Carlyle partners with Inova in EUR60m deal

Global investment firm Carlyle (and Inova, a software provider for the biopharma industry, have announced a long-term funding partnership to accelerate growth, fund product innovation and M&A initiatives. 

Carlyle is investing EUR60 million and will become Inova's largest shareholder under the deal, while Management and historic investor NextStage AM have reaffirmed their strong commitment.

Headquartered in Lyon, France, with international offices in New York, Denver, and Tokyo, Inova is a market-leading software platform specifically dedicated to the life sciences industry, enabling pharmaceutical and biotech companies to collaborate on workstreams across their organizations. The company supports more than 150 global clients, including many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, and is at the forefront of digital transformation in biopharma collaborations. Inova’s flagship product, 'Inova Enterprise’, serves as a collaborative tool used to manage all processes related to outsourced innovation to laboratories and biotechs, enabling customers to source leads, execute transactions, manage alliances and virtual events.

Leveraging its significant experience across Technology and Healthcare, Carlyle will support Inova in entering its next phase of growth. The investment thesis is based on accelerating Inova’s international expansion, including strengthening its presence in China and the US, investing in the company’s innovative product suite and highly differentiated platform as well as strategic acquisitions.

Gilles Toulemonde, CEO of Inova, says: “We are fully committed to the digital transformation of life science partnering and, with Carlyle’s support, we will greatly accelerate our ambitious development plan to scale Inova and leverage our market-leading platform along the entire partnering value chain, from initial lead sourcing to alliance management. With Carlyle’s support, we look forward to accelerating our innovation roadmap and strategically acquire technologies that complement our global vision for biopharmaceutical partnering.”

Vladimir Lasocki, co-Head of Carlyle Europe Technology Partners, says: "We have been extremely impressed by Inova’s team and product leadership. We are delighted to partner with the company and see a tremendous opportunity to help further build their mission critical product suite, accelerate their global expansion, and become the leading platform serving the partnering industry which lies at the heart of life sciences. We believe that Inova has significant growth opportunities and look forward to leveraging our strategic industry knowledge and global network as the company enters its next phase of development."

Equity for the investment will be provided by Carlyle Europe Technology Partners (CETP) IV, a EUR1.4 billion fund that invests in technology-focused opportunities in Europe and the US. The acquisition of Inova represents another important milestone for CETP’s vertical software practice, following recent investments in 1E and the exits of NetMotion Software and Eggplant. The investment in Inova builds on Carlyle’s long-term global focus on Healthcare and Technology, sectors in which the firm has invested USD39 billion since inception.