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Meet Raffi Kamber, Partner at Alven Capital

February 2, 2016
Hexa

This is our fourth interview of a European VC investing in SaaS. We chose Raffi Kamber, Partner at Alven Capital.

This is our fourth interview of a European VC investing in SaaS. We chose Raffi Kamber, Partner at Alven Capital.

Raffi joined Alven Capital in 2011. He began his career in major French Groups and switched to Venture Capital in 2008. At Alven, he focuses primarily on Tech and Internet investments.

Alven Capital

Created in 2000

Office: Paris

Investment focus: €1M to €5M Series A investments for French Founders, wherever they are based. Marginally, seed and Series B on outstanding companies. Main targets: Saas, Big Data and Consumer.

Investment thesis: We believe there are only two types of M&A transactions as companies acquire either Technology or Market Share. Thus, we look for startups operating in markets of a meaningful size and that can either build disruptive technologies or acquire market shares faster than the big guys.

Assets Under Management: €250M

European SaaS portfolio: Algolia, BIME, Clustree, Dataiku, iAdvize, Lengow, Mailjet, Mention, PeopleDoc, Texmaster, tinyclues, Wynd…

Insights from Raffi Kamber

Why do you invest in SaaS?

We know that “Software is eating the world” — with a recurring business model, prospects are even better. SaaS is a vast and fast-growing market that is very readable as it’s totally data driven. On top of that, SaaS companies have a global reach and they benefit from simplified sales and distribution processes as well as easy integrations. In a nutshell: the biggest advantage of SaaS is that it’s highly scalable.

What makes a good VC for a SaaS startup?

SaaS is a data driven business so a good SaaS VC is analytical. He or she should help SaaS startups find their ideal growth pace based on their data and data from comparable companies. At early stages, the investor should also help defining KPIs, structuring processes and building an efficient sales machine.

Do you consider yourself to be in competition with US VCs for SaaS startups?

There are plenty of French founders starting their companies directly in the US. For those startups, we compete with US VCs but we rarely see these investors in the French market on early stage investments. Actually, a big part of the French SaaS startups in our portfolio moves to the US as it’s the biggest and most mature market for SaaS. We help them make that move and raise their next round with US VCs.

What’s the n°1 SaaS startup that you’d like to have in your portfolio?

Salesforce! It’s the mother of all Saas companies!

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