The RAISE Group, a responsible finance pioneer, reaches €1.2bn assets under management and affirms its ambitions
Paris, 21 January 2021 – Seven years after its launch, French responsible finance pioneer RAISE is today announcing it has surpassed €1.2bn assets under management. With this increased investment capacity, the asset management company continues its growth trajectory, moving to more spacious premises and revealing the outlines of its future ambitions; a comprehensive mission statement broken down into strategic commitments, and the opening of two new innovation hubs in both Paris (RaiseLab) and the Nice region (La Plume).
A sustainable model founded on benevolence and responsibility
Since its launch in 2013, the RAISE Group has purposefully acted as a benevolent long-term investor, establishing evergreen vehicles with 99 year lifetimes, and above all building a unique model based on shared success. The Group’s investment teams have committed to donating 50% of their carried interest and 10% of their time to the philanthropic accelerator RAISESHERPAS, the Group’s endowment fund. “When we created RAISE we wanted to exemplify a new model of benevolent, inclusive and responsible capitalism. Through this sharing of value for the benefit of entrepreneurs, we are demonstrating that a different kind of finance is possible. One that is more responsible and sustainable. We strongly believe that benevolence is as much an essential value as it is an economic driver”, explains Clara Gaymard, the Co-founder of RAISE.
Over a seven-year period, the Group has diversified its business activities to cover every growth stage of companies and expanded its range of services: venture capital investing (RAISE Ventures), small-cap impact investing (RAISE Impact), mid-cap development (RAISE Investissement), real estate and offices (RAISE REIM), as well as philanthropic support for start-ups (RAISESHERPAS) and open innovation support (RaiseLab).
High growth activities driving performance
Given the direct ties between financial performance and responsibility within the RAISE Group, it is proud to report its performance. The RAISE Investissement fund, for example, has returned more than €70m of dividends to shareholders to date, and boasts a gross IRR of 24% since its inception, confirming the soundness of its portfolio, whose value held up against the Covid-19 crisis.
To support its growth and that of its teams, the Group is opting to move to new premises at 39 Boulevard de La Tour-Maubourg, upgrading from 900 sq. m to 1700 sq. m of offices and multi-purpose spaces in which to convene the RAISE ecosystem. “Our workforce has practically doubled during the last two years, given the diversification of our business areas and the ramping-up of existing activities. In 2020 alone, we hired 16 new staff members, increasing our total workforce to 52 employees”, said Gonzague de Blignières, Co-founder of RAISE.
Commitments confirmed in order to build a more responsible world
RAISE established its mission statement as early as 2018. The Group now wishes to reassert its support for entrepreneurs in order to build alongside them a more responsible and sustainable economy. Through tangible commitments and quantifiable targets, the RAISE Group’s actions speak loud and clear for shared success, for example by confirming the donation of 50% of its teams’ carried interest to its endowment fund; the promotion of gender equality as a source of performance and harmony, particularly by aiming to have 25% of its portfolio companies founded or co-founded by women by 2025; and by assessing companies via the analysis of the economic, social and societal value of their actions.
“The Covid-19 public health crisis has shown how urgent it is to build a more responsible economy, underpinned by sustainable finance. We are responsible for supporting the companies that are leading these transformations”, explains Clara Gaymard. Because measuring leads to progress, the Group also undertakes to measure its own impact on its stakeholders and its investments. Drawing on a comprehensive ESG policy, RAISE supports its portfolio companies in assessing their progress towards implementing change, within the framework of continuous improvement processes, RAISE Impact has developed its proprietary impact measurement and management methodology for this specific purpose.
Ambitions for 2021
In keeping with its quest for continuous innovation, RAISE plans to take its value creation further and has many projects in the pipeline for 2021.
- RaiseLab, its latest subsidiary created with Schoolab, and specialising in maximising the effectiveness of business collaborations between large companies (corporates and mid-caps) and start-ups, will lay the foundations for a series of innovative projects as of February. In order to support teams in the creation, scale and integration of both incremental and disruptive business activities, RaiseLab’s unique 2500sq. m innovation hub will welcome its first residents in the République district of central Paris.
- Another innovation venue, nestled at the heart of a nine hectare estate in the Parc Naturel Régional des Préalpes d’Azur near Nice, will officially launch before summer. This singular project set in the midst of a permaculture farm (La Plume) will provide residential and inspirational opportunities for executives, entrepreneurs and individuals.
- As it strives to reach a target of €1.5 bn assets under management by the end of 2021, the RAISE Group, which is raising funds for several of its vehicles, will also announce the establishment of new funds during the coming months.
This ambitious development plan relies on the support of its stakeholders, including shareholders, portfolio companies, start-ups, successful entrepreneurs and consultancy firms and lawyers committed to working with the Group, to create the conditions that allow for shared success, based on collective intelligence and strong partnerships. “From the very start, the RAISE model’s strength has been the commitment from France’s biggest success stories and its top-tier shareholder base, which remains central to the extraordinarily fertile ecosystem that we have created and has made this incredible adventure possible”, concludes Gonzague de Blignières.
About the RAISE Group
The RAISE Group has developed synergies between all stakeholders that comprise its ecosystem, including shareholders, portfolio companies and start-ups supported philanthropically, as well as consultancy firms and successful entrepreneurs committed to being by its side. Thanks to this and its tried and tested model, it has become a well-performing platform:
- RAISE Investissement, the recipient of a “Relance” label, whose priority is growth French SMEs and mid-caps, holds 13 investments in its portfolio to date (including Ateliers de France, Epsa and Efor), has carried out six exits (i.e. Questel, Actéon, Babilou and Nature et Découvertes) and has provided support for more than 50 growth acquisitions for its portfolio companies.
- RAISE Ventures, the recipient of a “Relance” label, whose focus is innovative growth companies in the digital field, has a particularly resilient portfolio of 16 investments (including Bergamotte, We Maintain, Finfrog and Courbet), two of which are start-ups connected to its media for equity activity.
- RAISE Impact, the Group’s impact investing structure, which supports mission-driven companies and companies in the process of transformation that wish to generate a positive impact, has 10 investments in its portfolio (including Castalie, WeNow and Next Protein) and has developed its proprietary impact management and measurement methodology. The fund is a recipient of two national awards that demonstrate its ability to fulfil its commitments : the “Relance” label and the “Tibi” initiative related to the fourth industrial revolution.
- RAISE REIM holds five assets in its portfolio through its RAISE Immobilier 1 real estate investment fund, including an office building on Rue de Martignac and a real estate complex on the banks of the Bassin de La Villette.
- RAISESHERPAS has provided support to more than 350 start-ups since 2015, from ManoMano to Cheerz, Selency, Phenix and Tediber, and granted nearly €15m through 85 non-dilutive loans, as a result of its pioneering model whereby the RAISE Group’s investment teams donate half of their carried interest to this endowment fund.
 An evergreen fund is one that does not have a predetermined end date and can therefore continue to operate for as long as desired by investors.
 Carried interest is an incentive bonus granted to investment teams based on the performance of the investments made by them. This incentive bonus paid to private equity fund managers is usually equal to 20% of the capital gains recorded.