🏈 Discover the 114* French Tech companies who made it…

A wad of dollars after having raise money in the U.S.

French entrepreneurs regularly visit Silicon Valley, New York and Boston. We meet many of them jogging in Central Park or around a coffee. Most of them think about expanding to the U.S., but nearly 90% of them don’t have enough cash to fund their development. So, they all end up with a misconceived conclusion: let’s just raise funding in the U.S., where the money is!

An important thing to keep in mind: it is extremely difficult for any France-based startup to raise capital in the U.S. even if it’s easier now than yesterday. 

1/ Let’s have a look at the figures

Since 2010, 114 French tech companies received funding from U.S. investors

This represents less than 0.8% of all French company deals during that period. Most likely, you have been looking for this list of companies and have been unable to find it, just like us. So we decided to build it from scratch with help from Marie (Serena) & Maxence (Breega).

In our list you can find France-based companies that raised capital from a U.S. investor at some point during their development. We’d be happy to share the complete list with you – just send us a message and we’ll send you the link.

2/ Who were the lucky ones?

2018 and 2019 are the years of the big boom! In just 18 months, as many French startups raised money in the U.S. as during the whole 2010–2017 period.

This growth mainly concerns Series A and B, while Series C remains stable over the period. However, some large US VCs have been increasing their participation in the french deal-flow, like in particular General Atlantic, General Catalyst or Bessemer Venture. Encouraging!

3/ Who is Investing?

U.S. VCs who took the risk

No major US VC is specialized in cross-border deals with French startups. Most of the investments are one-shot opportunities in a French star. However, a few names appear multiple times: Accel, FirstMark, Upfront Ventures, Benhamou Global Ventures, Plug&Play, Index Ventures.

4/So what should I do now?

3 types of scenarios in case you really want to address the US market and need to raise money there:

  • Pre-Seed: You are a very young company. You quickly realize you have a play in the U.S. because most of your market is here. Or you have been accepted at the YC or a similar program. It is time to flip your company and reset it here.
  • Pre/Post Series A: You start having traction, perhaps a few POCs or concrete partnership opportunities, but not a solid strategy yet. You should definitely focus on raising money in France, and allocate some of the round for your U.S. expansion. This is also the perfect moment to contact us to help you out with your U.S. Go-To-Market!
  • Any Maturity: Most of your business comes from the U.S., you have a defined strategy, a few employees already based in the U.S.. You are ready to flip your company and relocate all your activity and most of your team in the U.S. (Maybe not the R&D). You become a U.S. company. You are ready to speak to U.S. investor like any U.S. company; raising money in the U.S. would be an easy game.

* Methodology to count the startups

  • The list doesn’t include startups created by French founders who initially set up headquarters in the U.S.. These are considered U.S. companies.
  • The list includes companies which have changed their HQ from France to the U.S. along their development, as long as they were initially founded in France.
  • Some companies have been created in France but then flipped to the U.S. so early on during their development that we decided not to include them on the list.
  • In the deals listed, rounds are not necessarily led by U.S. investors.

Watch what Marie Tors, CEO & Co-founder of Graffiti, has to say about our fund-raising services :

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big bang factory offers a complete program combining a startup studio, a business accelerator and a sales factory designed for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs.

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