What’s happening with La French Tech in 2022?
Once upon a time, twenty-six unicorns… This is how the fabulous fairy tale of French unicorns could begin. In early 2022 alone, five new unicorns have already appeared, outstripping the target of 25 unicorns by 2025! FinTech start-ups have been particularly active in 2021 and many of them have joined the select Next40 and FrenchTech120 rankings.
Now, the government wants to take advantage of these dynamics to reindustrialize France and continue strengthening its competitiveness. An ambition that the government also wishes to extend to the European level during its presidency of the council.
Good progress for La French Tech!
In 2019, France set itself to reach 25 unicorns by 2025. This goal has been met in less than three years. 15 new French unicorns have joined the kingdom of the French Tech – including only 3 in 2020 and 12 in 2021. Since the beginning of 2022 alone – in less than 18 days – France counts 5 new unicorns! An excellent start for 2022 after a record year in 2021, where La French Tech collectively raised €11.6 billion, an increase of 115% in 2020 (€5.4 billion).
Although some European partners have seen a more robust increase in fundraising, France still stands out for the number of deals carried out. 782 compared to 586 in 2020, i.e., a rise of 33.5% (source: Madyness, 2021). Moreover, in 2021, 20 fundraising deals were bigger than or equal to €100 million, making 10 of the 13 highest deals in French Tech announced in 2021 only.
Almost half of the new unicorns are specialized in FinTech. Ledger offers cryptocurrency gesture solutions. Lydia enables mobile payment. Swile manages employee benefits. Sorare is a fantasy football game with crypto-currencies. And, Younited enables online credit. Now, France wants to propel industrial and technological unicorns. Funding has been presented as part of the France 2030 strategy. La French Tech is expected to become one of the main drivers of the country’s reindustrialization.
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French hot start-ups to watch in 2022
Since 2019 and every year, Next40 and French Tech 120 ranks highlight the most promising French Tech start-ups for the future. FinTech and HealthTech start-ups are highly ranked among the new members of these lists! Like start-ups in the Nordic countries, these are the first two most dynamic sectors of French Tech:
- 13 FinTech and AssurTech have €2.8 billion combined funding.
- Particularly, FinTech outperformed: €2.55 billion were raised, i.e., a rise of +175% compared to 2020, for a total of 79 deals.
- 10 HealthTech, MedTech, and BioTech capitalize €2.1 billion.
These indexes are also reliable for reporting future successes! Today, half of the start-ups on the Next40 index are unicorns. And, initially ranked in the #Next40 index, OVHcloud and Believe have left these indices after their successful IPO!
Read more: The French Tech Dashboard – #Next40 #FT120
In 2022, 13 start-ups entered the 120 most promising start-ups!
Notably, in FinTech and InsurTech:
- Alma — payment in installments for merchants
- Spendesk — business expense management for companies
- Swile — employee benefits and engagement management
- Lydia — mobile payment (1M users, 2,000 accounts/day)
- Descartes Underwriting — insurance for companies against natural disasters
And other innovative start-ups:
- 360 Learning — EdTech — creating a ‘learning organization’ where employees can share their knowledge with others (1200 clients across 160 countries)
- Aledia — CleanTech — microLED screens and components (better battery life for mobile devices, better readability, sharper colors)
- Ankorstore — Retail — BtoB platform that facilitates exchanges between brands and physical outlet
- DNA Script — BioTech — accelerating innovation in life sciences and technology through a rapid DNA synthesis
- I@D Infinity — PropTech — agency-free real estate network that relies on digital and freelancers
- Lifen — MedTech — secure and straightforward medical messaging to send and receive medical mail between healthcare professionals.
- Loft Orbital Tech — SpaceTech
- Lumapps — HR WorkTech — internal company and external communications on social networks; connecting employees within a structure, enabling them to collaborate more effectively, and engaging them through the social and collaborative intranet
- Sorare — MediaTech — cryptocurrency through fantasy football (over 20,000 users)
Towards a European Unicorn Tech Community
By comparison, when France raises €11.6 billion, the UK remains ahead with €32.36 billion (+155%) with Germany and its €16.21 billion raised (+209%). Similarly, Sweden shows outstanding results with €7.61 billion raised (+148%). Moreover, compared to its population, Stockholm is the second-largest producer of unicorns in the world after Silicon Valley! Spotify, Skype, King, Mojang, Klarna, SoundCloud, Izettle, Truecaller, and, above all, Northvolt, a manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles, with a record round of €2.33 billion.
Read more: President Emmanuel Macron with Atomico Founding Partner & CEO Niklas Zennström to discuss the role European entrepreneurs will play in addressing large-scale global challenges and fuelling economic growth
During its office as President of the EU Council, France has set a new objective: “10 tech giants at the European level”. France wants to put digital technology on the agenda for the upcoming months. “The French Presidency is the first to establish the ‘European Innovation Area’ as a priority. This is a solid signal,” said Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation and Youth, in an interview with Madyness (in French) on 26 January 2022.
Read more: French Presidency of the EU – Informal Meeting of Ministers for Industry and for the Internal Market
France’s innovative ecosystem: new investments for industrial and DeepTech unicorns
For example, the young Finnish unicorn Aiven, specializing in the cloud, pursues its development strategy in Europe by opening a new office in Paris, France. It shows the importance of France’s innovative ecosystem! New unicorns are expected to join the French market as the government has announced new investments, particularly for industrial and DeepTech unicorns. Structural reforms of the French economy are also creating a more welcoming environment for generating more investment!
Read more: Investing in France means being fiscally supported!
Article written by Samy Trabelsi
© Image credit: La French Tech