White Star Capital, a global venture capital fund with offices in London, New York, Montreal and now Paris and Tokyo, has launched its second institutional fund.
The fund is substantially above the initial $140m target and on track to reach the hard cap of $180m shortly.
Limited Partners came from North America, Europe and Asia with notable backers including institutional investors such as Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Fonds de solidarité FTQ (FSTQ), the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Korea Venture Investment Corporation (KVIC), Investissement Quebec, ARKEA Group, Mizuho Securities, Swen Capital Partners, Isomer Capital, Walter Financial, Clerville Investment Management, Temaris Capital, Simone Investments, and Portag3 Ventures alongside multinational corporate groups including Veolia, La Capitale, Corporate Groupe ADP, Ubisoft and Unisys Corporation through Canal Ventures.
The vehicle, which was significantly oversubscribed and above the initial target of $140m, will back around 20 new companies with an initial investment of US$1m to US$6m, continuing to focus on companies that use data as a competitive advantage and where the fund’s operational experience and physical presence can help companies scale internationally.
Founded by Eric Martineau-Fortin, Jean-Francois Marcoux, the former co-founder of mobile game publisher Ludia, and Christian Hernandez Gallardo, a former Facebook executive, the firm has already begun investing from its second fund and has led or co-led investments into eight companies to date. Investments have ranged from Seed to Series B and include fintech and insuretech companies Borrowell (Canada) and Clark (Germany) as well as disruptive commerce models Vention (Canada), Meero (France) and Butternut Box (UK).
The vehicle has also invested in digital health companies Echo (UK) and Dialogue (Canada) as well as data-as-a-service company Unacast (USA).
The new fund follows White Star Capital’s first fund of US$70m, which it began investing in 2014.
The firm, which has existing offices in London, New York, Montreal, and the new one in Paris, has recently promoted Lylan Masterman, a computer scientist, former Microsoft executive and a Kauffman Fellow, to the partnership for its office in New York, and it has appointed Matthieu Latte, previously an entrepreneur and venture capital specialist at Rothschild, to the partnership to strengthen its newly opened Paris office.
The firm has also recruited Shun Nagao in Tokyo and Sep Alavi in New York.