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What’s driving France’s VC surge?

Written on November 20, 2016 by Yoram Wijngaarde

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France is having a blow out year in 2016, both in terms € amount of venture capital invested and by number of rounds. To understand better what is driving this growth, this posts looks into the numbers. The data below provides some insights, but also leaves some questions open.

Key findings:

  1. Activity started to pick up in 2015; accelerating further from Q1 2016
  2. Growth is happening across all round types
  3. It’s not just Paris. Growth is distributed across the country
  4. Slight increase in foreign funds, but not much

Download the 6-page slide deck, or view each page below with some additional insights.

In 2014 and 2015, French VC was less than half the size of Germany, but in 2016, France is overtaking Germany in both number of rounds and € invested.

Slide2

Given the fact that activity started to pick up in 2015, and accelerated since Q1 2016, we cannot attribute the growth to Brexit.

Slide3

Growth is happening across all round types, but the number of rounds increased most sharply in seed stage. Seed stage rounds have slowed down in many other countries, such as UK and Germany. Possibly, France is simply lagging these countries here.

Slide4

The number of rounds outside Paris is *tripling* in 2016. The rest of France is very distributed across over 150 cities. Many of these cities have 1 or 2 rounds for the first time in 2016.

Slide5

Contribution from French investors dropped slightly, from 60% in 2011-2013 to 50% in 2016. Not enough to be a key driver behind the growth.

Slide6