- France is having a record year for VC funding and has minted a bevy of new unicorn startups.
- Tech startups have raised $6.6 billion in 2021 so far, eclipsing the $5.2 billion raised last year.
- Top-tier backers like SoftBank and Coatue have invested heavily into the country’s tech scene.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
French tech is booming.
Like much of Europe and the US, France has benefited from an uptick in venture capital investment, helping it to a record year in 2021 so far.
The higher amount of capital has, in turn, bolstered valuations and France has minted nine new unicorns in 2021.
Overall, France attracts lower amounts of venture capital than other markets in Europe, such as the UK.
But Dealroom data indicates that growth in the number of startups valued above $1 billion is outpacing the UK, the US, China, and Israel.
And as seen in this chart, French tech startups have raised $6.6 billion so far this year, eclipsing the $5.2 billion invested in 2020. It’s also attracting substantially more megarounds.
“There is a new cohort of founders with clear, aggressive, and global ambition — and their ambition is finally fueled with a much richer and diverse pool of capital, supported by local and international top tier investors ready to foster their ambitious with a much less risk-averse mindset,” said Antoine Nussenbaum, partner and cofounder at London-based Felix Capital. Felix is an investor in French crypto wallet startup Ledger.
Experience analytics startup Contentsquare raised France’s biggest funding round to date earlier in the year, with $500 million in a Series E led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, at a nearly $3 billion valuation.
It may be outgunned by soccer NFT trading startup Sorare, which sources told Insider is anticipated to raise an expected $532 million. If the deal goes ahead Sorare would become France’s 17th unicorn and the tenth of 2021 alone.
“I think this first half of the year is the continuation of years of ground work where more ambitious companies have been created in a friendlier ecosystem with more and more talent,” Jean-Charles Samuelian, founder and CEO of French health insurance unicorn Alan said.
Meet France’s unicorn class of 2021: