Venture Capital/News/ French VC Elaia closes €77m deeptech fund alongside top research body Elaia’s new fund will have a specific focus on sectors like AI, data science and digital health By Tom Nugent 11 July 2022 Elaia Elaia \Venture Capital Hoxton Ventures to add a new partner in April By Amy Lewin 17 February 2023 Venture Capital/News/ French VC Elaia closes €77m deeptech fund alongside top research body Elaia’s new fund will have a specific focus on sectors like AI, data science and digital health By Tom Nugent 11 July 2022 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. Where will Elaia’s money be spent? 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. How does the partnership with Inria work? 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. Elaia’s track record 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. Sifted’s take Growing deeptech startups in Europe is a priority as the continent tries to compete with the dominance of the US and China, and things seem to be moving in the right direction. The European Commission has a bold new plan for deeptech startups and the fact that funds like Elaia’s are being raised is a good sign. But backing early-stage deeptech startups is the easy part. It’s scaling them where Europe falls down. Europe needs more potency at Series B and beyond. Elaia’s partnership with Inria is also interesting, as it’s rare for traditional VC firms to be directly involved at the research institute or university level. But when it comes to the commercialisation of IP at this level, founders don’t always have the best experience, which is something the Elaia team will need to be wary of. 👉 Next read: Europe’s top ‘unicorn universities’ in 2022 Tom Nugent is Sifted’s digital editor. He tweets from @TJNugent92 Related Articles Why you probably need to shake up your startup’s board By Aline Eibl Click here to read more Some European tech giants’ valuations may be down as much as half By Eleanor Warnock and Freya Pratty Click here to read more Cazoo-backer Eight Roads launches $450m fund for European scaleups By Eleanor Warnock Click here to read more There are only two accelerators European VCs care about By Sadia Nowshin Click here to read more Most Read 1 \Healthtech Is Daniel Ek’s new body scanner worth the hype? Sifted tried it out 2 \Venture Capital VC diversity needs to change — and white men need to take responsibility 3 \Venture Capital New €3.75bn European Investment Fund pot to back late-stage VCs 4 \Sustainability Counteract closes £15m fund for carbon removal solutions 5 \Mobility Was the $5bn that VCs plugged into escooters worth it?