daphni, what a journey! And other thoughts on how to do VC the mutant way
3 Years in the Rear-view and 3 New Initiatives Ahead
Almost 3 years of investment period for our first fund, daphni Purple, and things have eventually happened so fast! We have built an incredible portfolio of 25+ companies we are really proud of, fitting our investment strategy, with some of them having already secured their Series B with €20m+ financing. We have created and managed a strong and vibrant community of 300+ experts as well as developed a proprietary digital platform. Our feeling is that we have reached Step 1, to back brilliant companies and to put daphni as a reference player in the French VC landscape, and also to make it very visible and well known at international level. But we are still in the middle of our corporate journey, with so many ideas & projects at the same time :-). Classical dilemmas of entrepreneurs you would say? True… So as entrepreneurs, we had to think about the “What’s Next” to give the best chances to these ideas to become reality, especially because we are strong believers in them. And we eventually came to the following thoughts.
First, clearly pursue the dynamics of what we have initiated, by preparing the launch of the next venture fund, daphni yellow whose strategy in venture will follow the Purple one, and deliver all the features we had in mind at the inception on daphni to reach our VC as a platform ambition. As we want to go further in our value proposition, the e daphni yellow fund will be managed by daphni co-founders Pierre-Eric Leibovici and Pierre-Yves Meerschman as well as Marc Simoncini and Charles-Henry Tranié. They will bring their outstanding entrepreneurial experience to the upcoming journey and their key learnings of being also investors at Jaïna for a while now, for the portfolio benefit. It is not a coincidence if iconic anglo saxon VC funds are a mix of successful entrepreneurs and seasoned investors.
Shabir Vasram from Jaïna will join Cecilia Lundborg, Paul Bazin, and Stanislas Lot at daphni to deliver the investment promise. In parallel, our internal roadmap to improve and deliver our ambition in terms of community and platform is huge and needs focus and professionalism. The team had already been strengthened in 2018 for such purpose by Aurelie Van Peteghem (Head of Community) & Sophie Percheron (Chief Product Officer), with the strong support of our beloved technical experts (thanks to Colin Gruia) and our developers and designers spread around different places (Brest, Montpellier, Paris, Nice and Mexico). Our platform next big release is expected in September. Shh!, we are so impatient… All of this backed by Vanina Lanfranchi, Stéphanie Grunberg and Weinde Dieng, as company and fund management clearly needs rigor and compliance, and we also want to be best in class on this (and platform can help on this too, believe us!). We’ve been experimenting different channels to share our values and leave a footprint in the ecosystem, that’s why we have organized and settled a lot of formats of events and content to create bridges between ecosystems and dig into specific topics for the entrepreneurs at scale. This challenge has been tackled by the professionalism and enthusiasm of Vincent Touati Tomas and with the backing of all the team: our newsletters, mediums, meetups, Founders Days, VC Bridge, TeckBikers, Venture Crush… As Vincent is about to move abroad full time to face up the international ecosystem IRL, after having confirmed he is a master in the French one, we wanted to thank him for his incredible work for daphni in the last 2 years as Head of Marketing and Communications!
Second, Marie Ekeland, Mathieu Daix and Willy Braun, also co-founders at daphni, will launch a new independent company focusing on the creation of a multi-local model bringing diversity, scalability, impact, and performance to seed financing. They will use their vision, energy and creativity to build this initiative at the international level and continue exploring ways to shape the future into a better world. Even if Marie, Mathieu and Willy will therefore not be part of the daphni team anymore, they will maintain their role in daphni purple, our current fund, until its end. All three will keep bringing their experience, expertise & network to their attended boards and all the other portfolio companies, and participating to the fund management in the same way to make daphni purple an outstanding success!
Third, we have helped in the past 2 years a new independent management company to launch a cross over fund (non listed and listed) that should be ready to invest soon. Through this initiative, we will cover companies needs on the whole value chain.
Last but not least, you could not imagine how proud we are of the entrepreneurs we back. We want to thank them for all the dedication they have to build da city. for good. It would be maybe too optimistic to say that all of them will succeed, but we definitely think they all have the potential to build outstanding companies.
Agricool, AnotherBrain, Antescofo, Backmarket, Beendhi, Butterfly, Comet, Cozycozy, Foxintelligence,
Fretlink, Gabsee, Geev, Goshaba, Holberton School, Keakr, Lifen, Lunchr, Margo Bank, Pazzi, Reminiz, Shine, Trusk, Zoe, Zoov (and several other great companies that we will announce in the coming weeks) are the vibrant companies we are committed to succeeding on a daily basis
Mutantly yours, with love and cookies