Venture Capital Deals in France – January 2015

by Emily Forbes

  • 16 Jan 2015
  • PE
  • VC

According to Preqin’s Venture Deals Analyst online service, there have been 1,419 venture capital deals in France since 2007, with an aggregate value of €5.5bn. This equates to 13% of the number and 14% of the total value of all European venture capital financings in that period. From 2007 to 2009, the number of venture capital deals in France as a proportion of all European venture capital financings increased gradually from 13% to 18%. However, since 2009 the share of European venture capital deals accounted for by France has been steadily decreasing, from 18% to 10% in 2014, as shown in the chart below. The UK is the most active country in Europe, accounting for 30% of all venture capital deals in the region since 2007, in terms of both volume and value of deals.

The largest deal recorded in France since 2007 was the €100mn Series D investment in Deezer, a music streaming website, in 2012. The investment was made by Access Industries and French private equity firm Idinvest Partners. The second largest venture capital deal recorded in France was the Series C investment in BlablaCar, which offers car-sharing services. The company raised $100mn in July 2014 from new lead investor Index Ventures and returning investors Accel Partners, ISAI and Lead Edge Capital. 

Unusually, Series A has been the most prominent financing stage in France in terms of number of deals; 224 Series A financings have taken place since 2007, accounting for 15% of all venture capital deals in the country. Angel/seed financings, that represent the initial funding stage, are typically the most numerous, but constituted just 10% of total deals from 2007 to 2014. In the same time period, angel/seed financings accounted for 16% of the European total, while Series A financings contributed 12% to the overall number of deals in the region as a whole. It should be noted that the prominence of Series A financings in France declined from 26% of total deals, seen in 2009, to 9% in 2014, while the proportion accounted for by angel/seed deals doubled from 8% in 2007 to 16% in 2014. 

Series B deals were the second most numerous financing stage in France in the period 2007 to 2014, making up 12% of the total. In terms of aggregate value, at 17%, they accounted for the largest proportion of venture capital deals since 2007, with a total value of €996.6mn. The next largest financing stage in terms of value was Series A, with deals in the period worth an aggregate €637.6mn, 11% of the total. 

Most deals that occurred in France since 2007 were in the internet industry, where 333 financings with an aggregate value of €993mn were recorded, accounting for 23% and 18% of the venture capital deals market respectively. The aggregate value of deals was largest in the healthcare industry, with 244 recorded deals and an aggregate value of €1.5bn. This pattern was mirrored in Europe generally, where the internet (2,525 deals) and healthcare (1,967 deals) industries concluded deals worth an aggregate €8.1bn and €11.3bn respectively.

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