ICMIF member the IMA Group (France) has recently announced its investment strategy, part of which is to position itself as a “mentor accelerator” for start-ups. Each start-up which it invests in is considered as a completely separate partner. As an “accelerator mentor”, the IMA Group says it helps with the development strategies of start-ups without forcing them to create solutions exclusively designed for IMA.
The IMA Group has considered more than 100 investment opportunities studied since the fund was created in 2018, and the investment arm of the Group, IMA Participations, has invested EUR 3.2 million, 73% of which have gone towards the enrichment of services in mobility assistance, which is the Group’s main activity, including: emergency alerts for motorcyclists; the transportation of a vehicle following a claim or for maintenance; the expansion of vehicle rental capacities and replacement vehicles; amongst others.
Since 2018, 20 commercial projects have been launched with four shareholders of the IMA Group (MACIF, MAIF, MATMUT, Mutuelle des Motards) and initiatives have also been undertaken with major accounts. Many projects have been carried out in partnership with five start-ups (Liberty Rider, Pop Valet, Toolto, Carbookr, Coorganiz) in record time, accelerating the transformation of the IMA Group and the development of the start-ups concerned.
An investment philosophy based on a partnership approach, without speculative objective, in line with the strategy and values of the IMA Group
The aim of the investments made by IMA Participations is to accelerate the strategy of innovation and transformation of the work of the Group. At the heart of its strategy is the search for responsible partnerships with start-ups bringing direct added value to the Group’s areas of business (mobility, housing, health, well-being and legal). The objectives pursued by the IMA Group are to enrich its existing guarantees; to offer new services; provide new business models and stay one step ahead; and improve operational efficiency through automation. In the long term, the Group also aims to secure its strategic assets whilst anticipating the entry of new players on the market.
Criteria used by the IMA Group when considering possible investments:
- The vision of the start-up’s managers; the robustness of their business model; and their capacity
bring a strategic advantage to the Group
- The focus of start-ups on technology and/or services
- The quality of the relationship between the IMA businesses and the start-up teams
- Acquisition of minority stakes giving IMA an active role in governance and an openness to the integration of other investors
In the future, the Group intends to pursue this “win/win” strategy by favouring “off the shelf” solutions that do not fall within its core expertise. The objective is to benefit from the agility of start-ups without limiting themselves to short-term partnership approaches.
Nicolas Tissot, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of IMA GIE and Chairman, by delegation, of IMA Participations said: “Our investment strategy aims to build lasting partnerships with start-ups capable of accelerating our developments. It is a question of rapidly enriching our range of services for the benefit of our shareholders and key accounts, particularly in the field of Mobility at the heart of our assistance business. We position ourselves as a “accelerator mentor”. We are not looking for short-term financial gains and we do not intend to remain long-term shareholders of these start-ups as soon as they can fly on their own.”