Paris-based VC firm InfraVia has raised a new growth fund worth €501m. It’s one of the largest growth funds in Europe, and the team say they’re on the hunt for “around 15 European tech champions”.
The firm is looking to invest in companies which “play a role either in the digitalisation of the economy or the transformation of sectors and industries”.
The fund will back B2B companies in Series B, C and D rounds. InfraVia itself will write cheques up to €50m, participating in rounds worth €20m to €100m. Investors into the fund include French and European institutions, as well as family offices and entrepreneurs.
InfraVia has already made several investments from the fund into companies across France, the UK, Spain and Poland.
The first investment from the fund went to Spanish startup Jobandtalent, a temporary work platform, which became the country’s third unicorn at the end of 2021. InfraVia led the company’s €88m Series C round in January last year.
Guillaume Santamaria, partner at InfraVia, says Jobandtalent perfectly represents the firm’s thesis. The company has taken on an old industry, the temporary work sector, and worked to digitise its processes.
“We felt it was the right time to enter this space as it was poised for a massive shift towards more digitalised players and consolidation,” says Santamaria.
What they’re looking for next
InfraVia is now looking for companies working on similar trajectories as Jobandtalent.
“We see tremendous opportunity in the B2B segment and invest mainly in B2B SaaS and marketplaces,” says Santamaria.
There are three “long-term mega trends” which the firm has backed companies working on, and it wants to continue to source companies working on.
The first is HR and collaboration tech, a segment Jobandtalent fits within. The second is “ecommerce enablers” — companies which provide online retailers with the software needed to grow (rather than ecommerce companies themselves).
Similar to ageing electricity grids, there is an ageing and obsolete payments infrastructure
InfraVia has already backed Botify, which is working within that segment — it’s a French SEO tool for marketplaces.
The third area is payments infrastructure software. “Similar to ageing electricity grids, there is an ageing and obsolete payments infrastructure that leads to costly and ineffective ways to pay, hold and transfer money,” says Santamaria. “There are many new technological innovations that are currently fundamentally transforming the whole value chain.”
Paysend, for example, a British company working on changing the way payments are sent across the world, has already received funding from InfraVia.
Outside of those three trends, Santamaria says InfraVia is also looking at cybersecurity and digital health startups.
InfraVia says companies looking to receive funding will usually be generating at least €8m in recurring revenue, and will be looking to rollout across Europe.
Growth through acquisitions
Santamaria says the new fund will have a particular focus on helping startups to grow through acquisition.
“When it comes to M&A we are very much supportive of this path when it helps achieve clear goals in terms of market opening and product roadmap completion. We are less keen on M&A as a means purely to increase revenue numbers,” he says.
InfraVia says it has a number of investment bankers on its team with experience in tech acquisitions. The firm says it’ll aim to help startups find a culture match in the company they’re taking on.
InfraVia has 10 people on its investment team, including Julie Lewkowicz, who, at 26, is one of Europe’s youngest VCs.