It’s rare enough to see a women-led VC firm close a big fund once — but Alice Albizzati and Elina Berrebi, the founding partners of French growth equity VC Revaia, are now doing it for the second time.
Two years after securing €250m for their first fund, the duo have announced a €150m first close of their second fund — in a market that is particularly unfavourable at the moment to growth as an asset class.
The final target is undisclosed, but the first close is 50% higher than it was for Revaia’s first fund. Albizzati and Berrebi expect to reach the fund’s hard cap in 2024.
With €400m assets under management, Revaia is Europe’s largest female-founded growth fund. Iceland’s Crowberry Capital, led by founders Hekla Arnardottir, Helga Valfells and Jenny Ruth Hrafnsdottir, raised a $90m early-stage fund in 2021. More recently, French VC Sista closed the first €30m of a €100m fund.
Raising a growth fund in 2023
The current startup funding slump is largely driven by a fall in growth investments, according to data from Atomico showing that growth funding has more than halved between early 2022 and late 2023.
Revaia's team started fundraising in the second half of 2022. “Raising a second fund in 2023 with a first €150m closing (...) in the current market, and as an emerging and completely independent company, is a huge achievement,” says Albizzati.
Like its predecessor, Revaia's second fund is sector-agnostic and targets companies with a commitment to sustainability, from Series B rounds onwards. Tickets will range from €10-30m and Revaia expects to make around 15 investments, with a third of the fund dedicated to follow-on investments.
Revaia secured commitments from a range of LPs, including institutional investors, family offices, high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs. In addition to returning investors like Bpifrance, it has attracted new backers such as the European Investment Fund (EIF).
Albizzati says that this shows there is still interest in growth equity despite the downturn. “We are back to pre-Covid levels but it is still a growing asset class,” she says. “Growth continues to hold an important place for every type of investor.”
Committing to ESG
The first closing for the second fund is also a validation of Revaia’s investment thesis, says Albizzati.
Revaia’s first fund has been entirely deployed in 12 startups, including French sustainable real estate startup Deepki, hospital management tool Hublo or UK neobank for kids GoHenry, which was recently acquired by US company Acorns for an undisclosed sum.
Revaia only backs tech companies that commit to sustainability, which means that alongside financial factors, investment decisions are based on ESG criteria ranging from company energy use to employer-employee relationships, through governance practices such as audits and shareholder rights.
Two members of Revaia’s team are also dedicated to monitoring ESG criteria in portfolio companies and providing support to improve on their metrics.
A pan-European VC
Revaia is also expanding its presence across Europe. In addition to its Paris and Berlin offices, the VC is opening a branch in London in early 2024.
“For a company that has international ambitions like Revaia, it is natural to think about the UK because it is the biggest tech market in Europe,” says Albizzati.
Although this fund will mostly be a pan-European fund, it will also have capacity to invest outside of the continent, particularly in the US.
The VC has already made three investments from the fund: Dutch property management company Mews, French cryptocurrency data provider Kaiko and US-based data analysis startup Coralogix.