4 years after the Great Economic downturn, France’s recently elected socialist president Fran├žois Hollande raised taxes and increased guidelines on founder-led start-ups. The subsequent flight of entrepreneurs to places like London and Silicon Valley depicted France as a hard place to introduce a company. By 2016, France’s national statistics bureau approximated that about 3 million native-born residents had emigrated.

Those who stayed fought back: The Family was an early accelerator that encouraged French business owners to adopt Silicon Valley’s start-up method, and the 2012 production of Bpifrance, a public investment bank, put money into the start-up ecosystem system via investors. Organizers established La French Tech to beat the drum about native startups.

When President Emmanuel Macron took office in May 2017, he ditched the wealth tax on everything other than property assets and introduced a flat 30% tax rate on capital gains. Station F, a huge start-up campus moneyed by billionaire entrepreneur Xavier Niel on the site of a former railway station, began drawing in worldwide talent. Tony Fadell, one of the daddies of the iPod and founder of Nest Labs, moved to Paris to establish investment firm Future Shape; VivaTech was developed with government support to become one of Europe’s biggest start-up conference and expositions.

Now, in the COVID-19 age, the government has made EUR4 billion offered to entrepreneurs to keep the lights on. According to a current report from VC firm Atomico, there are 11 unicorns in France, consisting of BlaBlaCar, OVHcloud, Deezer and Veepee. More appear to be coming; last year Macron stated he desired to see “25 French unicorns by 2025.”

According to Station F, by the end of August, there had actually been 24 funding rounds led by worldwide VCs and a few huge transactions. Enterprise artificial intelligence and machine-learning platform Dataiku raised a $100 million Series D round, and Paris-based video gaming start-up Voodoo raised an undisclosed amount from Tencent Holdings.

We asked 12 Paris-based financiers to talk about the state of play in their city:

Alison Imbert, Partech

What trends are you most excited about purchasing, typically?

All the fintechs resolving SMBs to help them to focus more on their core service (consisting of banks disintermediation by fintech, brand-new infrastructures tech that are reducing the barrier to entry to nonfintech business).

What’s your newest, most exciting financial investment?

77foods (plant-based bacon)– love that alternative proteins trend also. Undoubtedly, we need to change our diet toward more sustainable food. It’s the next difficulty for humanity.

What are you trying to find in your next investment, in general?Impact investment: Logistic companies dealing with the life process of products to lower their carbon footprint and green fintech that transform our spending and financial investment strategy around more sustainable products. Which locations are either oversaturated or would be too hard to

complete in at this moment for a new startup? What other types of products/services are you worried or cautious about?D2C items. Just how much are you concentrated on purchasing your local community versus other startup centers(
or all over)

in basic? More than 50%? Less? 100%investing in France as I’m managing Paris Saclay Seed Fund, a EUR53 million fund, purchasing pre-seed and seed start-ups
launched by graduates and researchers from the best engineering and business schools from this environment. Which markets in your city and region seem well-positioned to thrive, or not, long term? What are business you are delighted about(your portfolio or not), which founders?Deep tech, biotech and medical gadgets. Paris, and France in basic, has countless exceptional engineers that graduate each year. Scientists are increasingly more happy to found companies to have a real effect on our society. I do think that the ecosystem is more and more structured to help them to construct such companies. How must investors in other cities think about the general investment climate and opportunities in your city?Paris is growing for sure. It’s still behind London and Berlin most likely. We are seeing more and more European VC workplaces opening in the city to get direct access to our environment. Even in seed rounds, we start to have European VCs completing against us. It’s excellent– that suggests that our start-ups are transferring to the next level. Do you anticipate to see a rise in more founders originating from locations outside major cities in the years to come, with startup hubs losing people due to the pandemic and remaining issues, plus the destination of remote work?For sure startups will a growing number of push for remote organizations. It’s an incredible way to combine quality

of life for staff members and attracting talent. Yet I don’t believe it will be the bulk. Not all founders are willing/able to build a fully remote company. It’s an important cultural choice and it’s adapted to a certain type of company
. I believe in more versatile company(e.g., tech team working remotely or 1-2 days a week for any worker). Which market segments that you buy look weaker or more exposed to potential shifts in customer and organisation behavior because of COVID-19? What are the opportunities start-ups might be able to tap into throughout these unmatched times?Travel and hospitality sectors are naturally extremely impacted. Yet there are chances for assisting those incumbents to face existing

challenges(e.g., better client care and services, more powerful flexibility, expense decrease and process automation). How has COVID-19 affected your investment method? What are the greatest concerns of the founders in your portfolio? What is your suggestions to startups in your portfolio right now?Cash is king more than ever in the past. My only piece of advice will be to keep an excellent level of money as we have a restricted view on events coming ahead. It’s simple to say however much more tough to put in practice(e.g., to what extend should I reduce my money burn? Should I keep purchasing the item? What is the impact on the sales team? ). Startups need to focus only on what is mission-critical for their clients. It does not impact our seed investments as we
invest pre-revenue and frequently pre-product. What is a minute that has offered you hope in the last month or two? This can be expert, personal or a mix of the two.There is no reason to be helpless. Crises have taken place in the past. Humanity has dealt with other pandemics. Human beings are resistant and resourceful sufficient to adjust to a new environment and brand-new restraints. Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.