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Capgemini expands with technology venture capital fund

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The logo of Capgemini is pictured during the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris
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By Simon Jessop

LONDON (Reuters) - Global business consultancy Capgemini is launching its first-ever investment fund, with plans to invest up to 90 million euros ($102 million) in early-stage technology companies.

Capgemini, which advises global companies on their organizational and technology needs, said its consultancy business would help accelerate the growth of the firms backed by the fund, which would be managed by asset manager ISAI Gestion.

"In the digital age, our clients are increasingly embracing open innovation and actively engaging with start-ups," Capgemini Chief Operating Officer Thierry Delaporte said.

The fund, called ISAI Cap Venture, will target companies looking to raise money in Series A, B and C funding rounds, and will also have the option of holding investments until they list, Capgemini said in a statement on Tuesday.

It will have a particular focus on Europe and invest between 1 million euros and 5 million euros in 15-20 companies. The life of the fund will be up to 10 years.

The investments are expected to be mostly identified through Capgemini's employee and business network, focusing on firms which have an "innovative solution", are in "sustainable IT" or which could be future software market leaders.

ISAI, well known in France as a leading tech investment fund, would work with the consultancy's newly created Capgemini Ventures unit.

Capgemini Ventures Executive Director Lucia Sinapi-Thomas said partnering with ISAI would allow Capgemini to be "immediately professional in something that is not our core business".

But with Capgemini already working with a number of start-ups across the world and connecting them to clients, having an investment arm would allow it to have "skin in the game".

(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Keith Weir)