partner; Christophe Flaicher
- Advised Isatis Capital alongside Bpifrance on a €4m capital and convertible bond fundraising by B-Hive.
- Advised Isatis Capital on its acquisition of a minority stake in the capital of Groupe Référence, a consulting firm specialized in timeshare management for companies.
- Advised Isatis Capital on its acquisition of a minority equity and convertible bond interest in the Texys Group.
Caisse des dépôts et consignations
EDF Pulse Croissance
Advent France Biotechnology
- Asdvised Bpifrance on its project with Symbiose for the creation of a factory for the electronics subcontractor, with the SPI Fund (managed by Bpifrance and Lacroix Group), investing for the creation of an industrial joint venture.
- Assisted Bpifrance with its participation in the fundraising for digital health transport operator start-up, Ambler.
- Assisted the corporate investment fund of EDF Pulse Croissance and Caisse des dépôts et consignations with their investment in intelligent mobility start-up MyBus.
Walter Billet Avocats
‘Having dealt with several firms in the past, this firm really stands out above the rest.‘
‘Excellent support in negotiations with investors, real knowledge of the risks involved in certain terms thanks to their rich experience of the effects of certain clauses. Very good ability to listen to the client with whom they succeed in establishing a good relationship. They stay cool in heated situations. A firm that reassures and inspires confidence.‘
‘We are very satisfied with our collaboration with Walter Billet. Our exchanges have always run smoothly and the team knows what they are doing. They have always found solutions, even in tricky situations. Their professionalism and great knowledge of the practice has allowed us to wrap up each fundraising series within the deadline and under excellent conditions.‘
‘The team is set up for international work: documentation available in English and attractive for foreign investors. Excellent advisers for everybody involved.‘
‘The team is very competent and experienced in all matters regarding entrepreneurs and start-ups (financing, contracts, IP, employment). The partners are always available, extremely responsive and solution-oriented which is exactly what we are looking for in our advisers.’
‘Fabien Billet and Christophe Cussaguet have always proven themselves as extremely reliable; responsive, deep knowledge of the subject, finding solutions to complex problems.’
Seelk / Fast-up
Bureaux à Partager
Made by Me
- Advised Akur8 on raising €8m-plus Series A funds from investment funds BlackFin CP and MTech Capital; and in an earlier €2.5m seed transaction underwritten by Kamet Ventures (an incubator of Axa).
- Advised Fast Up as the founder, through its excubation programme, of Seelk, in connection with a strategic investment led by Mediaperformance; as well as on the €10m sale of Seelk to France-based on-line media company, Webedia.
- Advised Leavy on a seed financing round organised by Chausson Finance in which Netherlands-based venture capital investors eventually won a highly-competitive process to invest €13m-plus in the company, thereby permitting it to rapidly expand globally.