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Why the "start up nation" needs a boost

French start-ups will soon have new partners to finance their growth. President Macron is to present today Tuesday, September 17, the new device facilitating their access to capital.

A welcome initiative, because if the French Tech has the wind in their sails, the young lights are still struggling to find money when they want to grow. Afrimarket, for example, was forced a few days ago to apply for liquidation; and yet this French start-up was more than promising, it was created in 2013 with the ambition to become the Amazon of the African continent. But its founder throws in the towel for failing to raise sufficient funds. Afrimarket was competing with Jumia, a start-up company set up in Germany that went to the United States for pole position. Jumiah is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

What is missing in France to help start-ups grow?

Venture capital funds, that is, funds that investors are willing to bet, at the risk of losing everything. Start-ups easily drop the capital to start their business, they still manage to find for the second round of table, but often they stall in the third round, at the stage where they have big needs, but not enough size to enter the stock market. Last year, only 3 French start-ups raised more than 100 million euros to finance their growth. Many more are stuck while money is available: 1600 billion euros are invested in life insurance and only 6% of this national treasure is used to finance innovation.

How to go about mobilizing this manna?

Emmanuel Macron will ask the major players in French banking and insurance, but also public investors like EDF to commit up to 10 billion euros over three years to fund these funds. And to facilitate the life of these nuggets, will be created a next 40, a list of 40 companies reviewed each year, elected officials will benefit from more visibility and privileged access to all their efforts. This boost comes at a time when the French Tech knows a remarkable effervescence. The amounts invested are exploding. During the first 6 months of the year 2.8 billion euros have been invested in the young tricolor, it is almost twice as much as in the first half of 2018. And the big tickets are two more frequent than last year.

Has France become the start-up nation promoted by the president?

Foreign investors are more and more present in France. The number of start-ups has exploded in Paris for three years while it is declining in Germany. However, we must relativize: in the French Fintechs, a niche where the French excel, with already a flagship, Kiryba, the unicorn French-American unicorn, 365 million euros were invested in 2018 against 112 billion dollars around the world . Second number to keep a cool head: Despite Brexit uncertainties, the United Kingdom remains the champion of unicorns, valued at more than $ 1 billion. There are 27 in the Channel and only 7 in France, among them Deezer, Blablacar, Doctolib, who knows, they may be the GAFA of tomorrow.

►In brief

Airbus under the threat of US sanctions validated by the World Trade Organization

Washington is preparing a salvo of reprisals against the European aeronautic manufacturer's shareholder countries (according to our colleagues from Le Figaro ). After 15 years of conflict, the WTO has finally delivered its judgment and communicated it to the Trump administration. She agrees with Boeing, Airbus has benefited from illegal subsidies.

French wine or cognac could be penalized.

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