Paris is an epicenter of innovation, attracting individuals and startups eager to tackle complex challenges and shape a better future. In this vibrant ecosystem, startups can leverage an unparalleled combination of market opportunities, funding, infrastructure, and top talent to test and accelerate their ideas. This makes Paris ideal for those looking to make a positive impact and drive meaningful change at the intersection of societal, environmental, economic, and digital transformation.
Paris dominates the French startup scene and is a consistent European leader. The capital city is home to more than 8,000 startups, as well as the world’s largest startup campus, Station F. The Paris-Saclay campus, a leading R&D hub, hosts the continent’s largest concentration of researchers. Launched in 2019, the French Tech Next40/120 program aims to support French startups in becoming world-class technology leaders and act as a laboratory for innovation policies.
French startups raised €11.9 billion in 2022, with a total of 358 startups raising a round at an average of €33 million each. In January 2022, the nation reached French President Emmanuel Macron’s target of 25 unicorns by 2025 three years ahead of schedule. In 2020–2022, France had a 2.2x net inflow of founder and leadership talent.
Resonance, a €150 million VC fund was launched in 2022. IRIS Capital reached a €110 million first close for its new €150 million fund. In 2022, Sista, which campaigns for more funds for female founders, announced its first close of €30 million — with a final target of €100 million. Paris-based VC firm Quantonation is the first dedicated quantum fund in Europe. The Paris 2023 Q1 Venture Capital World Summit gathered a global community of investors and investees in February 2023. The Venture Capital Forum was held in Paris in October 2022. VivaTech is held in Paris each year, attracting innovators and tech leaders from around the world. The Women in Tech Global Summit was held in May 2023.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
Paris is France’s leading Fintech ecosystem. At Paris Climate Finance Day in October 2022, the creation of the Institute for Sustainable Finance was announced. Digital native credit provider Younited has raised a total of €483.8 million over 11 rounds. Descartes Underwriting has raised $140.8 million over four rounds. Qonto, a provider of financial tools for SMEs, raised a €486 million Series D in January 2022, one of the largest rounds in French history. Spend management software company Spendesk has raised $311.8 million over seven rounds.
With more than 1,800 startups, the French Cleantech ecosystem is one of the largest in Europe. In June 2022, President Macron announced France’s ambition to have 25 green unicorns by 2030. €54 billion of the France 2030 budget targets Cleantech industries. Techstars Sustainability Paris was launched in 2022, and VC firm Satgana closed a target €30 million fund to back Cleantech startups. A $500 million funding round in June 2022 made sustainability data firm EcoVadis the first ever sustainability data unicorn.
AI, Big Data & Analytics
Paris AI Week showcases the French AI ecosystem. Big Data & AI Paris 2022 attracted 15,000 participants in September 2022. Digital experience analytics company Contentsquare closed a $600 million growth investment round in July 2022, bringing its total funding to $1.4 billion.
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Paris
Companies that expand into France can take advantage of the country’s population of 67.3 million domestic consumers as well as easy access to the wider European Union market. The French economy is the third largest in Europe, and the unemployment rate remains consistently low.
Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport is the second busiest airport in Europe, and France also has one of the most developed railway systems in the world. With its six train stations, Paris is well connected to much of Europe by rail. The Eurostar takes travelers from Paris to London in just 2 hours, 15 minutes. Plans to connect Paris and Madrid with a high-speed train line by the end of 2024 were announced in 2022.
Excellent Educational Institutions
Paris is home to 21 top-tier business schools and a top engineering university. Insead ranked #2 overall in the 2023 Financial Times Global MBA ranking. HEC Paris is among the top 10 universities in Europe for producing graduates that go on to produce unicorn startups. More than 10,000 students University of Paris Saclay are involved in entrepreneurial development programs.
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