France

Paris #12

France has taken over Europe as the place where the most funding rounds happened in 2018. The next step is to turn our eurocentric scale-ups into global leaders.

Nicolas Brien
CEO at France Digitale

Highlights

With more than 10,000 startups nationwide, France has ambitions to become Europe’s largest startup ecosystem, with the government promising to invest $6 billion in the technology sector. One of the top attractions of Paris for startups is its central location with easy access to Europe’s most important capitals. London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, and Luxembourg are all less than 3 hours away. The city also boasts 21 of the best-ranked business schools in the world, which provide companies with a large pool of highly skilled talent. This wealth of talent also drives the ecosystem’s success as a center of innovation. Paris has the most research professionals, high-tech patents, and highest annual R&D spending in Europe. Paris is also a major business hub and hosts many corporate headquarters. Companies and labs are organized in 9 competitiveness clusters with over 4,300 members across sectors including cosmetics, high-tech healthcare, aeronautics, digital transformation, and sustainable cities. The city also hosts a number of top startup events, including Big Data & AI Paris, Hello Tomorrow Global Summit, and Viva Technology, Paris. Local success stories include online home improvement marketplace ManoMano, which has raised a total of $705.5 million over six rounds, crypto security company Ledger, which has raised a total of $468 million over eight rounds, and digital health insurance platform Alan, which has raised a total of $363.9 million over six rounds.

Ecosystem by the numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
$3.5 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$431 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
$47.1 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$10.5 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND
$1100 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$494 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND
$3.3 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$2.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY
$64 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$42.1 k

Sub-sector Strengths

Fintech

The Paris Fintech Forum is one of Europe’s biggest FinTech events. Paris is also home to Euronext, the EU’s biggest stock exchange by market capitalization ($4902 billion). Top-tier financial engineering programs at Paris Dauphine, Polytechnique, HEC and ESSEC business schools provide talent to the sub-sector. October, an online marketplace for business loans, raised $304.2 million in September 2020. AnaCap Financial Partners acquired payments platform Market Pay in a $362.93 million deal in February 2021.

AI, Big Data & Analytics

The Paris region's “2021 AI plan” aims to spur investment in AI. It includes 3 AI challenges, each offering €1 million to develop innovative solutions in three fields: industry, health and citizen’s life. The plan also funds AI proofs of concept in local SMEs and mid-caps, as well as the INNOV’up program, which makes Paris-based R&D centers eligible for funding and tax credits. Digital experience analytics platform ContentSquare raised a $500 million Series E in May 2021.

Reasons to move your startup to Paris

Access to Large Markets

Startups in Paris enjoy unrivaled access to one of the largest domestic markets in Europe, and easy access to a European market of more than 500 million consumers. The city is also a convenient gateway to African and Asian markets. A high-speed rail network offers fast and frequent connections to all major European cities. The area’s three international airports, all connected to the city center via the underground, offer direct connections to 260 destinations in 191 countries.

Supportive Ecosystem

An extensive network of 400+ incubators, digital fabrication labs,, and coworking spaces help international startups grow and succeed. The cost of office space in Paris is also well below that of other major international cities such as London, Tokyo, and San Francisco.

Startup Community

Startup Genome
Partners

50 Partners
France Digitale
Numa
Station F
The Family

Get connected

Are you interested in diving deeper into this ecosystem? Drop us a message. Our Ambassadors and Partners can plug you in.