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French GreenTech is blooming



With the number of startups more than doubling in a year, the French Greentech ecosystem is scaling up and is not ready to stop! Announced at Viva Tech in June, one of the objectives of the French Tech ecosystem is to have 25 green unicorns by 2030. The Nordic countries are not being outdone, with Sweden well on track to become the future European Sustainability Valley. Synergies are thus numerous between the Nordic ecosystems and the French one.

What is GreenTech?

Greentech, or green technology, is a term that covers all technologies and sciences aimed at reducing the human impact on the environment. Greentech is fully in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the European Union’s green objectives. They should make it possible to preserve the environment and existing natural resources and find alternatives for satisfying societal needs while reducing pollution and waste production. GreenTech should also replace current technologies with environmentally friendly solutions. All of this while combining an environmental, social, and economic vision.

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GreenTech: the core of La French Tech

At Viva Tech last June, the leading European startup and tech event held annually in Paris, Greentech was at the heart of the event. At this event, Emanuel Macron announced France’s ambition to have 25 green” unicorns by 2030.

Supporting the creation of Greentech startups is essential to ensure the emergence of tomorrow’s champions who will lead the green transition. It is not a coincidence that a significant part of the budget of France 2030, €54 billion, targets Greentech subjects: decarbonization, green hydrogen, low-carbon aircraft, and electric and hybrid vehicles, to name a few examples.

The French Greentech ecosystem is scaling up

Growing from 800 startups in 2020 to more than 1,800 startups, the French GreenTech ecosystem is now the 4th largest in Europe after Sweden, Germany, and the UK. GreenTech startups have generated a €3 billion annual revenue in 2021 and directly created over 60,000 jobs in Franc in the sectors of new energies, green industry, ecosystem conservation and environmental transition, agriculture and agri-food, clean mobility, and sustainable construction.

Through the Green20 program, France supports the emergence of technology champions of the ecological transition. The names of the 22 most promising GreenTech startups with the potential to become the sector’s international leaders were revealed last June.

French Tech Green20

In 2022, the French GreenTech ecosystem welcomed its first unicorns, Ecovadis, a leading global sustainability rating firm, and NW Group, a specialist in energy storage. With the Green20, the best is yet to come!

An excellence recognized worldwide

Investments in French GreenTech companies have skyrocketed as they have raised over €1.6 billion in 2021, thanks in particular to an increase in rounds over €100M such as Plastic EnergyVerkorBack Market, and Vestiaire Collective.

The talent, expertise, and innovative ideas of France’s Greentech ecosystem are recognized by international investors. For example, the French startup NetZero has been selected as one of the winners of the XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition launched by the Musk Foundation in April 2022.

The Nordic and French tech ecosystems are hyperdynamic and complementary

The Nordic startup scene is one of the most dynamic, driven by the stamina of Sweden. The “unicorn factory” has seen its total raised capital jump from $3.2 billion in 2020 to $7,8 billion in 2021, a record year for the Swedish ecosystem. In 2021, Sweden led VC investment in impact startups, €4.3 billion, thanks to a massive round for Nothvolt of €2.5 billion.

Finnish startups raised a total of €2 billion in 2021 alone, making it the highest annual amount on record. Foreign venture capital investors were well-represented, 46.6% of VC investment in Finnish startups in 2021 came from outside Europe.

On the other hand, French startups are also experiencing historical growth, exceeding $10 billion raised in venture capital so far in 2022 and on the right path to overcome the amount raised in 2021, already a record year.

Looking at the French Greentech ecosystem and the Nordic ecosystem, we see that French startups bring complementary solutions to the Nordic ones in the sectors of cybersecurity, fintech, healthtech/biotech/medtech, agritech, or retailtech.

Nordic Investors Greentech Days: assess Nordic investors’ interest in your solutions

To respond to Swedish decision-makers interests and needs as well as increase the synergies between Nordic and French ecosystems, Business France in Sweden will organize the first edition of Nordic Investors Greentech Days between 23 January and 10 February. This event will allow French startups to:

For more information on the event, please contact sandrine.ciupek@businessfrance.fr and apolline.rigaud@businessfrance.fr

Read more: What’s happening with La French Tech in 2022?