The Paris-based investment team of German VC Earlybird — an early backer of UiPath and N26 — is leaving the firm only a year and a half after it opened an office in the French capital, according to two sources close to the matter.
Salomon Aiach, Earlybird’s principal in Paris, is leaving to focus on Origins, a VC fund which he cofounded in 2022 with French footballer Blaise Matuidi. Origins is headquartered in the US and is currently opening an office in the French capital.
Earlybird confirmed that Aiach will be devoting his efforts to Origins but said that he will remain a venture partner at the firm.
Cécile Treboit, who worked with Aiach on the investment team in Paris, is also leaving Earlybird, sources say. This leaves the firm without any investors in Paris and it is unclear when Aiach and Treboit will be replaced.
One source with direct knowledge of Earlybird's investment plans says the firm was struggling to find the right expansion strategy as it attempted to strengthen its position within the French ecosystem.
Earlybird’s cofounder Hendrik Brandis tells Sifted that Berlin-based partner Tim Rehder will continue to oversee the firm’s investments in France. “We are keen to boost our presence in France and will be sure to have more boots on the ground,” he says. “Individual shifts neither affect our current investments nor our future focus on France.”
Both Aiach and Treboit were contacted by Sifted but declined to comment.
A year-and-a-half-old office
Earlybird, which has been active in Germany since 1997, opened a Parisian office at the start of 2022. Shortly afterwards, it closed its seventh Digital West fund at €350m, which focuses predominantly on early-stage tech companies in Western Europe — mostly at seed and Series A stages but also at selective growth series.
Digital West 7 is managed jointly by Earlybird’s teams in Germany, the UK and France.
Aiach and Treboit have not, however, led any publicly-disclosed investments since the office opened in Paris. Instead, Earlybird’s German teams have done two French deals: a €48m Series A investment in Paris-based cultivated meat startup Gourmey, led by the VC’s Berlin-based Digital West team, and a €96m Series C round in medtech startup ImCheck, co-led by a separate Earlybird fund focused on health.
Earlybird says that it continues to be on the lookout for promising investments based in France.