Deals from FinancePlus France

Deals from FinancePlus France


Interview: The CEO of Burgundy wine producer Domaine Chanzy CEO on first ever IPO via equity crowdfunding

Philippe der Megreditchian, the chief executive of Burgundy wine maker Domaine Chanzy, explains the rationale behind the upcoming AIM flotation, which is the first via crowdfunding. He says the funds will be used for marketing and to buy more land (which he points out is expensive in Burgundy), adding that he hopes to turn Domaine Chanzy into a ‘global luxury brand’ that can be a ‘very strong and profitable business’. Domaine Chanzy is looking to raise £1.9mln in the crowdfunding phase, giving it a pre-IPO valuation of just under £8mln.

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French Tech launches Russia tour to showcase France’s best startups

East-West Digital News
La French Tech, a government-led initiative that aims to stimulate and promote France’s startup ecosystem, is launching a Russia branch.
The kick-off event on Feb. 17 gathered around 100 tech entrepreneurs, representatives of large or small companies, research institutions, venture funds and incubators, as well as journalists and diplomats from both countries. The event was hosted by the brand-new “Maison des Entrepreneurs Français,” which aims to assert itself as the first French incubator in Russia.
“French innovation is little known in Russia, which is the largest Internet and telecom market in Europe. Russians pay more attention to the US, the UK and Israel,” noted Ozon CEO and French Tech mentor Maëlle Gavet.
However, the past few years saw several examples of successful cooperation. Runa Capital Partner Dmitry Chikhachev provided the example of Capptain, a French mobile analytics startup in which the Russian fund invested $1.5 million in 2012. The company was acquired by Microsoft less than two years later.
Other notable examples include AT Internet, Blablacar, Criteo, Kameleeon,  Target2sell, and Weborama. These French companies launched offices, subsidiaries or joint-ventures in Russia in the past few years.
Quality label and startup tour
French Tech’s Russia branch has set for itself the goal of attracting more such players to Russia. Moreover, the local French tech community will be invited to join forces to gain stronger traction in both image and commercial terms.
“For example, we plan to launch a French Tech quality label, which will benefit to companies that meet strict criteria,” Thierry Cellerin, one of the local French Tech coordinators, explained to East-West Digital News.
Among French Tech’s first initiatives in Russia is the French Tech Russian Tour, scheduled for early June, in a bid to promote French technologies in this key market. The tour will include one-to-one meetings with Russian tech players and investors, coaching sessions with market experts, and participation in two major industry events – Skolkovo’s Startup Village and international e-commerce event eDays.
Ten French startups will be selected to participate in the Russia French Tech tour. Candidates are required to apply no later than March 15. The jury includes representatives of Group, MTS, Ozon, Runa Capital and Yandex.
The Russia French Tech Tour is being organized by Business France, the government-backed export agency formerly known as Ubifrance, in partnership with Skolkovo, the international tech hub under completion on the outskirts of Moscow.
Ozon, a major Russian e-commerce company, Russian Internet giants Yandex and Group, venture investors Direct Group and Runa Capital, Paris-based tech NGO Hello Tomorrow and tech media East-West Digital News and Maddyness also participate in the initiative.
This story first appeared in East-West Digital News, a leading online resource on Russian digital industries.

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Jean Baptiste Jessiaume at Domaine Chanzy

Burgundy dons a bowler hat to head for the City

The Sunday Times November 16, 2014
A FAMILY of winemakers from Burgundy will descend on a prestigious club in St James’s, central London, next week. They will be uncorking some of their finest bottles to whet investors’ appetites for what is believed to be the first flotation of a French vineyard on the London stock exchange.

On this, their first visit to the city, Jean-Baptiste Jessiaume, 25, and his uncle Pascal will take their wine to the Travellers Club and the stock exchange for tastings next Tuesday and Wednesday. They are hoping to float their vineyard, Domaine Chanzy, by the end of the year to boost exports.

In Bouzeron, the tiny village where the wine is made, there was excited chatter last week at the prospect of hordes of British shareholders dropping in to inspect the vignoble on their way back from skiing.

“Investors will of course be entitled to special discounts,” explained the junior Jessiaume, Burgundy’s young winemaker of the year in 2012 and general director of Domaine Chanzy.
Read the article: Burgundy dons a bowler hat to head for the City

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Key Russian companies to take part in LeWeb 2014 next month in Paris

East-West Digital News

LeWeb is among the biggest international conference for digital and technological innovations, as well as market investors. Its next edition will take place in Paris on Dec. 9-11.
In 2014, Russia, as an official guest of LeWeb, will present the Russian market within the “European track” business program. The leading company representatives will talk about new achievements and trends, key projects and development tendencies, and will also answer LeWeb visitors’ questions.
Participating Russian companies at LeWeb 2014:

  • Almaz  Capital  Group
  • Group
  • Runa Capital
  • RVC
  • Qiwi
  • Skolkovo
  • Yandex

The event brings together more than 3,500 delegates with projects, startups, investment funds and technological companies from all over the world in order to showcase their achievements, speak about investment possibilities and future development trends.
To register, please click here. For more information about LeWeb’s Russia panel and any partnership suggestion, please contact Mr. Jérôme Piegay at jerome (at) expoexperts (dot) ru

This story first appeared in East-West Digital News, a leading online resource on Russian digital industries.

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Russian startups come to Paris

East-West Digital News
This year, four Russian companies represented Russia at the international IT event Futur en Seine, which took place in Paris on June 15-22. Invited by RusBase, an international resource covering the Russian startup and venture scene, the Russian startups not only met local businesses but also impressed the public.
Among these Russian startups was Radario, which has developed a SaaS platform for the e-tickets market. Radario prides itself on a 3-click purchasing capability for tickets online, with consumers able to buy from social media as one of the distribution channels available.
Radario’s CEO Sergey Suchkov told RusBase that he considered his trip to Paris as “a strategically important process for us in order to gain entrance to Western Europe.”
“We got accustomed with the European ticketing market,” Suchkov says of the festival participation. “Very few European ticketing platforms are able to integrate social-media purchasing capabilities. We saw our market relevance, and that was the important thing,” he added.
Three other Russian companies attended the festival:

  • Bubuka – A remote control system for music players that allows copyright adherence, which helps businesses such as shops and restaurants to play music legally;
  • Triaxes – Software for producing 3D images;
  • Expasoft – A company with a focus on interactive projects for images.

Meanwhile, several French startups are entering the Russian market. Some of them are supported by Ob-vious, a consulting company that aims to open the first French startup incubator in Moscow.
This story first appeared in East-West Digital News, a leading online resource on Russian digital industries.

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London Eye

Google Ventures Opens London Office As A Base For Investing $100M Across Europe

Earlier this month rumours emerged that Google was planning to open a branch of its venture capital investment arm in London. Well, as they say, there’s no smoke without fire: Mountain View has now confirmed that Google Ventures has launched a London division, with an initial fund of $100 million to invest in “the best ideas from the best European entrepreneurs.”

“We believe Europe’s startup scene has enormous potential,” wrote Bill Maris, managing partner of Google Ventures, in a Google blog post. “We’ve seen compelling new companies emerge from places like London, Paris, Berlin, the Nordic region and beyond – SoundCloud, Spotify, Supercell and many others.”

According to the FT, Google’s go-to media outlet in London, the new European branch of Google Ventures will have five general partners, reporting to Maris — namely: Eze Vidra, who set up Google Campus in London; serial entrepreneur Tom Hulme; UK angel investor and adviser Peter Read; Avid Larizadeh, the head of the UK arm of and co-founder of; and former TechCrunch staff writer turned venture capitalist MG Siegler.
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France and China team up with $628mln private equity midcap fund

LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) (Reuters) – France and China have launched a midcap private equity fund to boost investment and exposure between the two following a visit by the Chinese president to France earlier this year. The Sino French midcap fund has reached a first close of 460 million euros ($627.5 million), its backers Bpifrance, China Development Bank (CDB) Capital and Cathay Capital said on Monday, in line with its target final close of 500 million euros.

Bpifrance, a part state-owned French fund, and CDB Capital agreed to be cornerstone investors in the fund in March this year. It will be managed by Chinese-French private equity house Cathay Capital. The companies launched a similar 150 million-euro fund focused on SMEs in 2012.

“Chinese companies will be able to benefit from advanced technological expertise which is well-developed in France, while, in turn, French companies will gain from increased exposure to the booming Chinese consumption market,” said Haibin Fan, president of China Development Bank.

The firm, which will target growth and international expansion for French, Chinese and European companies, is being marketed under the name Cathay Midcap Growth Fund III.

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Etsy Buys French Startup A Little Market In Its Largest Acquisition So Far

Etsy announced today that it has acquired a French company called A Little Market, a Paris-based online marketplace for handmade items. Though terms of the deal were undisclosed, Etsy says that this is its “sixth and largest acquisition to date.” A Little Market will continue to operate independently.

Previous acquisitions by Etsy, which has received $97.3 million in funding so far from Accel Partners, Union Square Ventures, and other investors, have included Trunkt, which specializes in selling artisanal goods wholesale; digital advertising company Adtuitive; and Etsy Lovers.

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The France that innovates is thirty years younger than those who direct us June 3, 2014
From June 12 to 14, more than 500 start-ups open their doors to the public. This is the idea of ​​Marc-Arthur Gauthey toput an end to the fear of innovation.
Startup Assembly is an initiative to democratize the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Its founder, Marc-Arthur Gauthey, 28, is an entrepreneur and member of the collective Ouishare. It would be a shame to miss it.
“All around me, I see people for whom the world is changing too fast, taking with its change the values, norms and principles that have hitherto been the glue of our society. That is why isolationism and nationalism seduce so many of our citizens who feel left out, and fear a time they do not understand.
Outside a small world of digital players and new technologists, who are mostly young graduates, male, urban and open to the world, a new divide is emerging: the entrepreneurial divide. It is both social, territorial, sectoral and generational.”
Read the article (French)

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EU Crowdfunding Platforms Meet in Paris to form the European Equity Crowdfunding Association (EECA)

Jun. 5, 2014 – PARIS, France — The City of Paris, with the Grande Arche de la Défense serving as the gateway to Europe’s largest business-financial district, hosted a meeting of equity crowdfunding platforms from 10 European Union countries, namely: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. They discussed the growing equity crowdfunding industry which, according to World Bank, will be $92 billion by 2025.

According to the European Commission, equity crowdfunding is a disruptive tool for financing small to medium enterprises and adding capital to newly formed businesses. The crowdfunding platform owners, with the prodding of the European Commission, have agreed to form a European business association solely committed to equity-based crowdfunding. Hence the momentous meeting of minds on May 23. The business association will develop standards on transparency and best practices in the European landscape. Its aim is to inform both business owners and contributors, to protect the crowd from fraud, and install an efficient complaint mechanism.

The 10-nation founding members of the association will welcome any operator from the European Economic Area, and also service providers to join them, as aggregated members. Crowdfunding operators from Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden have signified their intent to join the newly formed equity association. The association will start operations as soon as the officers are chosen and legal matters are observed. Equity platforms in the EU countries are fully regulated professional intermediaries under the supervision of national financial authorities.

Alessandro M. Lerro, founder of Lerro & Partners, a recognized legal expert on crowdfunding working with The Soho Loft and David Drake, and Bruno Schneider Le Saout, founder and chairman of APPEES-In’Mart, on behalf of the founding members of the association say, “We are very happy about the enthusiasm of the industry and we are sure that this group will create much value for the stakeholders and the investors.”

The Soho Loft is the crowdfunding authority in the financial media landscape. Mr. David Drake, founder and chairman of The Soho Loft, helped found CFIRA (Crowd Fund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates), the US equity crowdfunding advocates association, on March 18, 2012, and set up the first SEC meetings that still confer with CFIRA in the US. David says, “Congratulations to the equity crowdfunding platform owners for establishing the European Equity Crowdfunding Association. This is the right time to focus on equity crowdfunding and to provide small to medium enterprises the much needed capital to start their businesses and sustain them.”
Link to press release

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