Orano Venture Fund will run for five years and invest in about 20 industrial startups.

Image of Sandie Bonetti, manager at Orano Venture Fund, courtesy of LinkedIn.

French nuclear energy provider Orano has set aside €50m ($54m) to launch a corporate venture capital subsidiary called Orano Venture Fund.

Formed in partnership with deeptech venture capital firm Supernova Invest, the fund will focus on industrial startups developing technologies strategic to Orano.

Key investment areas include industrial performance and safety, advanced engineering technologies, and sustainable chemistry and new materials. Two experts from Orano will be on the CVC team.

The fund will invest in some 20 startups at pre-seed to series A stages based in France and other European countries, providing between €100,000 and €3m per deal. The capital will be deployed over five years, a third of which has been earmarked for follow-on deals.

Spun out of nuclear power group Areva in 2018, Orano’s businesses include uranium mining, nuclear fuel recycling and nuclear decommissioning, among other related activities.

“This new chapter reinforces Orano’s strategy focused on the future, innovation and the desire to develop knowhow for the transformation and control of nuclear materials for the climate, for health and a resource-efficient world,” said Sandie Bonetti, corporate venture manager at Orano, in a LinkedIn post. (Translated from French by Global Corporate Venturing)

David Claverie, Orano’s chief financial officer, said in a statement: “Our ambition here is to support high-potential startups in the fields of the circular economy and advanced industrial technologies, in order to meet the challenges of decarbonisation.”

Claverie told Sifted that while Orano will focus on early-stage investments, the firm may consider forming partnerships or acquiring some portfolio companies in the future.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.