You can call this Kima Ventures 2.0 — the very active French early stage fund has a brand new structure, which could significantly change the firm’s investment strategy. Jean De La Rochebrochard is leaving French startup accelerator TheFamily to join Kima as a partner. Existing Kima team member Vincent Jacobs is also becoming a partner based in London.
As a reminder, Kima was co-founded and backed by French telco and media entrepreneur Xavier Niel in 2010 — Kima is basically Niel’s startup investment fund. Kima co-founder Jérémie Berrebi left the fund in May. At the time, Niel and the rest of the Kima team didn’t announce any change, leaving Kima without any partner at its head.
So far, Kima has invested in over 330 startup around the world. This ubiquitous investment strategy has become Kima’s trademark. The firm invests mostly in seed and sometimes in Series A rounds.
I’ve talked about de La Rochebrochard’s move for the past few weeks, and he told me what the plans were for the new duo at the helm of the fund. “We shouldn’t hesitate to do Series A rounds — it’s good for networking, Kima’s image and our portfolio,” de La Rochebrochard told me. Right now, Kima is overwhelmingly investing in seed rounds.
The on-boarding process for startups who want to apply for a Kima investment is going to be completely redesigned. The team wants to find new ways to manage Kima’s incredible deal flow more efficiently. Kima is also hiring two new associate partners, one focused on tech, and one focused on deal flow. Michel Sassano stays as entrepreneur in residence. Oh, and there is a new logo (embedded above).
Finally, de La Rochebrochard plans to syndicate as many deals as possible. “My number one obsession is that we should be able to aggregate two euros for every euro we invest,” he said.
Other than that, you can expect two or three deals per week, business as usual for Kima. With two partners instead of one and a couple of new hires, things are going to feel a bit different at Kima.
Vincent Jacobs has been working for Kima for a couple of years now as an associate partner. He knows Kima’s huge portfolio much better than any outsider and he will play an important role when it comes to helping current portfolio companies in their next steps.
Before joining Kima, de La Rochebrochard has done a bit of fundraising for TheFamily. In particular, he has helped Captain Train, Save and Algolia raise $6.3 million, $16.7 million and $18.3 million respectively. Now, he’s going to the other side of the fundraising process.