French Tech: Macron puts pressure on institutional investors to boost funding for start-ups

For the President of the Republic, access to talent and the need for funding are the two major issues to be resolved for French Tech.

© Getty — Chesnot

“I’m not here just to bring you together when things are going well.” In front of an audience of French Tech players gathered at the Élysée on Monday February 20, Emmanuel Macron hammered home that there was no question for the tricolor technological ecosystem to rest on its laurels after “ten years of success”. If the Head of State has recognized that the current context is “harder than it has ever been” for the young shoots of French tech, he believes that it is also “bringer of opportunities”. But to take advantage of these, the President of the Republic considers that it is urgent to deal with two major issues: talents and funding.

On this second point, which is important when the cash tap has stopped flowing for several months, Emmanuel Macron wants early-stage financing to be reinforced for “ensure that the French invest more in innovative companies”. This could involve the introduction of new measures within the framework of the parliamentary mission currently led by MP Paul Midy (Renaissance) on support for investment in start-ups and SMEs, by mobilizing more savings from French.

We’ll go get everyone. I will invite those who have not put in any money.

Emmanuel Macron on the Tibi 2 fund

The Head of State also wants to further develop late-stage financing “with reinforced Tibi funds”. Launched in 2018, the initiative of the economist Philippe Tibi had resulted in 6 billion euros put on the table by institutional investors, which made it possible to generate nearly 30 billion in investments with the support of several tens of funds.

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If the current tenant of the Élysée welcomes this first effort from institutional investors, he expects much more from them as part of a new Tibi initiative. However, for Emmanuel Macron, this is not going fast enough. “We are too slow, I sense too much reluctance among our friends from the Tibi 2 fund”, tackled the President of the Republic. And to add: “Now is the time to invest, not once it will get better. If I had waited for the end of the Covid pandemic to release public funding, it would not have been the same in this room. “ Determined to amplify the momentum around Tibi 2, the former Minister of the Economy made a clear appeal to institutional investors: “We need you, we’ll get everyone. I’ll invite those who haven’t put in any money.” The tone is set.

Identify 100 technology companies meeting the challenges of France 2030

In the Élysée village hall, Emmanuel Macron did not fail to point out that France had supported the Scale-up Europe initiative aimed at promoting the emergence of European technological champions. In this context, a European fund of 3.75 billion euros has just been created. The final objective is to reach an envelope of 10 billion euros divided equally between the EU and private investors (banks, insurance companies, etc.). The President of the Republic now expects a similar effort from French institutional investors to improve the ecosystem’s financing chain.

An essential point as the Head of State reaffirmed his ambitions for French Tech by 2030. Indeed, he wants the tricolor ecosystem to have given birth to 100 unicorns, including 25 “green” in reference to ecological transition, and 500 DeepTechs per year by the end of the decade. “The priority is to accelerate breakthrough innovations”insisted Emmanuel Macron. The President of the Republic also sets the objective of creating 100 new industrial sites from French tech per year by 2025 to meet the challenges of the France 2030 plan. It is moreover within the framework of the latter that the President asked the French Tech mission to identify, by this summer, a hundred technology companies in order to meet the major challenges that will arise between now and the end of the decade, on the model of the Next 40 and the French Tech 120.

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