The government unveiled Wednesday the first annual selection of 40 start-ups to become "global technology leaders" and will receive personalized follow-up from French public bodies and administrations, according to a statement.
A CAC 40 French technology companies
"The Next40 is the CAC 40 French technology companies," said Secretary of State Cédric O, cited in the statement. These companies are the first of a broader ranking of 120 hyper-growth start-ups (the "French Tech 120"). These 120 companies will benefit from increased visibility, will be favored to join the official trips of the president and government officials, and will have access to support from public services and organizations (Urssaf, Cnil, Customs, Inpi, etc.), reinforced among the first 40, to accelerate their international development or their IPO.
"It is considered that it is in the general interest of the country to bring out international champions" and therefore to pay particular attention to these promising companies, without opening them to "pass-rights", said Cédric O AFP. If we take the example of Urssaf, it is above all "to train and upgrade companies that grew up very quickly and were able to forget a number of things," he said.
Companies located in France, not listed on the Stock Exchange
To be selected, the 40 companies of this restricted club must have their head office installed in France, have not been bought by another group or introduced on the stock market, and fulfill certain criteria of economic performance. Citing the "deeptech" plan of public investment bank Bpifrance, the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire has deemed "unacceptable" that start-ups are financed with public money "so that these start-ups are then bought by Japanese or American champions ". "The taxpayer's money is not intended to finance the buyout of French start-ups by foreign giants," he said.
"It is not the government that chose" the list of Next40 companies but a jury chaired by Céline Lazorthes, founder of Leetchi (online prize pools) and Mangopay (payment solutions), said for his part Cédric O. The Next40 includes the seven French "unicorns" (unlisted companies valued at more than $ 1 billion), the largest fundraising in the last three years, and the more than € 100 million in levees. Companies must also have achieved a turnover of at least 5 million euros in the last financial year, growing by more than 30% on average over the last three years.
BlaBlaCar or Deezer
The Next40 includes, for example, BlaBlaCar (carpooling), Cityscoot (self-service scooters), Deezer (music streaming), Doctolib (booking medical appointments), Meero (services for photographers), OpenClassrooms (training courses) or Ynsect (breeding of insects for animal nutrition). According to the data aggregated by the government, the median growth of the selected companies over the last three years amounts to 158% and 32 of them have at least one foreign investor in their capital. They also plan to increase their number of employees by 30% in the coming year.