Former Fondinvest exec launches VC secondaries firm

Emmanuel Roubinowitz launched Ponte Partners earlier this year and has hired a San Jose Police and Fire Retirement Plan board of trustees member.

A former partner at French fund of funds Fondinvest Capital has joined forces with an ex-Saints Capital executive to start a venture-focused secondaries firm, Secondaries Investor has learned.

Emmanuel Roubinowitz
Emmanuel Roubinowitz

Emmanuel Roubinowitz, who was US managing director at Fondinvest until 2014 and worked for the French firm for almost 11 years, launched Ponte Partners earlier this year to focus on the smaller end of the market. 

Based in San Francisco, Ponte acquires fund stakes as well as direct secondaries portfolios and has a strong focus on technology as well as consumer, business services and manufacturing sectors.

“The sheer number of VC-backed companies and the capital invested in them creates more and more attractive opportunities,” Roubinowitz told Secondaries Investor, adding that the firm is in San Francisco because the firm has extensive experience and contacts in the technology sector.

The firm, which invests in deals between $2 million to $100 million, is considering raising a blind-pool fund, having already received interest from limited partners, Roubinowitz said.

The firm’s investor base comprises family offices and financial institutions, according to its website.

Most recently, Roubinowitz was a senior advisor with Rothschild’s Five Arrows unit , according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to joining Fondinvest he was co-head of technology private equity at Nomura, the venture arm of Japan’s biggest brokerage firm.

Ghia Griarte, who spent 13 years at direct secondaries firm Saints Capital, joined Ponte in January. At Saints, she worked on sourcing, due diligence, transacting and managing portfolio companies, as well as on funds. She is also on the board of trustees for the $3 billion City of San Jose Police and Fire Retirement Plan.

There is increasing appetite for VC secondaries as investors which previously had deemed venture-backed companies too risky now consider them large and profitable enough to invest in, Roubinowitz said.