Cathay Innovation Taps Silicon Valley AI Entrepreneur and ex-Walmart Executive Bruno Delahaye as Partner to Lead Consumer Venture Capital Practice
September 15, 2023
Firm continues to deepen industry expertise in AI and key verticals including consumer, fintech, digital health and energy
New Paris-based Partner follows latest expansion with launch of €1B global fund
Today, venture capital firm Cathay Innovation announced the appointment of Bruno Delahaye as Partner in Paris, leading its consumer practice investing in early to growth stage startups across Europe, the US and Asia. This includes companies focused on AI, data and software applications to retail, e-commerce, specialized online marketplaces and more.
The news follows the launch of its €1B global venture capital fund (one of the largest multistage VC funds out of Europe) dedicated to investing in and supporting founders transforming tomorrow’s industries. To do this, Cathay Innovation has built unparalleled industry access into its model with leading corporations and brands as investors and active strategic partners in their funds and potential customers to startups. It also places an emphasis on deep industry expertise and know-how amongst the investment team, having brought on Operating Partners in each of its key investment sectors: consumer, fintech, digital health and energy / mobility.
Delahaye, who first joined Cathay Innovation as an Operating Partner for the Consumer vertical in November 2022 before being appointed Partner, brings 20 years of experience in AI and machine learning (ML), data analytics, retail and retail media. Based in Paris after over 12 years in Silicon Valley, he has gained invaluable experience in building, transforming and scaling teams and companies from his time at US ML startup KXEN (acquired by SAP in 2013); as CEO of Reach Analytics, an ML cloud company focused on predictive marketing technology (acquired in 2019); and as Head of Analytics for Walmart Connect, the multibillion dollar retail media business unit supporting thousands of advertisers within the world’s largest retail company — Walmart.
In his new role, Delahaye will leverage this expertise to support Cathay Innovation’s consumer portfolio companies while identifying new opportunities for investment, innovation and growth. His goal is to reinforce Cathay Innovation’s already strong track record in the field with notable investments in consumer-focused companies such as Pinduoduo (NASDAQ:PDD), the Chinese e-commerce giant; Glovo, the Spanish deliver anything app acquired by Delivery Hero; Reebelo, a US and Southeast Asian e-commerce platform for refurbished electronics; Waysia (formerly Alorsfaim), the leading French e-supermarket for Asian goods; Ghost, a members-only B2B marketplace for surplus inventory and Cathay Innovation’s latest US investment.
“In an era where convenience meets customization, the consumer sector is undergoing a revolution. From personalized experiences and sustainable choices to seamless digital interactions, the trends of today’s consumer landscape are defined by a dynamic fusion of individuality, conscious consumption, and tech-driven engagement. With these trends in mind, it is with the utmost pleasure that I’m joining Cathay Innovation as a full-time Partner to which I will contribute my +20-year experience in the field of AI that is fast becoming a cornerstone of the retail industry. I look forward to leveraging my international background, retail and startup to scaleup experiences to help identify tomorrow’s leaders of the tech enabled consumer space,” said Bruno Delahaye, Partner at Cathay Innovation.
“Today, the support that venture capitalists provide startup founders must go far beyond capital — it requires a detailed understanding of the business, the market in which they operate and the ecosystem of which they are a part of. Bruno’s experience and background not only as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, but as a key player in the rise of retail media in the US, is exactly the kind of knowledge and expertise we aim to bring scaleups we support in Europe and around the world. Further, his in-depth knowledge of machine learning and AI comes at a critical time of cross-industry transformation that is sure to benefit all stakeholders, startups and corporates alike,” said Denis Barrier, Co-Founder of Cathay Innovation.
About Cathay Innovation
Cathay Innovation is a global venture capital firm, created in affiliation with Cathay Capital, investing in startups at the center of the digital revolution across Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Its global platform unifies technology investment across continents, investors, entrepreneurs and leading corporations to accelerate startup growth with access to new markets, invaluable industry knowledge and introductions to potential partners from the start. As a multistage fund with over $2B assets under management and offices across San Francisco, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore, Cathay Innovation partners with visionary entrepreneurs and startups positively impacting the world through technology.