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Investor Spotlight: Intuition Partner Etienne Boutan

On starting a €15m consumer tech fund: “If you're a consumer investor and you're backing early-stage deals, there's no competition."

Intuition General Partners and Co-Founders Hugo Amsellem (left) and Etienne Boutan.
Intuition General Partners and Co-Founders Hugo Amsellem (left) and Etienne Boutan.

Investing in consumer tech startups over the past couple of years has frightened away most VCs. But the co-founders of a new Paris-based early-stage fund believe that has left the playing field wide open.

In launching Intuition, Etienne Boutan and Hugo Amsellem are zigging whereas others are zagging. As interest rates rose, and the economy soured, the conventional wisdom took hold that the barriers were too high for building and scaling consumer startups. Along with 3 other venture partners, the team is in the process of raising a €15 million fund and building a community-based approach to finding and backing the most promising consumer startups.

“If you're a consumer investor and you're backing early-stage deals, there's no competition,” Boutan said. “There’s more opportunity to get into a better company at a great valuation.”

Teaming Up: Boutan was formerly a professional basketball player in Barcelona. But when the NBA didn’t come calling, he decided to go back to school and study entrepreneurship. That led to various jobs in finance, banking, and venture capital.

In 2019, he landed in Paris where he co-founded Heex, a data and AI platform for businesses, which has raised almost €10 million in venture capital. As Heex grew, Boutan said he found he was losing interest in B2B, and so began investing as a Business Angel. “I started investing in companies that I was really passionate about,” he said.

He joined forces with friend and fellow basketball player Alex Toupane to identify possible deals and made a handful of investments together that included Sorare and Wethenew which proved successful. That inspired them to form Deimos which facilitated early-stage investments via clubs of entrepreneurs, investors, and successful athletes.

Boutan said Deimos was structured as a holding company that raised two rounds of capital from investors. He would scout the deals and present the deals to the Deimos community. If a majority voted in favor, Deimos would write a check. Deimos backed 15 companies, primarily for consumer startups.

This investing network eventually led to him meeting Hugo Amsellem, who had also developed a focus on consumer startups. Amsellem was previously one of the first employees of Paris-based incubator The Family where he worked on building community and organizing events before moving to Berlin to oversee a new branch before leaving in 2019.

Along the way, Amsellem also became an active Business Angel, writing checks to startups such as Beehiiv,, Folk, Semper, and Shipfix. He also joined Jellysmack’s Creator Fund to invest in creatives.

The pair felt their backgrounds were complementary. Boutan has raised money while Amsellem had experiences with communities and founders. “We thought we could build something really cool,” Boutan said. “As angels, we own invested only in consumer, and nobody wanted to touch it over the past few years.”

The Fund: Intuition’s founders see consumer tech has bigger exits, but fewer of them. So, to pick the winners, the goal is to make a high volume of investments with small check sizes. Intuition hopes to make 40-50 deals in Europe and the U.S. over the next 3 to 4 years.

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