NEWS AND INSIGHTS FROM FINTRX
Opportunities to allocate directly are more prevalent now than ever, and family offices are at the center of this growing trend. In utilizing the FINTRX family office data and research platform, which provides intel into thousands of direct deal transactions made by 3,090+ family offices worldwide, we explore three family offices directly investing in leisure and lifestyle companies worldwide.
Founded in 1956, Sofival Group (Blas and Lemoine Family Office) is a Paris, France-based single-family office managing the wealth of the Blas & Lemoine families. The firm traces its roots back to 1938 with the creation of Société des Téléphériques de Val d'Isère, a company specializing in the production and sale of ski lifts throughout Europe. In the 1970s, Bernard Blas, vice-president of Félix Potin, purchased the company. Blas grew the firm exponentially over the following thirty years, ultimately selling Société des Téléphériques de Val d'Isère in 2007. Upon the sale, Blas' holding company Sofival became the largest individual shareholder of the company. Throughout the 1990s, Sofival diversified its interests and expanded into the real estate, ski resort, leisure & lifestyle, and hospitality industries, among others.
Today, the firm allocates to a wide range of opportunities across several asset classes, including real estate, hedge funds, private equity, and direct investments. The firm invests primarily with a long-term mindset, deploying patient capital in familiar industries. Generally, Sofival Group makes multiple investments each year, selecting managers they believe to have unique and effective investment philosophies. In May 2016, the firm made an undisclosed investment in Sandaya, a group of four and five-star campsites spread throughout Europe. When allocating capital directly and to fund vehicles, the group regularly writes checks anywhere between $3M-$35M.
Sofival Group regularly co-invests alongside like-minded family offices and established investors. The firm seeks to take majority positions or large minority stakes in their portfolio companies. Geographically, Sofival primarily allocates throughout Europe, focusing heavily on French-based companies. Sectors and industries of particular interest include life and leisure, industrials, hospitality, sports, consumer goods, chemicals, manufacturing, and more.
Smith Family Circle is a Calabasas, CA-based single-family office managing the assets and business operations of Will Smith and the Smith family. With an estimated net worth of $250M, Will Smith is a renowned actor, musician, comedian, producer, and media personality. Throughout his career, Smith was nominated for two Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and is the recipient of four Grammy Awards. The Smith Family Office team provides the family with a range of personal and financial services, including business strategy, risk management, capital formation, and capital allocation.
The firm's primary focus is on venture capital, life science, and direct investments. Sectors and industries of interest include media, sports, entertainment, education, consumer goods, leisure & lifestyle, healthcare, retail, cosmetics, technology, robotics, artificial intelligence, medical, beauty products, financial services, health and wellness, business services, transportation, and science. Smith Family Circle primarily invests in Seed and Series A financings of companies, with a preference for companies in their first or second year of existence. They will consider later-stage investments on a case-by-case basis.
In July 2011, Smith Family Circle made a Series A investment in Stance, an American sock, underwear, and T-shirt brand founded in December 2009. The firm made a follow-on investment in February 2016. In May 2017, Smith Family Circle made a Series B investment in Away, an American travel and lifestyle brand. The firm has made several investments in additional companies such as Uber, One Inc., The Black Tux, Mattermost, Modern Meadow, tuition.io, Just Water, Fancy, G-Ro, Barefoot Scientist, Away, Bio Beats, Chromatik, Dollar Shave Club, Domo Technologies, and Double Robotics. Smith Family Circle is also an investor in professional sports teams, including the Philadelphia 76ers, and AS Roma. Additionally, the group is an impact investor and actively seeks new investments in the space.
Founded in 2000, Cinco Capital is a Hamburg, Germany-based single-family office serving as the investment vehicle for its founder Lars Hinrichs. Lars Hinrichs created his wealth through a series of entrepreneurial ventures and private investments throughout the 2000s. In his early twenties, Hinrichs founded Politik-Digital, initially a website and platform focused on German politics. The platform grew to become a widely used consultative website. Following his creation of Politik-Digital, Hinrichs founded The Open Business Club, which was later renamed XING, a social media website used to mediate businesses and students looking for employment. Aside from his business activities, Hinrichs was an active member of the Young Presidents' Organization and Young Global Leaders. In 2000, Lars Hinrichs established Cinco Capital to serve as his private investment vehicle.
Today, the firm invests in a wide range of opportunities both directly and through venture capital and private equity funds. Cinco Capital primarily focuses on companies domiciled in Europe and North America, focusing on German and American-based companies. The firm considers investing in private companies directly across all stages of investment, from seed to later-stage private equity rounds. Sectors and verticals of interest include technology, software, real estate, social media, business services, SaaS, media and entertainment, education, gaming, social media, sports, lifestyle & leisure, among others. In 2009, Cinco Capital made a seed investment in JamesEdition, the 'World's Largest Luxury Marketplace', serving the needs of high-net-worth individuals in life's most valuable personal transactions.
When investing in fund vehicles, Cinco Capital regularly allocates to European-based groups and has historically shown a propensity to invest in venture capital over later-stage private equity funds. The firm targets investments that address holes in the market and seek to solve problems in society. Historically, the group has co-invested alongside like-minded family offices and institutional investors. Past fund investments have included allocations to Atomico, Funding Circle, Founders Fund, and Seed Camp, among others.
With complete coverage of over 3,090+ family offices, 15,800+ family office contacts, and 19,600+ tracked investments, FINTRX ensures direct access to accredited investor intelligence. The FINTRX platform is an essential tool in understanding the family office landscape in the U.S. and abroad, while also empowering users to uncover commonalities with these family offices for effective, personal outreach.
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October 15, 2021
Renae Hatcher is a member of the marketing team at FINTRX - focused on delivering targeted & relevant family office and registered investment advisor content to our subscribers.