What Do Funds Do? The portrait of 2050

What Do Funds Do? The portrait of 2050
What Do Funds Do? The portrait of 2050

During 2020, Marie Ekeland announced the creation of 2050an evergreen fund which aims to put tech at the service of major global issues. Olivier Mathiot, joined him in 2021, as general manager. The co-founder of PriceMinister and the investor, who worked through Daphni and Elaia, had already worked as president of France Digitale. A relatively new fund therefore, but whose partners are among the most experienced on the market.

“I joined Marie Ekeland because she offered a very innovative approach to the market. She pointed out the limits of traditional VC on the “growth at all costs” model which only sought to create purely digital champions., says Olivier Mathiot. The two partners aim to create a fund which, after the digital revolution, will support what they call the sustainable revolution. “Tech will continue to play a key role if we put it at the service of solving major contemporary, environmental and societal problems”explains Olivier Mathiot.

Putting digital at the service of major global issues

Behind the creation of 2050, we therefore find the desire to get closer to science. The fund works closely with universities and research centers to better understand the major issues. “Thinking about how we are going to feed the planet, how we are going to deal with health problems, and imagining regenerative and virtuous agriculture, all of this is intrinsically linked”notes Olivier Mathiot.

“Take the example of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, which develops earlier and more massively. This raises questions about the way we feed ourselves, the way we care for ourselves, but also questions concerning social security and the capacity of our solidarity systems to hold up. shares Olivier Mathiot. “Tech and AI can and must be used to solve these types of problems,” he continues.

The fund is Article 9 SFDR and attaches particular importance to the fight against greenwashing. To do this, it has implemented a proprietary analysis tool, KAPIs, for Key Alignment Performance Indicators, which aims to measure the impact during due diligence, via a net impact score. “We invest in “impact by design” companies. But we don’t make impact strictly speaking. We seek to align financial and extra-financial performance,” explains Olivier Mathiot. The analysis has already been applied to four of the startups and will now be applied to all subsequent ones.

Change your relationship with time thanks to an evergreen fund

To allow tech to fully play this facilitating role, the leaders of 2050 consider that it is necessary to change the relationship with time. “Profoundly transforming sectors such as transport, energy or food takes time. But finance and closed VC funds operate over short periods of time”, underlines Olivier Mathiot. To compensate for this, 2050 has structured a so-called evergreen fund. The latter obtained AMF approval in 2021, a bet that was not won in advance for this model which went beyond the regulator’s classic reading grid.

“Unlike closed-end funds, which in reality only invest for 4 to 5 years, then only reinvest, we do not risk being out of fashion and we can evolve at the same time as science”, explains Olivier Mathiot. When a shareholder joins the fund, he or she is a shareholder of all holdings, including past holdings. “Thus, there is no competition between the Limited Partners”comments Olivier Mathiot.

Among the LPs, we find entrepreneurs who have made exits, recognized business angels, but also family offices, corporates like Ubisoft and Pro BTP and institutions like Crédit Mutuel Arkéa. “The minimum ticket is 300,000 euros, which allows us to have varied LP profiles,” comments Olivier Mathiot. As the fund is approved by the AMF, it must offer its LPs liquidity solutions. “Today, there is a liquidity problem across the market, also within closed-end funds. We had anticipated this subject by providing different liquidity gates for our LPs”, indicates Olivier Mathiot. Once a year, the fund already offers to buy back part of the shares, it also plans to offer this at each exit and to set up a secondary market from 2026 to allow shareholders to resell their shares directly to other shareholders.

12 startups already funded

Today, 2050 has over 135 million euros under management and has invested in 12 companies, such as Withings, sweep, Fifteen, WeTradeLocal And Tilly for tickets between 1 and 12 million euros. The fund is multi-stage. “As we are in the long term, this allows us to have a better return/risk ratio”, comments Olivier Mathiot. For this, it also uses geographical diversification, the majority of investments are in France, but four investments have already been made in Scandinavia and the Netherlands.

Initially, 2050 was mainly interested in climate risk and carbon measurement subjects, which, one thing leading to another, led him to explore the subject of Agritech, that of soil preservation and until to that of the plate, with a company like Omie. Today, the fund focuses on ocean preservation and bluetech. “We receive a lot of files, but in reality, we don’t look so much at the incoming dealflow. We are hunters, we do deep dives on specific issues, like currently bluetech, then we go looking for solutions”underlines Olivier Mathiot.

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