26 – 100 in alphabetical order: François Robinet, managing partner, Axa Venture Partners
François Robinet is the managing partner of Axa Venture Partners (AVP), France-based insurance provider Axa’s corporate venturing arm.
Following a pilot process that began in 2012, the unit was officially launched in 2016 as Axa Strategic Ventures and rebranded two years after to its current name.
AVP manages $425m of assets for direct investments and a $375m capital for fund-of-funds strategy. Its priority areas include enterprise software and digital health, as well as insurance, financial and consumer technologies.
The AVP team consists of 21 members spread across Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris and San Francisco, focusing on early and growth-stage deals as well as fund investing. To date, the unit has invested in more than 45 early and growth companies and more than 15 funds.
In early May 2020, AVP completed a €200m ($216.2m) first closing for its Diversified Fund II for its fund-of-funds strategy. The first €150m iteration raised in 2017 had been fully deployed. AVP Diversified II is set to reach a final close before the end of this year with a €250m ($270.3m) target and will concentrate on opportunities in Europe, Israel, the US and Asia with a focus on China.
Robinet said in a statement: “This fundraise was completed quickly with existing and new investors; this is a strong vote of confidence for our team but also a strong endorsement of our strategy, in particular in the current uncertain environment [Covid-19 pandemic].
“We have been able to access the best of the best investors in technology worldwide and at the same time to actively manage risk through diversification. We plan to hold a second closing in the coming months with additional new investors.
“I am also extremely happy with the promotion of Dominic [Maier] as a partner and I would like to thank him for his outstanding contribution. This fundraise strengthens AVP’s platform and its unique position in the market for tech investments.”
In the same month, the unit made a few direct investments: temporary job recruitment platform operator Zenjob, medical prescription adherence monitoring software developer Wellth and enterprise automation software developer InsideBoard.
The month before, AVP exited digital wellness app developer BioBeats in an acquisition of undisclosed size by health technology and services provider Huma.
Earlier in the year, the unit also backed employee training software provider Lessonly, sales lead generation software developer Cognism, insurance comparison marketplace Policygenius and talent recruitment and engagement platform developer Phenom People.
Robinet, who has been at AXA since 1994, is proficient in financial innovation and risk management. His familiarity, ecosystem connections and innovative spirit are crucial when sourcing, choosing and backing startup companies, making the unit a strategic player in the fintech field.
He has had multiple senior managerial appointments at different Axa division, including chief executive of investment management firm Axa Rosenberg, chief risk officer for Axa Group and more recently, managing director of Axa Life Invest.
Robinet also sits on the board of microcredit service provider Microcred and is a member of the strategic committee for FTV Capital, a San Francisco-based investment company specialised in late-stage fintech deals.
Robinet holds a master of science from Stanford University’s School of Engineering and another master’s degree from Enase Paris Tech, and earned a PhD from Centre des Hautes Etudes d’Assurances (CHEA) and is a certified actuary.
GCV Powerlist 2020 PDF
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