Most of these traditional companies have created innovation teams that actively look for collaboration with interesting tech companies - especially, those focused on deep tech - and are looking for ways to introduce these technologies into their processes and standard offerings and make their companies smarter. That’s a great opportunity for technology companies in Europe today.
They are doing all the things now - running accelerators, investing in funds. In our fund, we have at least twenty corporates and two thirds of those are from France. You go to Station F and when you walk through the building, there are corporate names everywhere, everyone wants to launch there - there are twenty corporate accelerators in the building. Eventually this is getting the startup and the corporate world closer.
|Company||Corporate||Partnership type||Date announced|
|LendInvest||Citigroup||Lending partnership||Nov 2017|
|Scalable Capital||ING||Distribution partnership||Sep 2017|
|AIMotive||PSA Group||Technology partnership||Sep 2017|
|Funding Circle||Aegon||Lending partnership||Aug 2017|
|Farfetch||Conde Nast||Content & distribution partnership||Jun 2017|
|Klarna||Visa||Product partnership||Jun 2017|
|BlaBlaCar||Opel||Distribution partnership||Apr 2017|
|Chronocam||Renault||Technology partnership||Nov 2016|
|Deliveroo||Heineken||Distribution partnership||Nov 2016|
|N26||Allianz||Distribution partnership||Oct 2016|
It’s an interesting one for us because we have limited activity in actual corporate investment. For us we take a broader, portfolio approach in terms of partnerships, looking at strategically interesting companies that we can partner with. I think there are different ways we can extract value from it and we can deliver value to the startups. One way is certainly equity and direct investment but there are obviously other areas where we can get value out of it, too. Exclusivity in our category or long-term commitment and investment in the actual partnership.
If you think about well-established companies, ten years ago they were saying that there might be a big tech company in the future - whereas now they think “Guys, we need to put technology at the heart of our business or otherwise we’re going to be killed.” It’s the beginning of a new era.