French startups and VC on record track in 2021

2021 has been the most active year ever for startup investment and venture activity, but it has also been the most international. 

In partnership with La French Tech, we’ve looked under the hood of the French tech ecosystem in 2021.

Report - French startups and venture capital on record track in 2021

Record VC and enterprise value

Levels of VC funding and startup enterprise value are at an all-time high in France. VC investment in French startups has doubled in the past year alone, hitting €10.2B so far in 2021. While the combined enterprise value of French startups founded since 2000 is €179 billion, up 17.7x since 2010.

A clear driver of the growth in investment comes from the growing size and number of megarounds, those late-stage rounds of more than $100M.

As the French ecosystem and it’s startups mature, they are succeeding in attracting late-stage capital, increasingly from deep-pocketed international investors.

Surging unicorns

In 2021, France has overtaken both the Netherlands and Sweden for the number of unicorns it has created and nurtured. France is now home to 30 companies that have passed the billion dollar mark.

The rate of pace of unicorn creation in France is among the fastest in Europe. Since 2016 it has grown its number of unicorns 7.5x, albeit from a lower base than the UK or Germany. Paris is also the fastest growing unicorn hub in Europe, with unicorns up 8.3x in the last five years.

While 2021 has been a blockbuster year for startups and venture globally, France has capitalized on an increasingly distributed and globally-focussed venture market, attracting the attention of investors from around the world. It can now call itself both one of the fastest-growing and most mature ecosystems in Europe.

Report - French startups and venture capital on record track in 2021