One of the largest countries in Europe, France is gearing up to boost its ecosystem for startups and tech companies. The advanced and solvable French people are fast becoming one of the leading digital populations for startups to develop nationally and grow in Europe and the rest of the world.
Operating across industries and businesses, French startups are primarily succeeding thanks to software or cloud-based platform. These startups are also involved in a number of industries where their technological approach disrupts usual business processes and creates massive economies of scale.
From e-commerce to financial services, from transportation to agribusiness, from business services to digital marketing, French startups are tackling new business problems and revolutionizing old methods in a wide range of business sectors.
Even though they may not be as famous as well-established American digital corporations, many of these companies are already well-known in France and abroad, reaching a large population with their products and services. Others are only in specific business niches, as they focus on particular problems faced by specific professions. Nevertheless, a few of the leading French startups have already beaten these odds and reached the status of “Unicorn”, that is to say, a valuation of more than a billion dollars.
For the complete list of the world’s unicorn startups, download our 580 Unicorn Startups Excel file which includes valuations, funds raised, known investors, websites link, descriptions, and much more information on each company,
List of the 30 top-funded startups from France
Here is the list of the top 30 best-funded French startups with details about each company, the total amount of funds raised, by the company in US $ or Euros according to Crunchbase, which may also include debt-financing, as of May 2021 (with € converted to US $ with the rate of 1.2160 $/€), together with a direct link to the company’s website.
Remark that Veepee, pioneer of e-commerce in France since 2001, has been left out of this ranking as its funding information has never been publicly disclosed. However, be sure to consider it for your specific purpose, as it is generally considered the number 1 tech company in France by size and volume of sales.
For more information on other world-leading startups, check our series of posts on Top Startups, and for more information on the country, read our articles on Top Business Resources for France.
Shortcuts to the 30 best-funded French startups
To facilitate your browsing in this long list, here are quick links to go directly to the details of any of the top 30 French startups. Be sure to also check the Top 10 French startups’ summary after the list!
Industry: Business Services – Total funding: $134.4M
Ivalua provides a procurement management platform. Aiming at providing a complete solution to manage suppliers and payments, the Ivalua platform tackles a wide range of processes, industries, and business needs all along the supply chain with a secure and flexible approach.
Industry: Biotechnology – Total funding: €112.5M
Enterome is a company that creates drugs. Specialized in clinical-stage development of drugs for chronic conditions related to abnormalities of bacterial composition, Enterome develops specific therapeutics based on key molecular interaction between the gut microbiome and human physiology and the immune system.
Industry: Audio – Total funding: $145.3M
Devialet is a company specializing in acoustic engineering. It designs and sells high-end connected audio speakers and amplifiers. Relying on a number of cutting-edge, patented sound technologies, Devialet integrates its latest research to produce leading-quality audio equipment.
Industry: Education – Total funding: $149.7M
OpenClassrooms is an online education platform. It provides certifying and free-access courses in computer programming, marketing, entrepreneurship, and science, from a number of providers, including schools, universities, and companies such as Microsoft and IBM. OpenClassrooms also provides education financing solutions and, and education services for companies.
Industry: Financial Services – Total funding: $151.5M
Qonto is a digital bank dedicated to small businesses and the self-employed. It provides a range of bank accounts, credit and debit cards, and financial products for SMEs, startups, and freelancers, as well as business services for company creation. Qonto has expanded to Germany, Italy, and Spain.
Industry: Payments – Total funding: $159.6M
Lydia is a mobile payment company. Through its mobile app, Lydia allows users to send and receive money, pay in stores and online from their mobile devices. Besides, Lydia also provides a number of financial services to its customers, including bank accounts, credit cards, and small express loans.
Industry: Education – Total funding: $174.3M
Ornikar is an online driving school that provides a radically cheaper, easier and faster plan for users to obtain a driving license. Ornikar offers courses to pass the code exam at a fraction of the cost and a driving license 30% cheaper than traditional driving school thanks to its online platform and tools, and it also provides auto insurance.
Industry: Lighting – Total funding: $175.1M
Aledia is a manufacturer of light-emitting diodes (LED). Especially focused on the WireLED technology, which enables mobile displays and microdisplays on smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and laptops, Aledia can produce LED chips at a 25% cheaper cost than regular LED chips.
Industry: Digital Marketing – Total funding: $197.7M
Sendinblue is a digital marketing platform specially dedicated to email marketing. It provides a range of tools for SMEs to communicate with customers through email and SMS, enabling marketing automation, customer relationship management, as well as ads and retargeting. With its global expansion, Sendinblue has opened offices in the US, Germany, and India.
Industry: Gaming – Total funding: $201M
Voodoo is a mobile video game and app developer. It creates, markets, and monetizes its own video games for Android and iOS devices, together with publishing third-party games. With more than 5 billion total downloads, Voodoo focuses on free “hyper-casual games”.
Industry: Human Resources – Total funding: $208.4M
PayFit is a company that specializes in salary payments and human resources. Thanks to its online platform and dedicated support, PayFit provides a range of tools for payroll and HR management, complete with reporting, pensions, benefits, expenses, and employee absence management. PayFit has expanded to the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
Industry: Business Services – Total funding: $235.8M
Ecovadis provides business sustainability ratings and tools for global supply chains. Servicing multinational organization with actionable sustainability scorecards, Ecovadis provide solutions to help companies assess, collaborate and improve their sustainability effort performance, and enhance their brand.
Industry: Agribusiness – Total funding: €195.2M
InnovaFeed is a biotech company that produces protein from insects. Especially focused on the rearing of black soldier flies, Innovafeed transforms insects into high-quality, sustainable feed for fish, pets, and animal farms, and fertilizers for agriculture.
Industry: Computers – Total funding: $266.2M
Shadow is a brand of remote personal computers. It provides computers in the cloud accessible remotely through the Shadow platform, together with automated hardware evolution that ensures its computers’ hardware will always be up-to-date. The company operating Shadow is called Blade.
Industry: Business Services – Total funding: $266.7M
Doctolib provides an online platform that connects patients, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Especially operating in medical appointment booking and management, Doctolib allows medical facilities and professionals to extend their communications online and ease the appointment booking process.
Industry: Photography – Total funding: $293.4M
Meero is a digital platform and marketplace dedicated to photography. Relying upon artificial intelligence and machine learning, Meero provides a suite of tools and services for photographers, as well as a platform for photographers to sell their pictures.
14. HR Path
Industry: Human Resources – Total funding: €248M
HR Path is a company specialized in human resources and information systems dedicated to HR. It provides a range of consulting and technical solutions for HR management, creating, implementing, and externalizing HR business processes, management, employee payment, and optimizing return on investment in HR.
Industry: Digital Marketing – Total funding: $312M
Contensquare is a platform dedicated to improving e-commerce conversion. Specialized in the collection of behavioral data from customers, it helps e-commerce merchants use and leverage this data to better convert visitors into customers through tailored suggestions.
12. Shift Technology
Industry: InsurTech – Total funding: $320M
Shift Technology provides a platform dedicated to detecting fraudulent insurance claims. Thanks to the use of machine learning and data analytics applied to insurance, Shift Technology provides insurance companies a range of solutions to help them find and prevent fraud and manage claims.
Industry: Internet-of-Things – Total funding: €277M
Sigfox builds and operates wireless networks dedicated to the Internet-of-things. Specialized in low-debit networks with solutions for cost, power consumption, and scalability, Sigfox enables the connectivity of billions of objects such as electricity meters, smartwatches, or trackers to continuously emit and receive small amounts of data.
Industry: E-commerce – Total funding: $350.5M
ManoMano is an e-commerce platform specialized in DIY and gardening. Trademark of the company Colibri, it provides a marketplace for tools, materials, furniture, and equipment brands in the DIY and gardening category. ManoMano has expanded to the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
Industry: Insurance – Total funding: €310M
Alan is an online independent health insurance for businesses and the self-employed. Thanks to its online platform, Alan provides a simpler solution for startups and SMEs, large companies, hotels and restaurants, and self-employed people to access, evaluate and contract business insurance.
Industry: Business Services – Total funding: $393M
Mirakl is a company developing e-commerce online marketplaces. Through its cloud-based platform, Mirakl allows retailers, manufacturers, and wholesalers to launch, manage and grow their own marketplaces faster and safer.
Industry: Agribusiness – Total funding: $399.3M
Ÿnsect is a company that specializes in the breeding of insects and their transformation into fertilizers, animal, and human feed. Especially focused on growing mealworms, Ÿnsect breeds them in vertical farms and transforms them into high-value ingredients, mainly proteins, and lipids, for plants, pets, fish, and humans.
6. Vestiaire Collective
Industry: E-commerce – Total funding: $454.6M
Vestiaire Collective operates a second-hand luxury clothing marketplace. Through its digital platform, Vestiaire Collective provides a number of tools and features for users to sell and buy unique luxury clothes and accessories in more than 50 countries.
5. Back Market
Industry: E-commerce – Total funding: $513M
Back Market is a platform dedicated to refurbished products. It allows users to buy and sell reconditioned, second-hand mobile devices, computers, and electronic equipment. Acting as a marketplace, it provides a range of refurbished products for sale and connects sellers with refurbishing factories throughout Europe and the US.
Industry: Music Streaming – Total funding: $531.8M
Deezer is a digital music streaming service. It allows users to listen to music online or offline from a number of record labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and Warner Music Group, as well as podcasts on any smartphone, tablet, PC, laptop, home sound system, connected car or smart TV.
Industry: Carpooling – Total funding: $563.5M
BlaBlaCar is a carpooling platform connecting drivers and passengers wishing to share a car trip and share the costs of transportation. Drivers publish their available seats and passengers buy them online, allowing the company to levy a commission on the passenger’s trip price. Available in more than 20 countries of Europe and South America, Blablacar has also expanded in bus services with Blablabus.
Industry: Financial Services – Total funding: $611.9M
October is an online marketplace for small and medium-sized business loans. It allows SMEs to borrow directly from private and institutional lenders, serving as a pan-European lending platform with offices in France, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands.
Industry: Cloud Computing – Total funding: $650M
OVH is a cloud computing services and web hosting company. Founded in 1999, the company offers public and private cloud solutions, dedicated servers, shared hosting, housing (or colocation), domain name registration, leveraging a network of 20 data centers spread across Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific. OVH also provides access to the Internet by ADSL, VDSL, SDSL, and fiber lines, as well as IP telephony.
Summary: Top 10 French Startups 2021
To give you a quick overview of the largest startups from France in 2021, here is a synthesizing image regrouping the information of the top 10. Note that you can use this image to embed it on your website and other digital properties using the embed code below.
<a href="https://blog.disfold.com/top-french-startups/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img src="https://blog.disfold.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/top-10-french-startups.jpg" alt="Top 10 French Startups 2021"></a>
Here are the top 30 best-funded startups from France. Did we forget any? Did you buy any product or service from them? Which one do you think provides the most useful product or service? Let us know in the comments below!