These start-ups fled Paris


In maintaining more or less engagement with the capital, start-ups have chosen to bring venues and teams to Montpellier, Lyon or Nantes. Feedback.

Parisians, don’t you see yourself spending your whole life in the capital? Some start-ups in Ile-de-France have decided not to lose sight of you by allowing full remote with teleworking packages or by multiplying branches in the region so you can stay in their workforce. Among them, Back Market opened an office in Bordeaux four years ago, where the CEO is located, and offers to support all employees who want to move there. Doctolib followed the same trajectory, opening its second national site two years ago in Nantes, chosen for its living environment and the solidity of its tech ecosystem in particular. Its goal is to reach the milestone of 750 employees there by 2024. Other young Paris companies have completely collapsed, often early in their development and at the decision of the founders, by fleeing for a regional in the metropolis.

The digital plug in joins the Montpellier video game ecosystem

“A choice of family life”, confides Francis Ingrand. The founder of Plug in digital, a start-up that specializes in video game distribution and publishing founded in 2012, and left his team in Paris in 2016 for Montpellier. “Instead of being a city dweller, I’m looking for a city with the right size, which allows to easily move by train, by plane”. Another asset of Montpellier, the video game ecosystem is very dynamic there. “The price of the offices also played into my decision, it’s easy to save. The average salary is also lower.”

An easier decision to make at the beginning of the company’s growth. “We did it because there weren’t too many of us, Francis Ingrand admits. When we left, there were five or six of us. We didn’t force everyone to move, two people first decided to stay and we hid a small office in Paris. Today, there are about fifty of us in Montpellier. ” As for recruitment, “hiring is a bit more complicated but easier to retain our employees. There is less competition”, summarizes the founder.

Indy escaped the hyper-competitiveness of the Parisian employment pool

This reduction in turnover is what attracted Indy, which was founded in 2016. “Our project is to register for the long term with both teams, which is very important in the hyper-growth phase”, explains Côme Fouque, CEO. The start-up, which offers the self-employed a focused accounting solution, made the decision to escape the hyper-competitiveness of the Paris job market and moved to Lyon in September 2018, after its first fundraiser. “At the time we were five and we told ourselves that when we had thirty employees we would be blocked, the CEO recalls. It was now or never.” The move will come sooner than they expect in their respective personal lives.

The choice of city was based on this basic criterion: “a dynamic labor pool from a software point of view. In this sector, Lyon is positioned above other regional cities, considering Côme Fouques. The price of offices and the fact of being able to commute to the capital in a day also play a role. ” Despite being “somewhat punished for recruiting the most rare profiles”, it is “easier to recruit in Lyon than in Paris. True, the recruitment pool is smaller, but there is less competition. Our bet is became a winner and realistic. “, the founder rejoiced.

However, one downside should be noted. “Sometimes, we feel we are somewhat isolated from the Parisian ecosystem and with its good practices and opportunities, the CEO acknowledges. In Paris, a lot of very important informal knowledge is passed on by meeting with other entrepreneurs, by attending meeting- income. In Lyon, the ecosystem is not as dynamic. “

The Vizity Map leaves Paris on a logic of decentralization

Vizity.map, founded in 2016, also turned to Lyon after the development phase of its project: a platform for creating interactive maps. “Back then, the general idea was‘ you have to set up your start-up in Paris, because that’s where the network, the incubators, the support, ’recalls founder Timothée Lairet.

Without his team, he still decided to leave Paris in 2017 for Lyon, where he came from, and back and forth every week, changing his appointments for two days. When confinement arrives, the company undergoes an economic redundancy plan and leaves its place. Positive point: “It speeds up all the projects we have in terms of decentralization”, highlights Timothée Lairet. Once the health crisis subsided, the company moved for good to Lyon following the CEO and moved into a coworking space.

“Now, there are four of us in Lyon, one in Paris and one in Aurillac. When we open positions, we say that there is a team in Lyon, but it is possible to work anywhere. Don’t want to make the geographical location an obstacle, defends the founder .And when there are events in Paris, we are able to benefit from them.A sign of this move to decentralization, Timothée Lairet said she plans to move to Marseille within a year.Will the company follow suit? planned, but Vizity.map is in any case not anchored in Lyon.

“The key is talent”, reviews Guillaume Pellegrin, founder of Newton Offices, coworking provider, and host of the Extra-Muros podcast, highlighting the successes of companies outside the Paris region. “Before moving, companies look at whether others present in related trades have trained people.”

Faguo moved to Nantes, which was more in line with his values

The guest of the podcast in particular, the clothing and footwear brand Faguo, founded in 2009. The box decided to move its offices to Nantes in 2019, to get closer to nature, especially in the forests, to live in environmentally responsible offices and be able to get there by bike. The founders at the time offered a four-day vacation in Nantes to their thirty employees, so that they could discover the city with their loved ones. Less than half of the team decided to follow them. An installation accompaniment was suggested to them and… a bicycle was offered on arrival.

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