It accompanied the first successes of the Yukaou nutritional information application from fintech Lydia. The team of the investment company Founders Future, created in 2018 by serial entrepreneur Marc Menasé (Kelkoo, Nextedia, Teads, etc.), is proud of the journey accomplished over the past five years. Specialized in what the world of venture capital calls seed, it supports companies in their very first years of life, from both a financial and operational point of view.
In 2018, this financing segment was still embryonic in France. Convinced that having been an entrepreneur yourself allows you to be better equipped to select the best projects at this stage of maturity, Marc Menasé, a business angel on a personal basis since 2005, then decided to “professionalize the support process”. At the time, he convinced some thirty seasoned entrepreneurs and leading French families to follow him, and launched an initial fund of 50 million euros.
The collective now brings together more than 80 families and entrepreneurs, and Founders Future is taking a new step. The company has already secured half of the financing for a second fund whose objective is 150 million euros. “What we have been doing for five years is materialized by the creation of value, underlines the general manager. We have made 100 investments, which represent 250 million in consolidated turnover, 600 million euros raised and a cumulative valuation of the companies in the portfolio of more than five billion euros.”
If the venture capital market has cooled down significantly since last year, the seed segment is rather spared because the need for innovation is there. In addition to the ever-growing needs for digitization of the economy, there are those of an energy transition that are shaking up many industries. "Entrepreneurs who embark on this complicated period are often more motivated, more ambitious in their project and better prepared," says Marc Menasé. And to recall that the technological history of the last two decades has shown that each post-crisis period, whether in 2000 or in 2008 with Airbnb, has spawned “cohorts of exceptional companies”.
Its investment team also mainly targets sectors in transition, on economic models that they master: food, bancassurance, real estate or health and well-being. “Across the board, there is of course also artificial intelligence which will turn all these industries upside down,” adds the entrepreneur. If Founders Future remains “a pure seed player”, 40% of the new envelope will be devoted to the growth of the champions of its portfolio, with tickets from 1 million to 7.5 million euros. “The frustration of a seed fund is to be limited after a while when you have done all the work upstream”, recognizes Marc Menasé. Three deals are already underway. If it already invests throughout Europe at the rate of 10 to 15 investments per year, Founders Future intends to strengthen itself in Spain and Italy. “Today we are giving ourselves the means of our ambition to deploy our method in Europe and create even more champions,” he concludes.