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French VC Elaia closes €77m deeptech fund alongside top research body

French VC firm Elaia has today announced the final closing of a €77m deeptech fund in partnership with France’s National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology (Inria), a public research body focused on computer science, which also has a startup studio with a goal of creating 100 deeptech startups per year by 2023.

The fund intends to invest in 30 to 40 pre-seed and seed startups across Europe. The fund is open to a few deals outside of Europe, but most deals will be on the continent with the majority of investments in France.

It will have a specific focus on AI, data science, digital health, cybersecurity, digital infrastructure, enterprise software, industrial IoT and embedded hardware systems. Ticket sizes will range from €200k to €2m.

It’s already made 14 investments from the new fund, including in local ecommerce startup Kheops, cardiac imaging company inHeart and healthtech i-Virtual. LPs include VINCI Concessions, Inria, Bpifrance, National d’Amorçage 2 (a national French seed fund), Covéa Finance, BNP Paribas, L’Oréal and insurance company Malakoff Humanis.

The plan is to commercialise IP coming out of Inria: Elaia will help create companies, matching scientists or researchers from Inria with business people to found companies. This is the case with several of the investments already made.

Elaia will also invest in other startups that it hasn’t helped create. Inria won’t receive any equity in the startups funded by Elaia and the team won’t be involved in investment decisions. There also won’t be anyone from Inria sitting on company boards. 

This is Elaia’s second deeptech-focused fund. Elaia also has a €120m fund which invests in tech B2B startups from seed through to Series B. The firm currently has offices in Paris, Toulouse, Barcelona and a presence in Belgium and Tel Aviv.

Hard work pays off. Congratulations to the entire team at Elaia on your fund. I wish you all the very best in your future endeavours.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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