France-based institutional investors have committed to pour €5bn ($5.5bn) in the domestic tech industry within the next three years, thus confirming the attractivity of the ecosystem. More unicorns to come!
International investors increasingly trust La French Tech. In the first semester of 2019, France-based startups raised €2.8bn ($3.1bn), a 43% increase over prior year. They ranked #2 in Europe, ahead of Germany-based startups, according to a report by EY. Twelve operations exceeded €50m ($55m), not least medtech Doctolib, photo specialist Meero and procurement software Ivalua. Those three scale-ups became unicorns, which means that their valuation is now exceeding $1bn.
The ecosystem is gaining size and maturity, but it still needs more funding traction to generate global category leaders like BlaBlaCar, the Paris-based website boasting the world’s largest carpooling community. To that end, the main institutional investors in France – asset managers, banks and insurers including Axa, Natixis, Aviva and Allianz – just announced their commitment to invest €5bn ($5.5bn) in the French tech ecosystem in the next three years.
That significant amount will be split into two parts. Around €2bn ($2.2bn) will be invested in France-based VC funds focusing on late-stage roundtables, above €50m. The remaining €3bn ($3.3bn) will be provided to France-based asset managers betting on tech champions that are potential candidates for IPOs.
To reinforce the dynamic, President Emmanuel Macron hosted 40 international VC funds and institutional investors (including Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners and Y Combinator) on September 17 and 18 for a so-called “Scale-Up Tour”, with the aim of attracting foreign capital for France-based entrepreneurs and VC funds.
That fresh money will undoubtedly facilitate the emergence of tech leaders in the country that created the word “entrepreneur”.