What awaits 2022 for startups in France?


The French tech ecosystem has made a giant leap in 2021, but could 2022 be the year the country will receive its first technological decacorn?

Sifted asked eight French entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem leaders to look in their crystal balls – and a boom in deeptech, femtech and edtech are among the themes they are seeing.

Nicolas Julia, CEO of Sorare

The unicorns were so 2021; 2022 is for the decacorns

In 2020, President Macron said France should have 25 unicorns by 2025. At the time, France lagged behind the UK and Germany, with just nine companies valued at over d ‘a billion dollars. However, since then France has grown into a thriving tech ecosystem and spawns some of the fastest growing companies in Europe and around the world. This has led France to already beat Macron’s goal, according to Atomico’s recent report on the state of European technology, now numbering 31 unicorns. There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur in France and Europe and I expect to see more than 60 unicorns in France by 2025, with more than five “decacorns”.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the first French decacorn emerge next year.

We need to be more ambitious in terms of French Tech. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the first French decacorn emerge next year, but the ultimate goal is for several global tech giants to be built in France. Providing the right environment to generate these kinds of tech giants should be a priority for France in 2022.

Nicolas Julia, CEO and co-founder of Sorare

We will see the first French decacorn. In view of the meteoric growth of French startups in 2021 and the speed of the most promising, it is likely that one of them will exceed the symbolic mark of 10 billion dollars by 2022 (although 2023 could be a bet more sure).

Boris Golden, partner of Partech Seed Fund

The war for talent will intensify and edtech will become a key weapon

The French tech ecosystem is sorely lacking in talent: a million people today work for French tech startups and there will be a million additional jobs created by these startups by 2025. There is a strong demand on the market. job market for developers, vendors, data scientists and new jobs like cybersecurity specialists. As startups explode in France, helping startups acquire and train the best talent is essential – this has been at the center of our government’s mission with the launch of the French Tech Visa and the Welcome to France initiative.

At the heart of this battle are Edtech startups, as they are essential to supporting the growth of talent by increasing the productivity and skills of the workforce. OpenClassrooms (recognized as one of La French Tech’s promising Next40 startups), which raised € 70m at the start of the year, and 360Learning, which raised € 180m at the start of the year, are both emblematic of the potential edtech startups in France and beyond.

Clara Chappaz, director of the La French Tech mission

Roxanne Varza, director of the Station F.
Roxanne varza

More funding and resources will go to femtech

Everyone already knows that Web3 is hot. But one area that is hot but extremely underserved is femtech. It is somewhat puzzling that more resources are not allocated to the various companies that are struggling to create health solutions that could benefit such a large part of the population. At Station F, we launched our femtech program at the end of 2021 and have been blown away by the attention and support it has received around the world. Something tells me that we still haven’t fully seized the opportunity – so my bet (and hopefully) is that we’ll see more funding and resources going to femtech in 2022.

And in the meantime, Web3 …

Roxanne Varza, director of Station F

2022 is a year when we will see more collaborations between French scale-ups and large companies ”

Businesses and startups sitting in a tree

As the French tech ecosystem grows stronger, 2022 is a year in which we will see more collaboration between French scale-ups and large companies. This is one of the key priorities of the Scaling up Europe initiative, of which we are a member. The end goal should be to create European digital giants, as well as the means to make it easier for them to work with well-established companies. This will create powerful business opportunities and knowledge exchange, and is particularly relevant for B2B industries that are disrupted by changing buyer demand and a wave of digital transformation.

Adrien Nussenbaum, co-CEO and co-founder, Mirakl

Cloud sovereignty will be key

The way startups choose their cloud architecture will change from 2022. The cloud has become a kind of commodity, and what influences the choice of startups today is the sovereignty of customer data: where it is and which government has or does not have access to. this. The startups that will win in France and in Europe in the next five years will be those that can be customer-centric right down to their data, backed by European values.

As a result of this change, multi-cloud has become the ultimate customer-centric and developer-centric approach for startups. Multi-cloud doesn’t mean building parallel architectures on top of multiple cloud providers, it means designing your application to take advantage of any cloud and resource as needed. More startups will embrace native multi-cloud tools as they seek to scale quickly without losing momentum among customers and their own development team.

73% of startups, most of which provide software as a service, have built their architecture on cloud infrastructure provided by tech giants. They have therefore created a massive, if not irreversible, dependency which is beyond their control.

Yann Lechelle, CEO of Scaleway

VCs to inject money into deeptech in 2022

Thanks to – or because of – dizzying digital valuations and numerous speculations, deep tech is becoming the hot topic. This is an ideal option for VCs as it brings financial performance, high intellectual property, and oxygen beyond pure digital execution transactions and their scary valuations.

Xavier Lazarus, partner at Elaia

Marie Ekeland, founder of 2050

Influx of Chief Impact Officers

With the passage of consumers, talent and institutional investors, businesses will accelerate their transition to responsibility, sustainability and impact. They will need an executive profile to drive this internal transformation and will look to hire an impact manager or corporate social responsibility manager. Just like 20 years ago, when companies hired Chief Digital Officers to drive their digital transformation. And this time, the regulation will also accelerate the movement.

Marie Ekeland, founder of 2050 venture firm

Chris O’Brien is a Sifted correspondent based in France. He tweets from @obrien

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