The French government and La French Tech have released their annual list of the top 120 startups in France, divided into the Next40 and French Tech 120 categories. The rankings are determined by objective criteria, with the Next40 list mostly based on VC funding, while the French Tech 120 is selected based on the size of funding rounds. The last 40 startups are ranked by revenue, with at least €10 million generated annually and 25% year-on-year revenue growth. The French Tech program also offers assistance to startups facing issues with public administrations.
The French government and La French Tech, a government-backed initiative, have released their annual rankings of the top-performing startups in France.
The rankings are based on objective criteria and include the Next40 and French Tech 120, with a special category for the top 40 startups.
Compared to last year’s Next40, 29 startups were already part of the top category, while 11 new startups joined the group, including EcoVadis, NW Storm, Innovafeed, Pigment, and Verkor, some of which had previously been part of the French Tech 120 and performed exceptionally well.
French Startups In 2023
It’s that time of the year when the French government, in collaboration with La French Tech initiative, reveals its rankings of the top-performing startups in France. This year, the rankings include two categories, the Next40 and French Tech 120, based on objective criteria.
Compared to the previous year, 29 of the Next40 startups were already part of the top category, with 11 newcomers making the list this year. Some of the newcomers include ClubFunding, Electra, ZePlug, Flying Whales, SAFTI, and Wifirst.
The French government only includes private companies in these rankings to offer visibility to companies that don’t share their earnings publicly. Consequently, some of the startups that became public companies or started sharing their earnings publicly, like Deezer, are no longer on the list. Others moved down to the second category or dropped out of the rankings entirely, such as Meero.
The Next40 ranking is primarily determined by the amount of venture capital (VC) funding a startup has raised. If a startup has raised a funding round that led to a valuation of $1 billion or more, it automatically becomes a Next40 company, making up 26 of this year’s list. The rest of the group raised at least €100 million ($107 million) between 2020 and 2022.
For the French Tech 120, the government selected the 40 companies that raised the most significant funding rounds. This year, these startups raised at least €40 million ($43 million). Lastly, the last 40 selected startups are ranked based on revenue. These companies generated at least €10 million in annual turnover and have been growing at a rate of 25% year-on-year over the last three years.
Some of these startups generate significant revenue, such as Mirakl, which reached $135 million in annual recurring revenue in 2022. The startup operates marketplaces for third-party products on popular e-commerce websites, processing $6 billion in gross merchandise volume last year. Sendinblue, a digital marketing automation service, reached €100 million in annual recurring revenue ($107 million). Younited, a loan refinancing platform, reported €190 million ($203 million) in revenue last year.
These startups can reach out to La French Tech if they face an issue with public administrations, as it can make an introduction with a French Tech representative in one of the 60 partner administrations. These representatives can help startups obtain visas for foreign employees, get certification or patent, sell products to public administration, and more.
The 120 companies in the French Tech 120 employ around 47,800 people and generate €11.3 billion in revenue ($12 billion). While most metrics are moving up and to the right, some are growing more rapidly than others. For instance, only 15 companies have at least one female co-founder or CEO, indicating a long way to go when it comes to female representation and diversity in the French tech ecosystem.
The French startup landscape is diverse and growing rapidly, with a thriving tech scene in Paris and other major cities. France has become an increasingly attractive location for startups due to a supportive government and business environment, world-class research institutions, and a large pool of talented engineers and entrepreneurs.
The French government has been actively promoting and investing in the tech industry through initiatives like La French Tech, which aims to support French startups and help them scale up globally. The government has also implemented policies to make it easier for startups to do business in France, such as tax incentives and streamlined visa processes for foreign entrepreneurs.
Paris has emerged as a major tech hub, with a high concentration of startups and investors. However, other cities in France like Lyon, Bordeaux, and Marseille are also developing strong startup ecosystems. There is a growing network of co-working spaces, incubators, and accelerators throughout the country that provide resources and support for startups at various stages of growth.
French startups are active in a wide range of industries, from fintech and e-commerce to healthcare and renewable energy. Some of the most successful French startups have been in the fields of artificial intelligence, big data, and cybersecurity. Many of these startups have gained international recognition and funding from top venture capital firms.
Overall, the French startup landscape is dynamic and innovative, with a supportive ecosystem and a growing number of successful companies.
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