Université PSL assembles deep tech fund

PSL Innovation Fund will be managed by Elaia Partners and has targeted an $87.5m close having secured Bpifrance and several corporates as backers.

Université PSL has joined venture capital firm Elaia Partners to launch an investment vehicle called PSL Innovation Fund that is targeting a €75m ($87.5m) close.

The fund will be managed by Elaia and its limited partners will include Université PSL itself as well as Fonds National d’Amorçage 2, an early-stage vehicle managed by government-owned investment bank Bpifrance.

Financial services firm BNP Paribas, industrial manufacturer Naval Group and insurance provider MGEN are also providing capital, as are KPN Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of telecommunications firm KPN, and FamilleC, part of cosmetics manufacturer Clarins Group.

PSL Innovation Fund will invest in areas of expertise for Université PSL, focusing on deep tech subsectors such as artificial intelligence, cleantech, materials, biomedical engineering and digital applications.

The fund expects to build strong relationships with project teams and will facilitate their progress as they look to export their products overseas.

Elaia, which has more than $290m under management, recently agreed another deep tech-orientated strategic partnership with France’s National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control.

Eric Papin, director of innovation and technological expertise at Naval Group, said: “This partnership will help to meet the technological superiority needs of our customers by guiding as early as possible the development of solutions proposed by strategic startups to which we did not have access.”

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