Winter is coming, thus has come the time to look back at the state of French Tech in 2016.
A recent report by CB Insights pointed out that 2016 is already a record year in deals and dollars for French Tech, with $1.5B invested in 368 deals at Q3’2016! Since 2012, France has seen $5.5 billion invested across 1,018 deals. In 2016, corporate VCs (CVC) participated in 1/5 of total tech deals in France.
The Paris Region is leading the French Tech scene, with innovation, research and startups: $714M were invested in more than 160 deals through Q3’2016. Top Deals in Q3’16 include Mobile and Internet startups, with a focus on AdTech and AI companies.
Source: CB Insights, November 2016
It is worth to mention Zenly, which raised its Series B ($23M, from Benchmark and a few other investors). Zenly provides mobile location sharing services, and is succeeding where many failed before: 1-meter precision location, intuitive interface, confidentiality compliance and all that without killing your battery.
In Adtech, Alkemics, which also raised a $23M in Series B in 2016, connects brands and retailers through smarter data to better serve omni-channel shoppers. Ogury ($15M Series B), TVTY ($7M Venture), Sync2ad ($2.24M Venture) are also Adtech startups to watch closely.
As for AI, France has one of the world’s largest AI communities and is clearly emerging as a global AI hub with a strong startups and R&D centers ecosystem in the field.
In 2015, Facebook opened its first international research center for artificial intelligence in Paris (Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research – FAIR). France is a reservoir of AI talents and dynamic research community with many R&D centers and engineering schools working on various AI subdomains and applications (machine learning, natural language processing, robotics, cognitive sciences, etc.). CNRS, the French National Center for Scientific Research, Inria, the French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics, and CEA List, one of three institutes which comprise CEA Tech, committed to technological innovation in digital systems, are the spearhead of AI R&D in France.
In terms of startups, within the top France Tech AI Deals in 2016 lies Shift Technologies ($10M Series A), who leverages the best of AI to make insurers save money. One of the most promising (and mysterious!) French AI startups to keep an eye on is Snips, who is embedding AI in every connected device and aims to create a hyper-personalized AI assistant while guaranteeing data privacy. Last but not least, Navya is developing autonomous vehicles and just raised $33.56M in Series B.
We will have the opportunity to listen to amazing French and American startups in those fields during our upcoming Open Innovation Club Techmeeting: The Next Generation of Adtech and Martech Powered by AI on December 7th in San Francisco.
We will start the event with a 30 minute panel featuring Anne Bezancon, Founder and President of Placecast, Suzanne Valentine, Distinguished Engineer and Chief Data Scientist at IBM Commerce and Kerem Tomak, Chief Digital Marketing and Analytics Officer at Sears Holding Co, to talk about the boom in geolocation and mobile technologies and how cognitive capabilities are transforming advertising and marketing.
We will then hear from startups pushing the boundaries in marketing and advertising technology including: