VC firm Otium Venture becomes Frst and raises new fund

It’s a breakup of some sort, but with no hard feelings. The team behind Paris-based VC firm Otium Venture is creating a new management company called Frst and raising a new fund.

But first, let’s talk about Otium Venture. Smartbox founder Pierre-Edouard Stérin’s family office created Otium Venture and Otium Brands to manage his startup investments. Over the past four years, the Otium Venture team participated in a dozen seed rounds, such as Payfit, Doctrine and Owkin. It represented around $45 million in total (€40 million).

With Frst, the Otium Venture team is essentially creating a spinoff company with no connection to Pierre-Edouard Stérin’s family office. The team is still led by Pierre Entremont and Bruno Raillard, with Judith Tripard and Gabriel de Vinzelles also following them.

Frst is a more traditional VC firm with multiple limited partners investing in the first Frst fund (yep, first Frst fund). The firm has already raised $67 million (€60 million) from the European Investment Fund, Bpifrance, Axa Venture Partners, Ilkka Paananen and Mikko Kodisoja from Supercell, Michaël Benabou from Vente-Privée, Stanislas de Quercize from Cartier and others.

Eventually, Frst plans to reach $90 million (€80 million) with this fund.

Frst plans to invest at the seed level with investments ranging from €0.5 million to €3 million. They’re focusing on Paris-based startups and say that big tech companies are bound to appear here in France.

As for existing Otium Ventures investments? Pierre-Edouard Stérin and the Frst team have set up a consulting contract so that they can follow their investments after the change.

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