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 would assist them stay concerned even throughout late-stage rounds. Total, the agency raised €225 million, or $265 million at right this moment’s alternate charge.
In case you browse Singular’s web site, you’re not going to seek out plenty of info. Right here’s what it presently seems like:
The Singular staff doesn’t wish to be secretive. However they don’t like speaking about themselves. That’s why you’ll have seen Singular’s identify 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 on the subject of startup funding.
Jérémy Uzan and Raffi Kamber spent 11 and eight years at Alven. They’ve been behind a number of the agency’s most profitable investments, resembling Dataiku and OpenClassrooms. “However each time you elevate one other fund, you join for a very long time,” Uzan informed 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 appropriate timing personally but additionally the appropriate 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 assume London needs 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 affect on the method, they each stated that the lockdown really helped as everybody was caught at dwelling. Round two-thirds of the restricted companions that invested in Singular are primarily based exterior of France.
“These are historic VC traders. They actually consider in tech — and Europe too. They’ve seen that Europe has been taking off for the previous two or three years,” Kamber informed me.
Similar to a startup, Singular wished to be backed by some well-known traders. And a few of these traders 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 Academics’ Pension Plan, Bpifrance, Classic Funding Companions, Axa Enterprise Companions, Sofina, MACSF and Mubadala Capital are a few of Singular’s backers. Except you’ve raised a VC fund up to now, it’s possible you’ll uncover a few of these names for the primary time. And but, these traders are important. As an illustration, when you won’t be accustomed to the Ontario Academics’ 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 totally 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 Series A round in Soda, an enterprise-grade knowledge monitoring platform
- A seed round in Moka.care, a psychological well being answer for workers
- A seed spherical in Resilience, a full-stack software program strategy to enhance most cancers remedy
- One other undisclosed Collection A spherical
It’s exhausting to seek out some widespread developments round this listing of investments, however I’m going that can assist you. First, let’s begin with the typical test dimension.
“We’re principally centered on Collection A/B as a result of we expect there’s plenty of room to develop at that stage,” Kamber stated. And Singular can make investments as a lot as €20 million in a single spherical ($23.6 million at right this moment’s alternate charge).
In the case of verticals, Singular overtly says that it doesn’t wish to concentrate on a selected space particularly. “We’re a generalist fund and we’re fairly opportunistic,” Uzan stated. Singular doesn’t wish to select between B2B and client, between AI and e-commerce, and so forth.
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 manage to pay for below administration for infinite follow-on investments.
The VC agency didn’t wish to elevate its personal late-stage fund. So Singular will be capable of construction special-purpose funding automobiles with its restricted companions. Just a few restricted companions might put some cash on this funding automobile straight and the startup might settle for to lift a brand new spherical with this new funding automobile as an alternative of a late-stage fund.
This fashion, Singular stays very a lot concerned with the portfolio firm in query. It might preserve a board seat and have a say on the subject of 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 supply that form of investments is important — it may very well be interesting for some entrepreneurs. You don’t have to simply accept it and also you’re not tied with Singular endlessly, however the supply is on the desk.
In order that’s Singular — Eva Mayoud, Alexandre Flamant and Sonia Pélisson additionally joined the staff. It’s not that always 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: