Paris-based VC firm HCVC just announced the final closing of its second fund simply called “Fund II”. And the team has managed to raise $75 million (€69 million) so that it can back pre-seed and seed companies in Europe and North America.
Originally focused on hardware startup investments, HCVC quickly evolved to invest in deep tech startups in general, such as companies working on climate, biotech, robotics, space, etc. Some of HCVC’s portfolio companies include electric bike maker Cowboy, nuclear fusion tech company Renaissance Fusion, Span, Caper, Automata, Radia and Augmenta.
The name HCVC itself comes from the Hardware Club, a community of hardware and deep tech companies that share knowledge and help each other through the network. There are more than 600 companies in the club.
This Hardware Club has never been a way to make money directly. HCVC isn’t an investor in every company in the Hardware Club. Since 2018, the firm has backed 50 companies with its original $50 million fund.
With HCVC’s new fund, the VC firm plans to conduct up to 40 investments, which means roughly 10 deals per year. On average, HCVC will be able to invest anything between €250,000 and €2.5 million per deal ($260,000 to $2.6 million).
“We want to back founders that create a future with more clean energy, more powerful computing, more context-aware robots, better defense tools for democracies and biomanufacturing that enables us to decarbonize food production,” HCVC founder and managing partner Alexis Houssou said in a statement.
In addition to Houssou, Jerry Yang, Aymerik Renard and Alex Flamant are the three other partners in the fund. Alex Flamant is a recent addition to the team. He was a principal at Singular, another Paris-based VC firm. He also spent some time at Notion Capital.
As for the limited partners, HCVC raised money from the European Investment Fund, Isomer Capital, Molten Ventures, as well as several individual investors, such as Albert Wenger (managing partner at USV), John Elkann (chairman of Stellantis and Ferrari) and Toto Wolff (team principal and CEO of Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team).
Interestingly, HCVC also says that its fund is exclusively backed by European, American and Japanese investors — unlike many U.S. VC firms, there’s no Saudi Arabian investor participation.