French Tech: the 10 biggest fundraisers of 2021

Posted on December 21 2021 at 11:00 AMUpdated on December 23. 2021 at 01:36 PM

The year 2021 will remain a white stone mark in the history of French Tech. According to investment bank Avolta Partners, the symbolic bar of 10 billion euros was exceeded at the beginning of December, i.e., double by 2020. This record is particularly due to mega fundraisings that have spawned new unicorns, the most recent which is the fintech Lydia.

Here are the 10 biggest fundraisers of 2021, all of which have been converted to dollars. It should also be noted that start-ups that no longer have their headquarters in France (such as Algolia) are not included in this ranking.

1. Sorare (cryptocurrency): $ 680 million

He was virtually unknown in 2020. His record $ 680 million seed round, which cost him $ 4.3 billion, put him in the spotlight. Created in early 2019, this start-up has developed a “fantasy football” game combined with digital cards based on NFTs, these authenticated and trackable digital tokens on the blockchain. Sorare partners with more than 215 clubs including PSG and FC Bayern.

Highlight: Sorare is already making money and hopes to earn $ 100 million by 2021.

2. Mirakl (e-commerce): $ 555 million

Mirakl is one of the rare French start-ups to have an international reputation. Today, this marketplace specialist has more than 300 customers in 40 countries, including Carrefour, The Kroger Co and Toyota. This international expansion revived investor appetite in September 2021, injecting $ 555 million for a total of $ 3.5 billion. Its previous fundraiser of 300 million took place last year for half the amount of the high.

Highlight: when Mirakl raised 555 million, it had… 555 employees.

3. Contentsquare (software): $ 500 million

The year 2021 is marked by three major events in the financial life of Contentsquare, which specializes in the Internet user experience: two acquisitions (Hotjar and Upstride) and a $ 500 million fundraising. This round, led by Japanese giant Softbank, cost the start-up $ 2.8 billion. That’s enough to allow it to recruit 1,500 people over the next three years, while it currently has 1,000 employees.

Highlight : Contentsquare recruited in December 2021 former French Tech boss Kat Borlongan, as impact director.

4. Qonto (fintech): $ 400 million (unconfirmed amount)

Neobanks for businesses are as popular as their individual -focused counterparts. Proof of this is in Qonto’s latest fundraising that will value fintech more than 4 billion dollars, as announced by “Les Echos” in November 2021. Fintech has not yet engaged in this operation that brought in the famous American hedge Tiger Global fund in its capital. In 2021, Qonto exceeded the 200,000 customer mark, divided between France (mostly), Germany, Spain and Italy.

Highlight: Qonto abandoned its request for a credit institution and instead partnered with the October platform.

5. Ledger (cryptocurrency): $ 380 million

2021 has been a good year for the cryptocurrency market. And so is it for start-ups running in this sector, like Ledger, which raised $ 380 million in June. The cryptocurrency custody specialist has thus achieved unicorn status with a new valuation of $ 1.5 billion. Its boss Pascal Gauthier has already set a target of 100 billion worth over five years. That will transform him into… hectocorn.

Highlight: Ledger exited the Next40 index in 2021… for a better return to it in 2022?

6. IAD (real estate): $ 364 million

When the IAD announced it would raise $ 364 million in early 2021, this agency’s all-online network didn’t even boast of having unicorn status, with a $ 1.4 billion valuation. The information was announced a few months later by “Les Echos” in conjunction with the announcement of its turnover of 406 million euros for its last financial year (closed at the end of June 2021). That is an increase of 43% compared to last year.

Highlight: The IAD claims just over 4% of the sale agreements signed in France.

7. ManoMano (e-commerce): $ 355 million

Start-ups primarily benefited from the first shutdown, ManoMano wouldn’t say the opposite since its activity exploded at the start of the first shutdown, due specifically to the closure of Castorama and Leroy Merlin stores. Less than 18 months later, the online DIY specialist completed a round of financing of $ 355 million for a valuation of 2.6 billion. Goals: recruit 1,000 people by the end of 2022 and open up new product categories.

Highlight: in France, nearly two out of three people now know ManoMano.

8. Back Market (e-commerce): 335 million dollars

The $ 335 million Back Market fundraiser (at $ 3 billion) is not a celebration. At the same time, the French Parliament is debating about the fee applied to the sale of refurbished electronic products … which was adopted by the Senate a few months later. Nor is it enough to completely resign to the marketplace for refurbished electronic devices, which aim to offer other products such as household appliances. And set up in new countries like South Korea.

Highlight: Back Market entered into a partnership with manufacturer SEB last July.

9. Voodoo (video games): $ 314 million

It’s not the most well-known unicorn, but the mobile video games it publishes are more, such as “Paper.io”, “Snake vs Block” or even “Helix Jump”. Its successes caught the eye of prominent investors such as Tencent and Goldman Sachs who participated in its 2020 round (value not disclosed). A year later, it was the turn of investment holding company GBL (Groupe Bruxelles Lambert) to inject 266 million euros (314 million dollars) into the French nugget. New appreciation: 2 billion dollars.

Highlight: Voodoo will invest $ 200 million in 2022 in studios that will develop blockchain-based mobile video games.

10. Alan (insurance): $ 223 million

Alan was the first French start-up to obtain an insurance license. It is also the first tricolor insurtech to become a unicorn ($ 1.7 billion) following its $ 223 million fundraiser in April 2021. Since its creation in 2016, the start-up has changed drastically as it offers a full host of services around health such as telemedicine, a community parenting support or even an offer about mental health (following the acquisition of American start-up Jour).

Highlight: Alan tops LinkedIn France’s 2021 ranking of most attractive start-ups.

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