After a 2020 online edition, French startups are back in the dark electro atmosphere of Slush on December 1-2. With the support of Orange, Choose Paris Region, and La Poste, Business France will bring 35 companies to Finland, including 22 startups on the French Tech Pavilion and 13 “learnex” participants to experience the world’s craziest tech show. Perhaps even crazier than the dynamism of the European tech scene, particularly in the Nordics and France!
The 22 French startups brought on the French Tech Pavilion are among the most promising, such as the global leader in digital experience analytics Contentsquare, well ranked on the French Tech 120 index. Business France and its partners, Orange, Choose Paris Region, and La Poste have selected these companies for their high potential in key sectors: data analytics, AI, retail, enterprise software, blockchain, marketing, or cybersecurity.
During these two days, they will be part of the 8,800 attendees gathered at Helsinki Expo and Convention Center in a format optimized for the sanitary situation and meet with the world’s leading founders, investors, executives, and media.
To prepare them for hacking this hybrid edition, Business France organized upstream networking events for the participants: webinars, mentoring, pitch contests, and a tailor-made bootcamp. They also got access to the matchmaking platform and tips to identify the people to meet for the physical event.
Since Slush is the event that concentrates the most investors per startup, let’s see the trends observed in Europe, especially in the Nordics and France.
We observe three trends from the first half of 2021:
- The European tech scene is at an inflection point, with venture funding to startups reaching an unprecedented $59 billion during the first half of 2021.
- Many leading European companies also choose now to stay on the continent rather than moving to the US.
- Substantial fundings are now spreading across Europe beyond the U.K, Germany, and France.
The Nordic startup scene is one of the most dynamic, driven by the stamina of Sweden. The “unicorn factory” has seen its total raised capital triple from $2,4 billion in the first part of 2020 to $7,4 billion over the same period in 2021. This growth relies on three massive rounds for battery manufacturer Northvolt ($2.8 billion) and Klarna ($1.7 billion in total), now the world’s second most valuable fintech at $45,6 billion.
In Finland, VCs invested a record amount of $630 million in local startups, exceeding the whole year 2020, which already saw its VC investment grow by 62% then. The most prominent startups are the grocery delivery Wolt, healthech Oura, and open-source data platform Aiven.
On the other hand, French startups are also experiencing historical growth, exceeding $10 billion raised in venture capital in the first three quarters of 2021, according to a study by In Extenso Innovation Croissance and ESSEC Business School.
Looking at the French Tech 40/120, we see that French startups bring complementary solutions to the Nordic ones in the sectors of cybersecurity, fintech, healthtech/biotech/medtech, agritech, or the retailtech.