Frst, the Paris-based VC firm without a vowel in its name, is in the process of raising a second fund. The company has already reached its first closing of €72 million (almost $80 million at the current exchange rate).
And if there’s one thing to say about this new fund is that it’s business as usual for Frst. As the name suggests, Frst aims to be the first VC firm to invest in a tech startup.
Frst even told me that roughly half of VC firm term sheets are sent before startups are incorporated. The company decided to continue the exact same formula with new capital to invest in the next few years.
The team led by Pierre Entremont and Bruno Raillard originally met when they worked at Otium Venture as part of Pierre-Edouard Stérin’s family office. In 2019, the team created its own VC company and raised the initial funding of Frst (called Frst 2). At the time, Frst raised €90 million (almost $100 million at today’s exchange rate).
With today’s new fund called Frst 3, the investment company expects to reach the upper limit of €100 million ($110 million). Frst has already secured funding from the European Investment Fund, Bpifrance’s Fonds National d’Amorçage 2, Axa Venture Partners and Isomer. Many individual investors also invested in the fund itself, such as entrepreneurs working for Payfit, Owkin, Shippeo, Pigment, Electra, Supercell, Wolt, Aiven and Homa Games.
While Frst is not targeting a vertical in particular, the company believes there will be many interesting investment opportunities in the coming years due to the rise of artificial intelligence.
“The rapid development observed in the field of Artificial Intelligence in the last few months and the disruptions they create create a more favorable context for startups. From work to medicine, defense, education , or management of natural resources, the economy and society as a whole are preparing to undergo unprecedented changes,” said Pierre Entremont in a statement.
In total, if you include the original €44 million in Otium Venture funding, the Frst team has more than €200 million in assets under management or advice ($219 million). In this measure, Frst says that it is currently the largest seed fund focused on French startups.
“France is particularly well positioned to play a leading role in the future revolution, mainly because it produces the highest technical talent. This is why Artificial Intelligence will always be a current theme of our investments, with, for example, Owkin or Doktrina 7 years ago. We have also made many investments in the Frst 3 in teams with exceptional technical quality,” said Bruno Raillard in a statement .
The Frst team has invested in many startups, such as Pigment, Electra, Poolside, Doctrine, Payfit, Shippeo and Owkin. With its new fund, it plans to invest between €1 million and €3 million in around 30 companies.