It’s that time of year. The French government and state-backed La France Tech app have compiled the numbers and ranked 120 of the top performing startups in France right now, for a special category of the top 40. The result is two levels based on objective criteria – Next40 and French Tech 120.
Before I talk about the ratings and what you get when you’re part of these lists, here’s this year’s French Tech 120 and Next 40:
Compared to last year’s Next40, 29 were members of the top category. This means that 11 startups have joined the team – some of which were already part of the French Tech 120 and have made the rest of the startup industry work, such as Ecovadis, NW Storm, Innovafeed, Pigment and Verkor.
Newcomers to the Next40 are ClubFunding (a real estate investment platform), Electra and ZePlug (two EV charging startups), Flying Wells (an airship manufacturer), SAFTI (a real estate marketplace) and WiFirst (a professional telecom company).
As for last year’s Next40 startups, some became public companies – the French government only wants to include private companies in these rankings to give some visibility to companies that don’t publicly share their earnings. This is why Deezer is not available this year and OVHcloud was removed from the list last year. Others have been relegated to the second tier or relegated entirely. Mero, for example, is nowhere to be found.
Next40 ranking is still largely determined by how much VC money you’ve raised. If your company is a unicorn, meaning you’ve raised $1 billion or more in funding, your startup will automatically become a Next40 company. This is how 26 companies joined Next40. As for the rest of the team, they have raised €100 million or more in funding from 2020 to 2022 (€107 million at today’s exchange rate).
In the next category, France Tech 120, the government selected 40 companies that received the most funding. So far this year, these startups have raised at least 40 million euros ($43 million).
Finally, for the last 40 selected startups, the government looked at revenue. These companies generate at least 10 million euros per year and are growing at a fast rate of at least 25% year-on-year revenue growth over the past three years.
And it’s true that some of these startups are now generating some serious revenue. For example, Miracle has reached $135 million in annual recurring revenue by 2022. The startup operates marketplaces for third-party products on popular e-commerce websites. The company did $6 billion in gross merchandise volume last year. Digital marketing automation service Sendinblue has reached €100 million in annual recurring revenue ($107 million). Younited reported revenue of 190 million euros ($203 million) last year.
If these French beginners have problems with public administration, they can reach La France Tech. La France Tech can make an introduction with a France Tech representative in one of the 60 different partner administrations. These representatives try to help startups when it comes to obtaining visas for foreign workers, obtaining certification or patents, selling products to public administrations, etc.
In total, the 120 companies in the France Tech 120 work with 47,800 employees. These startups generate €11.3 billion in revenue ($12 billion). In other words, most metrics are moving up and to the right, but some are growing faster than others. For example, only 15 companies have at least one female founder or CEO. There is still a long way to go when it comes to female representation and diversity in the French tech ecosystem.