I’ve been in the French tech industry since 2009 and as far as I remember I’ve never seen 2 weeks like what we’ve just seen in France.
Blablacar raised a megaround to further speed up its growth. Deezer & Showroomprive announced their IPO. OVH laid out big expansions plans announcing $1B turnover by 2018. Leetchi got bought. Maturing startup iAdvize announced a large serie B fundraising. Newly born startups like Livementor announced their seed round (with tech entrepreneurs fund ISAI and angels like Nicolas Brusson from Blablacar & Thibaud Elzières from Fotolia).
All that in ~10 days. In France. Wow!
I’ve already written on why I’m long French Tech but I didn’t think things would move so quickly.
Watch closely all these news: what we have here is the whole startup food chain:
1. New startups born
2. Capital deployed to find & execute product /market fit
3. Capital deployed to scale growth (hello Blablacar )
4. Exits (both M&A and IPOs)
5. Benefits from these exits reinvested in the ecosystem.
France was historically weak on points 3 – 4 – 5. Things are finally getting into motion.
As Mark Mc Leod puts it (about the Canadian ecosystem but it equally applies in France): “I can’t overstate the importance of having big stand alone tech companies here. They produce talent that knows true scale. They prove to investors that we can build tech giants here. They create angels that fund the next generation. They acquire other startups, employ lots of people and create a virtuous cycle in our ecosystem. This is why the Valley goes from strength to strength.”
The fact is our economy is overweight on large industrial giants created a long time ago ; believe it or not, the average lifespan of the CAC 40 is > 100 years old. I think any well-balanced modern economy needs to include technology. That needs to be the next leg of the French economic engine.
It seems we might just be getting there.
- The pipe looks exciting (Sigfox, Withings, Drivy, Algolia, Captain Train, you name it).
- I believe that it’s just a start for macro & micro reasons.
- Of course, there’s still a lot of work to do. We are at 1% of what the French Tech can achieve.
As I look forward to 2016-2017, I hope that we will start to see more companies exit or raise megarounds. I hope they will use that new currency to keep growing or nurture the ecosystem. I hope these capital gains spur new demand for more tech companies, and I hope VCs will thus funnel more money into more startups.
Lots of hope.