Good times for Fintech in France

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La French Tech is riding on the digitalization of the finance industry. Successful exits are igniting a virtuous cycle.

In early June, the world’s leading innovators in the financial space gathered at the Money20/20 event in Amsterdam. French Tech was definitely in the place with 23 fintech startups represented. Good times are ahead. French fintech startups are riding on digital disruption, launching new apps – and benefiting from the impact of Brexit. They raised a record €365m ($412m) in 2018, a 15% increase year over year (*). Four scale-ups even made roundtables exceeding €20m ($22.6m): Qonto (B2B neobank), Alan (insurtech), October (crowdfunding platform) and Ledger (wallets for crypto-currencies).

Money 20/20 in Amsterdam - June 2019

Strong Industry

Little wonder that Paris Fintech Forum hosted more than 220 CEOs and 2,600 participants from 60+ countries in January. Finance has long stood out as a strong industry in France.

Financial services is the largest business sector in Paris, and it includes six Fortune 500 companies with combined revenue above $500bn

2019 Global Ecosystem Report

After screening 150 cities, the research group ranked Paris as the #9 startup ecosystem worldwide across all industries – it was #11 in the prior ranking dated 2017. The authors point out fintech as an area of specific strength. They notably mention payment app Lydia and neobank Qonto, which raised $16m and $23m in 2018 respectively.

Another great success is Lemon Way, a pan-European payment platform dedicated to marketplaces and crowdfunding platforms. Leader in France, Italy and Spain, it has opened 5.7 million payment accounts to end-users in Europe.

Getting traction

“The French ecosystem can boast two major differentiators: an excellent network of engineering schools and several global players in the banking industry”

Mikael Ptachek, Fintech expert at KPMG

French startuppers aspire to mimic the success of fellow entrepreneurs like David Gurlé, founder of Symphony, or Jean-Luc Robert, CEO of Kyriba. The French fintech industry has seen numerous exits in the last two years like the purchase of neobank Compte Nickel by BNP Paribas or the acquisition of crowdfunding website KissKissBankBank by La Banque Postale. Lucky investors are now reinvesting their gains into future fintech champions. A virtuous cycle is ignited.