#412
Allez Les Bleus

Published:

Nov 06, 2021


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Published:

Nov 06, 2021


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France has historically been the go-to destination for many things - including food, wine, art, and even football. Until recently, VC (and fintech) funding was not high on that list. However, things are materially changing, much to the joy of French President Emmanuel Macron, who in 2019 announced a €5b fund to support tech investments as well as issuing special tech visas.

In the first half of the year, venture capital funding for French startups totaled €4.6b across 381 deals, representing over 70% of the total invested in 2020. For fintech specifically, startups have raised a total of €1.9b as of September, behind only the UK and Germany (and therefore tentatively ahead of Sweden). This is more than double the amount of capital France attracted in 2020.

Paris has now become a major fintech hub as well, in part due to more friendly regulation than some of its neighbors, in addition to the fallout from Brexit, which has seen an exodus of finance professionals and other skilled workers from the U.K. Participation from overseas investors has also played a huge role - 50% of the funding above €15m in France now includes a U.S. fund.

Recent notable investments include NFT platform Sorare and cloud-based e-commerce software company Mirakl, which together raised more than $1b on a record-setting day in September. Employee benefits card and app Swile and ed-tech company 360learning both raised $200m in the past few weeks as well.

France is now responsible for an impressive 20 unicorns, but in spite of all the recent success, the country has yet to see major exits on a meaningful scale. As we head into the 2022 World Cup next year, the biggest question mark will be around if startups can pull off the ultimate win...a la Les Bleus in 2018 (and 1998). Or will it end up like the last Euro…?

Portfolio News


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Allez Les Bleus


French startups are pulling in record funds—and catching up with the U.K. - In 2017, when newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron said, “I want France to be a startup nation,” his detractors used his phrase to mock him. If anything, France was struggling to attract venture capital, with the annual number of investments into startups falling in 2016, lagging both the U.K. and Germany, according to data from Pitchbook. But now, fledgling French companies are raking in investor funds. Read more

France’s bid to become fintech hub is working, as funding levels overtake Nordics - France is now among the top three destinations in Europe for fintech investors, new data shows, having narrowly overtaking Sweden for the first time. The investment milestone follows a concentrated effort by French politicians to make the country into a startup nation, with the local government dedicating $4b to support young businesses, as well as issuing special tech visas. Read more

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Industry News


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Select Financings


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