It has been a week of good news for the French VC and startup scene. Politically, the huge win for President Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche in the first round of the parliamentary elections bodes well for the second round on Sunday. It has also raised hopes that his backing of—and ties to—innovative companies, illustrated during his tenure as digital affairs minister, will further drive the ongoing rejuvenation of young French businesses.
On the investment side, just this week computing company
Shadow raised a huge €51 million Series A. And on Thursday, it was reported that South Korean search engine giant Naver will open an incubator, Space Green, in the Parisian startup campus Station F. In doing so, Naver would be following Facebook's example, the social media behemoth having launched a startup programme there in January.
The perfect storm of political capital, notable fundraising companies and corporate interest could help to reinvigorate French VC deals. According to the PitchBook Platform, completed VC investments in France fell slightly in 2016 year on year to 438, although
value increased 4% to €1.58 billion. This is in line with a wider trend of more money being ploughed into fewer deals, something which again is being replicated in France so far this year.
Completed VC deals for French companies
These positive factors also come at a time when Europe’s VC crown is up for grabs. Uncertainty across the channel is undoubtedly
spooking investors and companies with UK interests, while upcoming elections in Germany could throw questions over the country's future economic direction. With a thriving startup and VC scene in Paris, combined with some of the biggest names in the technology world, France appears difficult to bet against.