Following its merger in 2021 with the SOFIMAC group, UI Investissement manages funds of nearly €1.5 billion which it invests to support French companies with strong potential. In order to support the managers who bring life to the territories, both financially and operationally, UI has developed specific know–how in the health, agri–business and services sectors as well as several proprietary methodological tools.
Differentiating support at the operational level
“We invest in unlisted French start–ups, SMEs and ETIs, and provide them with financial support and operational expertise to accelerate their development and improve the prospects and future of their ecosystems,” explains François Miceli, Associate Director in charge of innovation capital at UI. “We are involved in all areas of private equity: development and transfer capital, innovation capital and consolidation (supporting healthy companies facing complex challenges or difficulties resulting from adverse market conditions) and can therefore support companies at all stages of their life cycle. In order to provide the best possible support to the companies we work with, the UI teams are actively involved with the managers to enable them to benefit from a proven methodology: local support, specific know–how or expertise and networks mobilised within the framework of an academy.” The UI Academy is based on 3 pillars:
- The referencing, selection and assignment of some fifteen hand–picked specialist UI partners whose expertise we guarantee (business or sectoral experts, etc.);
- The UI entrepreneurs’ network, which brings together some fifty business leaders and subscribers who can be mobilised to support the managers or the UI team on specific subjects (mentoring, external resources, presence on the board, etc.);
- And finally the UI LAB, which brings together the expertise of the entire UI network and organises its dissemination through meetings, masterclasses or publications on topics related to the creation, management and development of companies. Another tool developed several years ago to support managers is “Trajectoire ESG”, a unique methodology for improving CSR performance, which you can discover here.
Another tool developed several years ago to support managers is “Trajectoire ESG”, a unique methodology for improving CSR performance, which you can discover here.
An established presence and expertise at the service of managers
UI Investissement is also particularly well established throughout France and benefits from an efficient network throughout the country: “In addition to our Paris headquarters and our office in Reims, we have 11 other local offices. This enables us to provide the best possible support to the companies in which we invest because we know their local ecosystems perfectly.“At the initiative of the teams based in Reims, UI Investissement recently joined the IAR cluster ecosystem to strengthen its investments in the bioeconomy. We canprovide financial support for the projects of the cluster’s members, but also advice and expertise,” continues François Miceli. We have all the tools to meet the needs of all the members. However, I would like to point out that we are extremely selective in our funding choice. In 2020, for example, out of more than 1,000 innovation capital files, we selected six; and that’s a good year… I would add that the governance issues linked to the arrival of a financial investor in a start–up or SME must have been anticipated by the managers. I am used to saying that it should be compared to a wedding. But it’s a slightly different kind of wedding, because as early as the wedding day, the date and detailed conditions of the ‘separation’ are already determined in the partners’ agreement.” And François Miceli concludes: “It is important to understand that what characterises our profession is the alignment of interests: for the duration of this wedding, we have only one objective: to succeed together, in the interest of all. This is also the meaning of our motto “Together, investing for a better future”.
WHY JOIN BIOECONOMY FOR CHANGE?
We decided to join Bioeconomy For Change because we have ongoing funding in the areas of expertise targeted by the cluster. For example, we have already supported several members including Afyren, Greentech, Filab, Metabolic Explorer and Microphyt. Secondly, because we want to strengthen our position in the field of the bioeconomy. We consider this to be a strategic area for our investments and joining the cluster allows us to make ourselves known to the players in the bioeconomy.