Behind the scene : the stake of private growth financing in the client lifecycle approach of Bryan, Garnier & Co

As most of you know, supporting European growth companies by raising private growth capital has been a pillar of Bryan, Garnier & Co strategy since 1996, when I left the venture capital industry to co-found the first European growth investment bank.

Deep roots in the private capital markets

Inspired by the critical role played in the US venture ecosystem in the 80s and 90s by the four Horsemen (the HARMs, namely Hambrecht & Quist, Alex Brown & Sons, Robertson, Stephens & Co, and Montgomery Securities), and a strong belief that European innovation and growth communities needed highly specialized investment banks to sponsor the most promising disruptive growth companies throughout their lifecyle, providing them with strategic insights, access to private capital, taking them public, advising them on acquisitions or selling them at the best time, we started our journey by pioneering the later stage growth financing market in Europe.

More than two decades of commitment to private growth companies

Since 1996, Bryan, Garnier & Co has led close to 200 later stage venture and growth capital rounds, raising close to € 5 billion of financing for European companies. Since 1996, we have kept the same mindset, a relentless commitment to back entrepreneurs and support their companies for the long run, in good and tough times, with, as only tie, the necessity to keep their trust and confidence. Whether they thrive or face adversity, we keep on investing our time and efforts, providing our insights and expertise to help grow the companies we sponsor, as their long term success is the fuel of our own expansion. Amongst the companies we have backed, a number have become unicorns, and some are today leading players of their markets with dozens of billions of market caps.

During this journey we have accumulated an unparalleled knowledge and experience, in terms of transaction scope – from series B, C and beyond, to pre-IPO, crossover rounds, direct listings, cornerstoned IPOs or PIPEs, across the range of equity and equity linked securities.

We have raised capital throughout geographies – EMEA, Americas and Asia-  and asset classes – conventional investors such as VCs and growth capital investors, as well as non-conventional investors such as corporates, hedge funds, pension or sovereign funds and family offices.

Over the past few weeks, we announced the closing of a €100m series B for Agronutris, a leading insect-based alternative-protein player which benefited from the first private investment of European ESG asset manager Mirova, we closed a €65m PIPE for Claranova with Susquehanna’ Heights Capital, or conducted the $40m privately placed listing on Euronext Oslo of leading LEO satellite constellation Astrocast with Adit Ventures and Palantir amongst others.

Expansion of the asset class drives higher stakes and higher complexity

Over the recent years, as venture and growth capital was outperforming private equity buy-outs, massive amount of capital flowed to the market, providing the opportunity for private companies to secure more capital than ever, enabling them to pursue their development to a much higher level of ambition than before : during the past 12 months, average series C rounds have tripled in value reaching on average $75m , while series D and beyond are now above $155m.

With the increase in size of the rounds comes the increase of sophistication,  in the number and the nature of investors syndicated in the rounds, in the structures of the financings, in the transaction processes and the scope of due diligences, in the terms of corporate governance.

The blurring of the frontier between private and public capital markets, from the amount of capital available, to the increased diversity in the profiles of investors (increasing number of public equity asset managers, corporates, hedge funds and crossover investors venturing in the private asset class), has also increased the scope of financing alternatives.

Private and public equity capital markets are solutions to the same issue : financing growth

The remarkable performance of the European and US equity capital markets for growth companies over the past 15 years nourished by the underlying secular transformation trends of the economy (digitalization, health and care, energy transition, sustainability), have increased the appetite for risk and performance of the public equity investors, demonstrated by the massive expansion in number and value of biotech, new energy, fintech, newspace, alternative proteins, cannabis… companies over the past 5 years, enabling highly disruptive issuers to access to significant sources of liquidity at a quite early stage of their development.

Standing at the crossroads of growth financing solutions

Entrepreneurs and companies are today living in an environment of high expectations with a lot at stake : The experience accumulated as one of the most active underwriter of public offerings (IPOs and follow-ons) for tech and healthcare European growth companies in all key European stock markets and on the US Nasdaq, combined with our longstanding involvement in the venture capital ecosystem gives us an unparalleled ability to support European growth companies at all stage of their development,  providing them unbiased guidance to best navigate through these fast evolving private and public equity financing environments.