Eurazeo’s Idinvest Partners hits $97m first close of Smart City Fund II with larger Asia focus

Julien Mialaret, operating partner at Idinvest Partners.

Eurazeo-backed Idinvest Partners has reached the 80 million euro ($96.9 million) first close of its Smart City Fund II to invest in mobility, property, energy startups in Asia and around the world.

According to Idinvest’s Singapore-based operating partner Julien Mialaret, the firm is on track to hit the 200 million euro ($242.3 million) final close of the fund by the second quarter of 2021.

The fund’s limited partners (LPs) are mainly corporates from Europe and Asia, including carmaker Stellantis, electric utilities EDF and Mainova, public transportation operator RATP, energy major Total, logistics champion Duisport, institutional investors as PRO BTP, and Thai real estate developer Sansiri through its venture arm Siri Ventures.

Mialaret added that this fund will draw a larger proportion of LPs from the ASEAN region compared to its 137 million euro Smart City Fund I, which was backed by Singaporean corporates Changi Airport Group and Singapore Power.

He did not disclose the names of the potential ASEAN LPs likely to join its second fund but said that they are in serious talks with conglomerates from Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

Mialaret added that the lockdowns triggered by COVID-19 last year have forced many ASEAN corporates to seriously re-think their digitalisation plans. Meanwhile, the fund has also found itself addressing a sweet spot in the market for traditional corporates looking for deal flow in new technologies in Europe and the US, where it is an active investor.

He added that most corporates are also internally re-assessing their investment strategies during this period.

“Resources are precious in a time like this, so companies are focused on what is creating value. I think a lot of the corporate open innovation programmes that weren’t strong are probably going to be discontinued. Some of the corporate venture companies (CVCs) that haven’t been producing a lot of value will also see a lot of shifts right now.  (COVID-19 has) weeded out some of the lesser performing teams, funds, or corporate VCs,” shared Mialaret.

Idinvest’s second fund will dedicate about 60% of its deployment in Europe and the balance in Asia, focussing on China and Southeast Asia. It targets Series A to B companies in Southeast Asia, with ticket sizes ranging from $2-5 million, with room for follow-on funding. The fund targets companies in mobility, property, energy, manufacturing and logistics sectors.

Idinvest’s first Southeast Asian investment was in Grab in March 2019, which formed the fund’s mandate to help the ride-hailing unicorn seek out new technologies in Europe. It also recently invested in Singaporean co-living startup Cove in December 2020. Elsewhere in Asia, Idinvest has invested in three Chinese companies: DST Car, WeRide and Immotor.

According to Mialaret, Idinvest’s first smart city fund is on track to secure a net IRR of 18% or MOIC (multiple on invested capital) of 2-3x, which is the firm’s historical average in terms of fund performance. It made its first exit via German scooter startup Circ which was acquired by US scooter giant Bird last year.

It has at least one more exit in the pipeline via Volta Industries, an electric vehicle charging network firm, which was recently announced to be acquired by NYSE-listed SPAC Tortoise Acquisition Corp II in a $2 billion deal.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.