Sofinnova Ventures Holds First Closing on SVP VI and Promotes Buatois To Managing Director

With SVP VI, Sofinnova Ventures Will Continue Its Successful Long-Time

Strategy of Investing in a Diversified Collection of High Growth

Early-Stage Companies

Sep 25, 2002, 01:00 ET from Sofinnova Ventures

    SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Sofinnova Ventures, a
 San Francisco venture firm investing in early stage information technology and
 life science companies, carried out its first close on Sofinnova Venture
 Partners VI, and has over $100M in closed and subscribed commitments.  With
 this new fund, Eric Buatois, who concentrates on communications investments,
 becomes Sofinnova's newest Managing Director.  He joined the firm as a
 Principal in July 2001.
     "We view Sofinnova Ventures as a strong up-and-coming force within the
 venture community," said Diane Sterthous, Managing Director of Glenmede Trust
 Company, a returning U.S. investor.  "This notion was reinforced resoundingly
 by a number of our VC contacts.  Given Sofinnova Ventures' strong track record
 and impressive team-building, they offer a refreshing alternative to some of
 the larger more historied firms in the valley."
     "VenCap likes Sofinnova Ventures' long track record of successful
 early-stage investing.  We believe that now is the right time to invest in
 early-stage companies, and we like Sofinnova's approach" said
 Michelle Ashworth of Vencap International in Oxford, UK.
     Returning LPs in the first close include:  AGF Private Equity, Credit
 Agricole, Glenmede Trust Company, Swiss Life, VenCap International, Venture
 Capital Management (Munich) and the GP for a 4% commitment level, whereas new
 LPs include Wilshire Private Markets Group, and Credit Suisse Germany.
     SVP VI will follow the same investing strategy as their current fund,
 SVP V, a $220 million fund raised in 2000.  The firm now has five managing
 directors and two recently added venture partners and is actively investing in
 early stage information technology and life sciences companies.
     "Our industry-balanced investment strategy has yielded top-quartile
 returns for the last three funds.  Our LPs agree with us that now is a good
 time to be investing in early-stage companies, as many of tomorrow's successes
 are being founded today," commented Sofinnova Ventures Managing Director
 Alain Azan.
     Sofinnova Ventures also announced the promotion of Eric Buatois to
 Managing Director with the formation of the SVP VI fund.  Sofinnova Ventures
 Managing Director Robert Carr said, "Eric will be a tremendous asset to the
 fund.  With his deep technical background, solid judgment and international
 contacts, he is already making his mark for the future.  Since he has been
 with us, he has favorably impacted the quality of our deal flow and made
 promising new investments."
     Buatois' current investments are in Silicon Valley-based companies
 HelloSoft, a provider of DSP solutions for wireless and VOIP networks, and
 Salira, a provider of optical access systems, as well as France-based
 VoluBill, provider of mobile content and transaction billing mediation
     Prior to joining Sofinnova Ventures, Buatois had a 14-year tenure with
 Hewlett-Packard, where he had business management, full P&L, and global
 strategic responsibilities through leadership roles based in Europe and the
 United States.  He joined H-P's French operations in 1987 to lead product
 strategy for the company's Telecom Systems business unit, which encompassed
 global divisions.  In 1994, he relocated to Sweden, where he served as
 Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Ericsson Hewlett-Packard
 Telecommunication AB, a $200 million global joint venture specializing in
 network management systems and billing systems for service providers.  He also
 served on the Board of EHPT.  In 1998, Buatois moved to H-P's U.S.
 headquarters, where he became General Manager of H-P's $340 million
 Communication Solutions business unit.  Prior to H-P, Buatois worked at
 Texas Instruments from 1983 through 1987 as both engineer and European Product
 Manager for Digital Signal Processors.
     About Sofinnova Ventures
     Sofinnova Ventures is a trans-Atlantic venture capital firm that is based
 in San Francisco, California.  Founded in 1976, Sofinnova Ventures is one of
 the oldest venture firms.  The firm emphasizes a diversified investment
 strategy through financing seed and early-stage companies in the
 communications, information technology and life science sectors.  The firm's
 mission is to create value by providing entrepreneurs with the collective
 resources, experience and network necessary to build early-stage companies
 into profitable businesses.  With strong ties to Europe's leading financial,
 technology and venture organizations, Sofinnova helps U.S. companies rapidly
 enter Europe's growing markets, and European companies to develop a strong
 presence in U.S. markets.  Historically, Sofinnova has been associated with
 leading companies such as Biogen, Collagen, Genentech, Printronix, Tandon and
 Tandem Computers. More recently, Sofinnova invested in Actelion, Aviron,
 InterMune, Millennium Pharmaceuticals,, Premisys, Element 14 and
 Tumbleweed Communications. Sofinnova Ventures currently has five Managing
 Directors and two Venture Partners, with $450M under management.  For more
 information, visit
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