4Stars, a monegasque investment fund managed by Pleion Group (Monaco) is the latest to invest in Monaco Foundry. Interview with the founder, Fabrice Marquet.
Headquartered in Monaco, Monaco Foundry is providing early to mid-stage companies with hands-on business development support and access to a team of serial entrepreneurs, senior advisors, executives, and venture capitalists. With a portfolio of 11 companies ranging from muscle recovery solutions, concussion prevention, digital diabetes reversal, anti-counterfeiting nanotechnology, revolutionary APP for wine tasting, to new VR economies, each company is hand-picked with the intention “to make the world a better and healthier place”.
Pleion Group (Monaco), which represents the Monegasque fund 4Stars has commented on this transaction :
“Monaco Foundry has a unique business model which we believe is key to their success now and in the long-term. They have a pragmatic approach which is the best way for these startups to be successful. The team at Monaco Foundry adds real value to their startups and as true partners, their team accompanies these companies through the process of building and scaling them into a success business.
As asset managers, we are independent advisors that are by our client’s side, not in front of them. When we provide recommendations for long term interests, we take a global view of Monaco and take everything in consideration. Monaco Foundry encapsulates the real future of Monaco and innovation. Each company they choose has the possibility to make our world better and healthier.”Franck Musso – Senior advisor at Pleion Monaco
To hear more about this move and the vision of the Monaco Foundry, Fabrice Marquet has accepted to answer our questions :
Monaco Foundry seeks to fill the gap in the venture capital market. Investors do not have the time to be involved operationally with entrepreneurs and have to seek for volume to diversify their risks.
Incubators / accelerators provide office space, administrative assistance and at best some theoretical notions of structuring business but do not have the skills to develop businesses or to scale them globally. This passive approach leads to the current aberrant failure rate of > 90%, which reinforces the idea that venture capital is a risky and illiquid asset class. We want to break this vicious circle.
Monaco Foundry gives access to early-stage companies to world-class operators they don’t know, can’t approach on their own, let alone pay but who they badly need to grow quickly.
We position in the team of partners of companies in our portfolio, people such as executives of Fortune 500 companies, former presidential or government advisors, serial entrepreneurs or world references in AI and Machine Learning who actively build and grow the company with the founders on a daily basis. Our model is solely focused on long term value creation, we share the risks and the rewards with all the entrepreneurs we partner with.
Innovation & SDGs
Our vision is much wider and we want to be positioned all along the value chain. Our ambition is to source as many startups as possible worldwide, to identify future winners as early as possible and at the right time to automatically provide them with the right contacts and necessary capital to grow as quickly as possible.
The world is in desperate need, now more than ever, for innovation and for a new culture to be established. We hand-select our portfolio companies for the human values of their founders and the impact of their technology (alignment with the UN SDGs). We want to show young people that there is a path to success that does not imply compromission or submission to the old broken way of thinking.
We provide our founders with all the strategic and operational help they need – it’s up to them to tell us how much they need us. We become an additional co-founding partner but instead of being just one person, they have access to a whole pool of experience, network, expertise and above all, people who roll up their sleeves to get to work the same way.
We can help companies at any level of maturity but our sweet spot is in the seed stage usually when they already have a first version of the product (post-ideation). Our exit strategy is clear: for all of our companies we target corporate M&A within 3 years. It is the cornerstone of our strategic thinking. Who will buy our startups in 3 years? Why? What types of KPIs will this buyer want to see then? Then we work our way backward to establish the strategy but we also provide the operational follow-up to achieve those ambitious goals.
Venture Capital Investment
Today, traditional financial products are unattractive (bonds have negative returns, equities around 3% to 4% on average per annum). Venture capital is the only asset class that can offer double-digit multipliers in a very short time. As a result, global venture capital investments increased from $ 48 billion in 2010 to $ 322 billion in 2018, an increase of over 770%. There is therefore a huge opportunity to revolutionize wealth management in a gloomy context.
On the other hand, deploying venture capital is one thing, deploying it effectively is quite another. This is why our action is symbiotic with any investor, from private to institutional. Through our work we maximize the value of these investments over the long term. We believe that we are the ideal partner for an investor looking to enter this playing field and rely on our know-how to make sure his ROI is way above the market average based on a spray and pray approach.
Your local Footprint
We are humbled that a historic Monegasque family shares our vision and has invested in Monaco Foundry. This is a testament that they are truly concerned about the youth and that they believe, like us, that the status quo is not the answer. One of our core missions at Monaco Foundry is to empower the next generation to break the old way of thinking that is still ruling and ruining our world. KPMG have developed a startup program and Pleion are adapting their services and advice to the new generation. With these partners, the future of Monaco looks brighter and has great promise.
We are very keen on increasing our local footprint. Our goal is to always identify and relocate new economic models adapted to the constraints of Monaco which will contribute to the future development of our country.
Two of our startups, both newly incorporated in Monaco, have certainly been creating a buzz. They bring new avenues of development to historic sectors of our country that have been terribly suffering.
One of them is DWorld which is reinventing and innovating the retail business by offering them to jump directly to the era of virtual reality and give them access to international markets. DWorld is looking to disrupt the way people travel and socially interact by building a new virtual reality shop to create a need and want for V-Commerce.
In a real boost to tourism in Monaco, we target that DWorld will digitize the country, one neighborhood at a time. The first one (the Old City) developed hand in hand with the Monaco Government Smart City Program will be ready by the end of April. This VR hub will include corporate events, sport events, museums—and the VR hub will give free access to everyone and be able to monetize with shops, venue owners and the likes that participate. We are also in advanced discussions with two other Monegasque companies that we hope to announce very shortly – watch this space!
Interview de Fabrice Marquet – Monaco Foundry