- Capital increase is backed by Ventech, Serena Capital, Société Générale Asset Management (SGAM AI), OTC Asset Management and Ouest Ventures.
- French company is to strengthen its presence in Europe (Germany and Italy) and press ahead with its expansion in Asia (office to be opened in Singapore).
- With annual growth in excess of 60%, this publisher of strategic software for reputation management (of strategic importance to corporations and institutions) is set to consolidate its leadership position in France, Spain and the United Kingdom.
After just six years in existence, the French company Augure, the European leader in reputation management, has announced a €8 million capital increase to fund its development.
Gilles André, Augure’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, declared on this occasion that “reputation is an essential asset that influences a company’s capacity to operate in all areas, as it has a bearing on its finances, recruitment, production and marketing. Reputation management is a challenge of strategic importance, all the more so since sources of information are multiplying and this information spreads rapidly at global level. It is therefore crucial that Communication and Public Affairs Departments to gain better understanding and control over the mechanisms that create and propagate reputation. Augure’s software solutions are designed to manage these elements.”
He added, “Augure will pursue its development by rolling out services for its 400 customer references at international level. To this end, the company wants to involve partners fully aware of the strategic importance of out software solutions for the customers who choose Augure. Thanks to the support from these investors, Augure intends to press ahead with its breakthrough in Europe and to expand into promising markets selected after a rigorous vetting process. Augure intends to open offices in Germany, Italy and Singapore shortly”.
Alain Caffi, founder and General Partner at Ventech explained that “Augure was founded by “serial entrepreneurs” who created a unique platform in Software as a Service (SaaS) mode that is to corporate communication what salesforce.com is to sales.”
For Xavier Lorphelin, Managing Partner at Serena Capital in charge of investments in projects carried by innovating SMEs, “the strong growth achieved by Augure since its creation and an outlook of successful international expansion in a booming market justifies the firm’s investment. Serena Capital is convinced that Augure has all the potential needed to become the leader in reputation management software applications for companies, notably those of the SBF 250 index”.
In conclusion, Gilles André added, “Augure needed to establish a solid financial base to acquire the means to expand, and this has now been accomplished”.
Started up in 2002, Augure has developed and end-to-end platform for Communication and Public Affairs Departments to manage the reputation of companies and institutions for use by. This platform manages all relations with stakeholders (journalists, elected representatives, VIPs, non-governmental organisations, investors, shareholders, etc.). The service offer is structured around four products: corporate public relations, product marketing, corporate social responsibility, and public affairs. These software solutions:
- Provide real-time updates of the different communication targets such as media companies, journalists, elected representatives, associations and professional organisations across thirty countries – Orchestrate all communication operations (briefings, events, press releases and bulletins, product loans, etc.)
- Measure media impact (press, radio, TV and Internet feedback, media equivalent calculations, etc.)
In September 2008, Augure had nearly 400 client references and 5,000 users in all sectors of activity. It had three subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Spain and India. With a network of 70 partners across 30 countries, Augure’s service offer is tailored to its international ambitions.
About the investors
Ventech is a venture capital firm that, for more than a decade, has invested in recently formed companies or start-ups. These investments have focused more particularly on the Information Technology sector (software, hardware and communication, media and services) and Biotechnologies, mainly in France and other European countries. Ventech’s mission is to invest in ambitious projects to transform companies into leaders, enabling most of them to earn international recognition. Ventech is also present in China through a partnership with China Merchant Hidden Jade (CMHJ), formed to help the European companies in its portfolio develop their business in Asia and to invest in the region via a dedicated fund.
Serena Capital is an investment vehicle managing a first fund that raised €100 million. It targets innovating small and medium-sized enterprises seeking to accelerate their development at marketing level. The Serena Capital team is made up of experienced entrepreneurs and investors in France and abroad, aiming to support investees throughout their growth phase at both financial and operating levels.
SGAM Alternative Investments (SGAM AI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Société Générale Asset Management, has developed successfully by combining active asset management processes with a capital market culture that mixes innovation and risk management. With €35.6 billion of assets under management at 30 September 2008, 387 employees worldwide and the strategic and financial backing of Société Générale Group, SGAM AI has become one of the leading global specialists in alternative investments. SGAM AI started to develop in capital investment in 1999 and has built up a comprehensive range of funds covering venture capital, capital development, LBO and funds of funds, which invest in Europe as well as emerging countries. At 30 June 2008, SGAM AI managed private equity funds totalling € 1.8 billion.
OTC Asset Management was created in 2001. This is a management company controlled by Capital Investissement, approved by the French financial markets regulator and specialised in the management of innovation funds (FCPI), local investment funds (FIP) and venture capital funds (FCPR) for private clients and independent institutional investors. Assets under management total nearly €300 million, invested mainly in unlisted companies with strong growth prospects, at different stages in their development.
Ouest Ventures is an investment fund managing €35 million of assets. Ouest Ventures invests particularly in recently formed companies in the Telecommunications, Software and Life Sciences sectors. The fund is managed by Eric Cozanet (formerly of France Telecom), Thomas Gubler (formerly of 3i) and Thao Lane (entrepreneur). The three managers have over 59 years of experience in new technologies and venture capital.