Qatalyst's Tardy-Joubert to Join Technology Fund Highland Europe

(Bloomberg) -- Jean Tardy-Joubert, who ran European operations for technology-focused investment bank Qatalyst Partners, has joined Highland Europe, a firm that provides growth capital to young companies in the region.

Tardy-Joubert will be an advisory partner at Highland, the London- and Geneva-based firm said in a statement, while remaining a senior adviser at Qatalyst. Highland, which typically makes investments ranging from 10 million euros ($12.3 million) to 40 million euros, has an active portfolio of about 25 largely software-focused companies, including analytics provider Nexthink and travel-booking service GetYourGuide.

The volume of capital entering the technology sector in Europe is growing rapidly as more investors look for ideas and brains beyond the familiar precincts of Silicon Valley, and governments seek to encourage innovation. About $19 billion was invested in European technology companies in 2017, up from less than $15 billion a year earlier, venture firm Atomico said late last year, with the biggest share in the U.K., Germany, and France.

“I am confident that new technology category leaders will increasingly come from Europe,” Tardy-Joubert said in the statement. “The ‘Old Continent’ can leverage its traditional strengths in sectors such as luxury, design, travel, automotive and many others.”

Tardy-Joubert joined Qatalyst, a San Francisco-based boutique founded by veteran banker Frank Quattrone, in 2009 to found its European business, after roles heading technology practices for the region at Merrill Lynch & Co. and Credit Suisse Group AG. At Qatalyst, he worked on deals including the $1.8 billion sale of travel site Skyscanner to China’s CTrip and the 2016 sale of SwiftKey, a provider of artificial intelligence-powered mobile keyboards, to Microsoft Corp.

Among Highland Europe’s current investments is a minority stake in MatchesFashion.com, the online apparel retailer that Apax Partners took control of in September.

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