VC firm Iris Capital in ambitious expansion plans

Paris-based Iris Capital, a pan-European venture capital fund manager, is extending its global network with new offices in Asia and North America.

The firm, set up in 1986, already has bases in Dusseldorf, Dubai and Riyadh. Its new offices will be in Montreal, San Francisco, Beijing and Tokyo. They will be headed by Alex Wiedmer, Denis Barrier, Nicolas du Cray respectively. In Tokyo, Francis Perrin, Hiroshi Nishikawa will lead the business.

The firm said the expansion reflected the growing need to internationalise the VC business, as well as the strong demand from entrepreneurs for more global investors.

In 2012 Iris Capital entered into a strategic partnership with Orange and Publicis to manage their joint venture capital initiative.

The expansion strategy has two main objectives: to invest in an opportunistic and targeted manner in some non-European innovative companies which either have a strategic interest to develop in Europe, or are in a position to strike added value partnerships with Orange or Publicis; and to better support young European portfolio companies in their international expansion.

Since inception, the firm has invested more than €900m in more than 200 companies. Its core focus remains Europe, but it hopes to “enrich our relational networks, expertise and monitoring through this increased presence outside Europe”.

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