A leading player in private equity, Omnes is using its venture capital expertise to support B2B start-ups in Europe’s deep-tech sector with its Omnes Real Tech fund. While tech currently enjoys exceptional seed-phase funding in France, few management firms are able to take over successive rounds of funding in deep tech. This missing link in innovation funding is a real opportunity for Omnes, which has had a presence in the sector since 2001.
The return of start-ups developing technological breakthroughs
Driven by the digital revolution, innovative low-tech start-ups that offered new consumption habits (like Amazon or Airbnb) had the most fund-raising success in recent years, while deep-tech start-ups working on technological breakthroughs (in components, materials, etc.) had much more trouble finding funding. Today, the phenomenon is moving in the opposite direction. Digital is running out of steam. A new round of tech innovation is picking up. Drawing on basic research in artificial intelligence, nanotech, robotics, and materials, many new start-ups are going back to tech innovation. The technologies produced are complex and protected by intellectual property law, and have specific financial needs.
A missing link in deep-tech funding
However, only 15%* of venture capital investments (rounds A and B) focus on the deep-tech sector. After the seed phase, few players are able to support these start-ups, which have unique needs. They require expert specialists who can advise them on specific issues (internationalisation, quality assurance processes, the R&D roadmap, and marketing, in particular).
Omnes is unveiling a strategy for the deep-tech sector
In this market context, Omnes is launching the Omnes Real Tech fund (target size: €100-150 million), with the goal of building a portfolio of 15-20 European start-ups that are past the seed phase and developing technological breakthroughs in industry fields. This technology includes high-end sensors and semiconductors, hardware, advanced or big-data software, and new materials. The fund will also be open at a rate of 30% to mid-sized enterprises (entreprises de taille moyenne or ETIs) in order to create partnerships between these companies and start-ups.
Omnes has a unique track record in this sector
An established player in deep-tech, Omnes has a unique track record in this sector: It has made 27 investments since 2001. 14 sales have already generated a gross multiple of 2.1, including Novaled (acquired by Samsung), DiBcom (acquired by Parrot), or EVE (acquired by Synopsys). Omnes also has several companies in its deep-tech portfolio, such as Adents, Scality, Intersec, AT Internet, Qualtera, and Sigfox.
The team will also have access to an international network of highly responsive experts and entrepreneurs and a sizeable stream of opportunities in Europe. It has also developed a rigorous selection and support methodology.
As Michel de Lempdes, Managing Partner at Omnes, states: “The return of deep-tech start-ups heralds a new period of technological innovations. Essential new technologies are being developed. They will be the source of the new consumption habits that the start-ups of the future will offer. The venture capital industry is essentially a series of deep-tech/low-tech cycles. This is a thrilling time: a new industrial revolution, bringing economic development, is taking shape before our eyes”.
*Study by Omnes/Crunchbase on 276 venture capital transactions since 2014