2021, a record-breaking year for French unicorns

The first half of 2021 has been marked by significant fundraisings for French unicorns.

 

2021 is a particularly prosperous year for French unicorns. Many of them has announced important fundraisings, which will allow them to further develop their international activities, and to invest massively in innovation. These big achievements continue to reinforce La French Tech and its international presence.

 

Exceptional fundraisings for flourishing unicorns

On May 26th, Contentsquare, global leader in Experience Analytics, announced it had closed a $500 million Series E funding round. This investment, led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, is the most important fundraising completed in La French Tech history. Contentsquare, now valued at $2.8 billion, will take advantage of SoftBank’s depth of expertise in scaling companies and network in Asia. With such a fundraising, the French scale-up plans to reinforce its world leadership and to invest in innovation. Bpifrance also participated in this investment through its Large Venture fund. Its director, Maïlys Ferrère, commented: “Thanks to this Series E, one of the largest by a French Tech, Contentsquare once again confirms its position as a global leader in experience analytics, a critical issue with the increasing digitalization of businesses.”

More recently on July 6th, ManoMano has become the 17th French unicorn by raising $355 million and reaching a $2.6 billion value. This online marketplace specialized in DIY and gardening has benefited from the lockdown, that sparked an international craze for these activities. Still, the demand never decreased after stores’ reopening, and people keep investing in home design. This Series F fundraising will allow ManoMano to continue its European expansion, and accelerate its BtoB offer, ManoManoPro, in countries like Spain or Italy.

 

La French Tech, the French startups’ flagship

These two fundraisings bring to 8 the number of new French unicorns since the beginning of the year. Along with Contentsquare and ManoMano: Vestiaire Collective (online marketplace for second-hand luxury  and fashion designer clothing), AirCall (cloud-based call centers and phone systems), Shift Technology (insurtech), Ledger (hardware wallets for cryptocurrencies), Back Market (online marketplace for second-hand devices), and Alan (insurtech).This achievement follows a 2020-year that was already exceptional with 5.4 billion euros raised by French startups.

They illustrate the change in dimension that the French startup scene has undergone in just a few years, around La French Tech. This movement, launched in 2013, brings together startups, investors, policy makers and community builders from the startup ecosystem, that are now reaching together these important milestones in 2021. 2013 was also the year Bpifrance was created, becoming a key player in this ecosystem committed to facilitate access to finance for startups and to create the ideal conditions for a real venture capital financial industry.