Last week (19 September) our partner responsible for TempoCap’s activity in France, Damien Henault, was invited to participate in two events, both hosted in London, with a focus on investments in the French technology sector. These events were organised just after the launch of a series of unprecedented initiatives by French President, Mr. Emmanuel Macron and its government to support and promote France’s plans for its burgeoning technology sector and underline its ambition to become the number one technology ecosystem in Europe. There’s a great summary video here.
The first event was a lunch meeting with the French Minister of State for the Digital Sector, Mr. Cédric O, and a select group of UK-based international venture capital investors. The event was hosted at the Résidence de France by the new French Ambassador to the UK, Mrs. Catherine Colonna.
The purpose of the event was to raise the profile of the French tech scene and help boost international investment and focus on the growth stage of French startups. There were a number of workshops and meetings during the day to discuss the attractiveness of French Tech across EMEA. According to the French Embassy in London, French Tech now has seven unicorns (BlaBlaCar, Deezer, Doctolib, Ivalua, Meero, OVH and Veepee) as opposed to only three in 2018 while the amounts raised by startups has doubled between 2015 (€1.8 billion) and 2018 (€3.6 billion). Looking ahead, the forecast is particularly promising with funding expected to top more than €5 billion this year and, because of this, we’re delighted to say that this engagement with La FrenchTech has been and will continue to be an ongoing commitment from TempoCap over the coming months and years.
As if that wasn’t enough, the daytime session was followed by an evening event at the Science Museum to celebrate France attractiveness in the European technology landscape, organised by La FrenchTech London. Hosted once again by Cedric O, and Kat Borlongan, President of La French Tech, the event brought together a series of inspiring presenters who spoke with passion about their journey as entrepreneurs and with detailed authority on the growth-friendly environment for innovative companies in France.
From the detailed market perspective given by Yoram Wijngaarde, founder, Dealroom.com to the fireside chat with Alix Poulet, CEO Leetchi.com and Henry Lane Fox, Founders Factory co-founder, hearing first-hand the nuances of the French technology scene from those at the coal face was invaluable. It was also particularly interesting to hear from Lucile Cornet, principal at 8 Roads Ventures, Philipp Freise, partner at KKR Ltd. and Bernard Liautaud, managing partner, Balderton Capital, in the investment panel discussion – obviously this is an area particularly close to our heart, given that we are very active investors in France.
Aside from the excellent insights provided at both events, what was most refreshing to see was the potential in the French technology sector, particularly as we continue our support for the excellent start-up and scale-up tech companies coming out of the region. Nowhere was this more apparent than when the French government unveiled its list of the country’s 40 most promising start-ups – The Next 40 – which includes TempoCap portfolio company, Talentsoft. We’ll be covering this in detail in our next blog post.
All that remains is to once again thank our hosts, the organisers, speakers and other event attendees for an unforgettable and hugely valuable day.