Private equity: venture/growth capital in France
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. remains among the most active venture and growth capital practices in France. The group stands out through the combination of its well-rounded financing offering, including profit-sharing and incentive plans, and its experience in securities law and private investment in public equity. The team specialises in investments and fundraisings in the technology sector, but also demonstrates strength in other sectors, including the retail and hotel and leisure sector. Pierre Karpik and David-James Sebag, who splits his time between the New York and Paris offices, are the heads of the team.
‘The team has an outstanding knowledge of the industry and all members have excellent technical and negotiation skills.‘
‘Pierre Karpik and David-James Sebag are both very experienced, very connected. They are both very available and committed on deals. Having represented both entrepreneurs and funds on many occasions, they do have a great understanding of each party’s needs and are very good at making the transaction happen.‘
‘Pierre Karpik has incredible knowledge and experience in M&A and fundraising legal aspects. He has the right mindset and perfectly understands the dynamics at work. I would highly recommend working with him.‘
- Advised the photograph production start-up Meero on its fundraising from Eurazeo Growth, Prime Ventures, Avenir Growth Capital, GR Capital, Global Founders Capital, Aglae Ventures, Alven Capital, White Star Capital and Idinvest Partners, totalling $230m.
- Acted for Doctolib on its €150m funding round with longstanding investors Accel Partners, Eurazeo, Bpifrance Participations, Kernel Investissements and investment fund General Atlantic, a new investor for the client.
- Advised Bpifrance Investissement and Idinvest Partners on their investment in insect farming company Ynsect, alongside Astano Ventures, Talis Capital, Finasucre and Compagnie du Bois Sauvage.
Jones Day focuses on venture and growth capital for tech and biotech companies. The practice offers one of the deepest benches in the market and is particularly strong at partner level, and continues to attract the biggest deals in France. The varied workload includes a mix of domestic and cross-border matters, with a geographical focus on the UK and the US. Its wide-ranging expertise includes every stage from seed financing to late stage financing. Renaud Bonnet, Charles Gavoty, Jean-Gabriel Griboul and Geoffroy Pineau-Valencienne are the practice heads.
New Alpha Asset Management
- Advised ManoMano on its €110m series D financing round led by Eurazeo, Idinvest Partners and Aglaé Ventures alongside existing investors General Atlantic, Partech Ventures, Piton Capital and Bpifrance Participations.
- Advised Ivalua, a leading provider of global spend management cloud solutions, on its $60m financing round led by Tiger Global Management.
- Acted for Bain Capital Ventures as lead investor on the $70m series C financing round of e-commerce player Mirakl.
Baker McKenzie continues to impress with its busy venture and growth capital practice which sees the team regularly act on the most important deals in the market. The technology and healthcare sectors are the group's mainstay, both focus areas of Matthieu Grollemund who directs the private equity practice together with Stéphane Davin. Particularly active for investors, the group successfully continues to expand its client list. As part of the firm's wider private equity offering, the team is able to advise clients on venture and growth stages and beyond, not only in France, but internationally due to the firm's sizeable global footprint.
Ally Bridge Group
- Advised Accel Partners, Eurazeo, Bpifrance Participations and Kernel Investissements on their investment in Doctolib, totalling approximately €150m.
- Advised Ynsect, the leading European agrofood and environmental biotech company, on its $125m Series C fundraising to fund the construction of a large insect farm and insect protein transformation facility.
- Advised Eurazeo, Idinvest, and Bpifrance on their Series C investment in Colibri SAS, known as ManoMano, the leading European online marketplace for DIY and gardening products.
Bird & Bird specialises in the tech and life sciences sectors and has longstanding experience in advising growth companies, venture capital funds and corporate venture capital funds. Lyon-based David Malcoiffe and the Paris-based Emmanuelle Porte focus on venture capital transactions, while Bertrand Lévy, also in Paris, brings his expertise in LBO transactions to the table. Between them, the three practice heads handle a predominantly domestic caseload, but are also able to assist with cross-border matters, especially as part of the firm's international office network.
‘We have appreciated the intellectual excellence: To know how to use the law, the best practices of the investment world and to know how to use them to build a custom-made transaction for our interests. We have also appreciated their rigour in executing the deal, the attention paid to the coherence of the transaction, to the details, the great availability.‘
- Advised Lima Consulting Group on its fundraising, led by Naister.
- Advised Osivax on its Series A fundraising with business angels and Anaxago, on the creation of two categories of preferred shares and on the conversion of part of its ordinary shares into Series A preferred shares.
- Advised Novalix and RiboStruct on their Series A investment from Advent Partners.
Chammas & Marcheteau
Chammas & Marcheteau impresses with the wide range of the team's expertise. The group's track record highlights its strength in seed and venture capital, growth capital, buy-outs and distressed investments. The French firm attracts a steady stream of work from key players in the venture capital market and innovative companies, especially in the healthcare and life sciences sectors. Lola Chammas and Denis Marcheteau, Camille Hurel and Nicolas Lecocq are the practice heads. With the arrival of Pierre-Louis Sévegrand from Goodwin in January 2019, the group strengthened its leveraged buy-out team, further bolstering its reputation in the private equity sector.
Irdi Soridec Gestion
Safran Corporate Ventures
- Advised Iris Capital on its €15m fundraising for Exotec, the France-based provider of robotic warehouse logistics solutions.
- Advised Xange on the legal and strategic aspects of its fundraising for Gleamer, a life sciences company specialising in artificial intelligence-powered software to enhance radiologists’ productivity.
- Acted for Safran Corporate Ventures and other investors on their investment in Diotasoft, a company providing augmented reality solutions for industrial applications.
Dechert LLP offers wide sectorial range, with a particular focus on the life sciences and technology sectors, including fintech and assurtech. The group acts for investors, especially venture funds, and emerging growth companies which frequently benefit from the firm's ability to assist not only with investments, but also with employment, tax and intellectual property issues. The bulk of the caseload consists of domestic matters, but recent cross-border instructions involved Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the US and the UK. Anne-Charlotte Rivière and François Hellot head the practice. Key support comes from associate Xavier Leroux.
‘Dechert has specific expertise in venture capital deals in both tech- and biotech/healthcare areas. The members of the team dedicated to this practice are very proactive and have extensive knowledge of the venture capital mechanisms (including executive and employee profit-sharing and incentive plans).‘
‘Anne-Charlotte Rivière has extensive knowledge of healthcare-related deals.‘
‘Xavier Leroux is extremely talented, super responsive, reliable and has an outstanding knowledge of the venture capital industry practices.‘
- Advised Shift Technology, a research and development company focused on AI-native solutions aimed at combatting fraud in the insurance industry, on its Series C fundraising of €53m led by Bessemer Venture Partners and other existing investors including Accel, General Catalyst and Iris Capital.
- Advised Valquest and existing investors, including Sofinnova Partners, Bpifrance, Omnes Capital, CapDecisif and CM-CIC Innovation, on their investment in Gecko Biomedical, a company engaged in the business of research and development of a polymer platform for several indications, including surgical sealants and adhesives, for a maximum amount of €45m.
- Advised Sofinnova Partners and Bpifrance as co-principal investors and IXO Private Equity on its investment in Microphyt, alongside existing investors and Sofilaro in Microphyt, totalling €28.5m.
Goodwin acts for investors and innovative companies, with a focus on mid-market venture capital and growth equity work. The group has deep knowledge of the technology sector while fielding an overall varied caseload that also includes complex cases from the retail, financial services, manufacturing, aerospace and e-health sector. Maxence Bloch directs the practice. Other key contacts are Jérôme Jouhanneaud and Thomas Dupont-Sentilles. Pierre-Louis Sévegrand joined Chammas & Marcheteau in January 2019.
‘Outstanding service level, commitment from the entire team. Very professional.‘
‘Goodwin lawyers are experts in fundraising, LBO and other complex deals.‘
‘Thomas Dupont-Sentilles is an outstanding professional with remarkable expertise. His wide view and mastery make it very smooth and comfortable to work with.‘
‘Jérôme Jouhanneaud is just the best corporate lawyer I know.‘
- Advised Rossignol on a significant share capital increase subscribed by the China-based private equity and venture capital player IDG, including assistance with a roll-over of its shareholders.
- Advised Tikehau Capital on its acquisition of a minority stake in French company Nexteam.
- Acted for Vitruvian Partners on the €45m fundraising for Dental Monitoring, a French provider of artificial intelligence solutions in dentistry and orthodontics.
Latournerie Wolfrom Avocats handles a busy venture and growth capital workload that is focused mainly on domestic transactions, but also includes complex cross-border matters. The practice regularly assists investment funds, managers and companies with fundraising series and M&A matters, spanning a wide range of sectors, including the energy and natural resources sector, the technology sector and biotech sector. Practice heads Christian Wolfrom, Caroline Basdevant-Soulié and Pierre Lafarge are the main practitioners.
BNP Paribas Développement
Black River Ventures
Paris Fonds Vert
- Advised NextStage on the acquisition of a majority stake in Dream Yacht Charter, including a €14m investment from the client, and on a €11.5m investment in Vinci Technologies.
- Advised SnapCall on its first roundtable investment with Isai and several business angels.
- Assisted Nomios and its chief executive officer with the acquisition of Dutch-based group Next Generation alongside IK Investment Partners, including obtaining the approval from the Ministry of the Economy and Finance for the deal as it involved a foreign investment procedure.
French firm Neptune Avocats is active for emerging and growing companies as well as for investors, with a particularly high percentage of Anglo-Saxon funds among its clients. The biotech and healthcare sectors are the group's mainstay, with other strengths in the technology, energy, travel and real estate sectors. The practice's main hub is in Paris where practice heads David Sitruk and Patrick Douin are based, but the firm also has a Lyon office out of which the in-house tax team operates.
‘Excellent knowledge of private equity transactions. Very good understanding of the stakes for the client.‘
Orrick Rambaud Martel stands out through its French desk in Silicon Valley, which acts for French start-ups looking to establish themselves in California and also serves as a local hub for US investors where it assists with French and US legal aspects. Run by practice heads Benjamin Cichostepski and senior counsel Olivier Edwards, the desk is a key feature of the group's strong cross-border practice which also includes a Silicon Valley Europe desk under the helm of Edwards and the San Francisco-based Matteo Daste. Senior associate Olivier Vuillod provides key support. The technology sector generates the bulk of its workload. Private equity and restructuring specialists Saam Golshani and Guillaume Vitrich joined White & Case LLP in December 2018.
‘Olivier Edwards is creative and finds solutions.‘
‘Olivier Vuillod is serious and tenacious.‘
‘High quality advice that always looks ahead and offers pragmatic solutions.‘
- Advised Astanor Ventures as a leading investor on the €140m Series C fundraising round for Ynsect.
- Assisted PayFit, the digital integrated payroll and HR management platform, on its €70m Series C financing, including €13m in convertible bonds.
- Advised Bpifrance on a $30m investment in Fashion GPS as part of its $43m Series B fundraising round, and on its investment in Ornikar’s €35m Series B fundraising alongside Idinvest and Brightside Partners.
French boutique Villechenon has an established practice in the space. In addition to its original focus on advising companies and managers, the group has an impressive track record handling investor-side matters and benefits from its wide network in the French venture capital space. The team handles the life cycle of deals, from development - including seed fundraising, and fundraisings rounds - through to potential company sales or an initial public offering. The presence of an in-house tax team adds another string to the practice's impressive bow. Isabelle Burel-Blasoni, Morgan Hunault-Berret, Erwan Tostivint and Alexander Kotopoulis are practice heads. Tristan Segonds is also recommended.
‘The team provides a high quality of service. The team can expertly and rapidly handle both significantly sized and smaller transactions, whether exclusively domestic or international in nature. The team’s experience and its knowledge of the market practices are excellent.‘
‘Beyond her technical skills and the customer service she provides, Morgan Hunault-Berret has extensive experience in complex transactions, with an ability to quickly assess the global perspective, and with the foremost goal of meeting the needs of her clients. In both national and international transactions, she is proactive and truly a deal maker who quickly grasps a transaction’s business issues. She is also well connected within the venture and growth capital ecosystem.‘
‘Tristan Segonds possesses great knowledge and an excellent understanding of the stakes involved for corporate investors when investing in start-ups alongside investment funds.‘
Axa Venture Partners
Orange Digital Ventures
- Advised Prime Ventures as an investor alongside Eurazeo and GR Capital on the $230m fundraising for Meero.
- Acted for Xange, Serena Capital and Fonds Ambition Numérique as historical investors alongside Partech Venture, Bruno Crémel, Level Equity and Quadrille Capital on the €70m fundraising for Evaneos.
- Advised Cathay Innovation and Total Ventures as investors alongside Idinvest Partners, Via iD, Alven Capital and Felix Capital on the €34m fundraising for Heetch.
Lerins & BCW
‘This team gives us confidence and always treats our request on time.’
‘The Delsol team knows how to establish a climate of trust with its customer: high availability, high responsiveness. They know how to move the issues forward positively and find solutions, the partners are strongly involved throughout the mission. They know how to build a long-term relationship of trust. Listening to the customer, understanding the issues, high technical skills, ability to work in a network, perfect mastery of the Anglo-Saxon environment. Strong bargaining ability.’
- Advised Hesus, a greentech in the construction sector, on its €10m fundraising round.
- Acted for eFounders, a start-up studio, on the assignment of Mention to Swedish company MyNewDesk.
- Advised K-Sante, an agri-food company, on its first LBO with the FrenchFood Capital entrepreneur fund.
‘FTPA have a very nice team, technical and reactive. The team was very efficient, organised and accessible.’
‘The FTPA team is simply excellent. Problem-solvers, very professional with a sound knowledge of the private equity environment. Their partners are very involved.’
- Advised Nova Consulting group and its funders on its fundraising from Isatis Capital through a leveraged buyout.
- Acted for Arcure on its fundraising from Odyssée Ventures and Inocap.
- Advised Famm on its fundraising from TheGreenData.
‘Very stable team, developing long-term relationships with clients. Therefore the advanced knowledge they have about their client allows them to deliver a better and more efficient service.’
Nissan Automotive Europe
- Acted for Bird Office, an event organiser, on a fundraising.
- Assisted Linkfluence, a leading social data intelligence firm, with a fundraising.
- Acted for Sport Heroes Group on a fundraising.
BPIfrance (French Public Bank)
Advent France Biotechnoly
EDF Pulse Croissance
Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC)
- Assisted Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC) with its acquisition, along with Meridiam, of a shareholding in the company Ficap and in Cogecab.
- Supported EDF, through its corporate investment fund EDF Pulse Croissance, and Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC) on their investment in MyBus.
- Advised Audio Investissement on an equity investment by private equity investors in order to support the expansion of the company’s operations.