France

Paris #15

"France's startup ecosystem has transformed over the last few years. Today, we see leading entrepreneurs and investors from around the world gravitating towards France, resulting in record levels of funding that are powering new innovations and high-growth companies."

Roxanne Varta
Director, Station F
Top 10 Global Ecosystem in Talent & Experience
Top 10 Global Ecosystem in Funding
Top 10 European Ecosystem in Bang for Buck

Highlights

Paris has advanced its quest to become Europe’s largest startup ecosystem: the French capital’s greater metro area is now home to 12,000 startups, more than London and Berlin.


The government is working hard to build on this momentum. In October 2021, President Emmanuel Macron presented a €30 billion ($33 billion) France 2030 plan. Nearly €15 billion is dedicated to startups, including €5 billion for DeepTech startups and €1 billion for digital job training.


Launched by the French president in 2021, the Scale-Up Europe initiative brings together over 300 founders, investors, researchers, and corporations with the goal of making Europe home to ten tech giants valued at more than €100 billion ($109 billion) by 2030. A February 2022 Scale-up Europe conference was aimed at increasing European venture capital funds’ capacity to provide late-stage funding to EU-based startups and scaleups by creating a pan-European fund of funds.


La French Tech, a movement to promote the French tech scene launched in April 2022 in partnership with Jobteaser. It seeks to create a job board dedicated to startup jobs. VivaTec is an annual technology conference held in Paris. In 2021, Station F, a flagship entity for the tech community in France, launched an online component called Launch by Station F. The program enables entrepreneurs from anywhere to learn the basics to start a company. In February 2022, Ankorstore, which sells anything from homeware to food and fashion, raised an additional €250 million ($272 million) in new investment, raising its valuation to €1.75 billion ($191 billion) and making it France’s second unicorn.

Ecosystem by the Numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
(2019H2-2021)
$5 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$687 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(2019H2-2021)
$89 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$28.6 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$1.4 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$671 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$5 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2021)
$52 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$46 k
9.5 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
11.3 bn
532
GLOBAL AVG.
101
Amount ($)
Count (#)

Exits

(2017-2021)
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH TIER (2018/19 VS. 2020/21)
5
Calculated on a scale of
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2017-2021)
$23 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.5 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2017-2021)
9.2 years
GLOBAL AVG.
9.4 years

Sub-Sector Strengths

Fintech

Finance for Tomorrow launched in 2017 with the goal of making green and sustainable finance a key driver in the development of Paris as a financial center. The 2021 edition of its flagship event, Climate Finance Day, focused on accelerating the deployment of sustainable finance and democratizing its impact. Spendesk has raised a total of $311.8 million in funding over seven rounds, including a €100 million ($109 million) Series C in January 2022. P2P payment startup Lydia has raised a total of $262.6 million in funding over seven rounds.

AI, Big Data & Analytics

The 10th edition of Big Data & AI Paris, a major European AI event, took place in Paris in September 2021. Startup studio Kamet invests in Parisian startups engaged in sectors like Big Data analytics and IoT. Digital experience analytics platform Contentsquare has raised a total of $812 million in funding over five rounds. AI-driven decision automation and optimization company Shift Technology has raised a total of $545 million over 10 rounds, including a $220 million Series D in November 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 metro, offer direct connections to 260 destinations in 191 countries.

Government Support

The local and national governments support startups with tax incentives and other initiatives, such as infrastructure projects. French corporate tax has been progressively lowered since 2018, from 33% to 25% in 2022, which is close to the OECD average. France also beats the UK and Germany for its effective corporate tax rate on R&D. Companies spending on scientific and technical research benefit from a tax credit equivalent to 30% of their initial investment, up to €100 million ($109 million) per year.

Highly Educated Workforce

With 21 of the best-ranked business schools in the world, and three of the top five best-ranked master's degrees in management, there is a pool of highly skilled talent in Paris. The French capital is particularly rich in engineering talent, which comes in cheap compared to Silicon Valley, thanks in part to tax incentives for innovative projects.

Selected Startup Organizations

Startup Genome
Partners

50 Partners
France Digitale
Numa
Station F
The Family

Get connected

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