Launched in 2019 by the French Tech Mission, the French Tech Next40/120 is a government support program dedicated to the most successful French start-ups with the capacity to become world-class technology leaders.
The 120 start-ups in the program are selected on the basis of economic performance (fundraising or hypergrowth of revenues). The class of 2023 is also the first to include social and environmental commitments.
Announced on February 19, 2023, this fourth class will benefit from a year of dedicated support from the French Tech Mission.
Class of 2023
The class of 2023 of the French Tech Next40/120 is the most selective since its creation. In France, 2022 was marked by a new record in terms of fundraising, growth in start-up revenues and the emergence of 8 new unicorns. As a result, the French Tech Next40/120 is experiencing a similar turnover to previous years (27 entrants versus 30 in 2022), although it is more significant in the French Tech Next 40 (11 new companies).In France, 2022 was marked
Products and services that are part of French people’s daily lives
Year after year, the start-ups in the French Tech Next40/120 are increasingly taking part in the daily lives of French people: making an appointment with a healthcare professional on Doctolib, buying second-hand clothes with Vestiaire Collective, paying for lunch with Swile, carpooling with Blablacar, booking vacations with Campings.com, having fun with Voodoo…
The usefulness of these services has been proven: the French have adopted them, as have many other users in Europe and around the world. In total, three out of five French people (62%) use a service offered by a French Tech Next40/120 start-up at least once a month (results from an IFOP survey conducted for Roland Berger among a representative sample of 1,000 French people in January 2022).
Services that have become essential to support the digital transition of companies
The digital transition of companies has become a structuring issue for all companies. French Tech start-ups offer a growing number of solutions for large groups, SMEs and VSEs in all areas: financial management, human resources management, CSR policy, marketing, health, logistics, distribution.
Very strong revenue growth in 2022
While DeepTech start-ups need to raise significant funds at the beginning of their development to finance research and development programs that will last several years, the start-ups selected on the basis of the French Tech Next40/120 hyper-growth criterion have shown very strong growth in revenues.
In 2022, the combined revenues of all 120 companies in the program will represent 11.3 billion euros, compared to 9.5 billion in 2021. Moreover, 72% of them have at least doubled their revenues from 2019 to 2022.
In total, the French Tech Next40/120 companies represent 47,800 jobs (Figures from the cumulative job creation as reported by the startups selected in the French Tech Next40/120 class of 2023), an increase of 5.8% over one year, and more than 70% since 2020.
A selection increasingly driven by disruptive innovations, climate leadership and industrial sovereignty
The GreenTech sector has seen significant growth in France, with amounts raised estimated at €2 billion, which would represent nearly 15% of the €13.5 billion raised in 2022. Start-ups NW Storm (€300M), ZePlug (€240M) and Electra (€160M) have particularly stood out with record-breaking amounts raised, which have enabled them to join the French Tech Next40.
This year, the French Tech Next40 includes:
- 10 start-ups in the green sector, including 7 new ones: EcoVadis, Electra, Flying Whales, Innovafeed, NW Storm, Verkor, ZePlug, which join Back Market, BlaBlaCar and Ynsect;
- 7 industrial start-ups, including 3 new ones: Flying Whales, Innovafeed, Verkor joining DNA Script, Exotec, Ledger and Ynsect;
- 8 DeepTech start-ups, including 3 new ones: Flying Whales, Innovafeed, Verkor, which are joining DNA Script, Exotec, Ledger, Loft Orbital and Ynsect.
Beyond the French Tech Next40, this trend continues in the new selection of the French Tech 120 with the entrances of Deepki, ITEN, Qair, Sweep on the ecological transition section and Prophesee on the DeepTech section.
A year in line with the priorities of France 2030
With France 2030, the Government is carrying out an ambitious, transformative project. The French Tech Next40/120 Class of 2023 reflects that: a growing number of the start-ups selected are helping to strengthen France’s technological excellence and its reindustrialisation. With their disruptive innovations and their ambition, they are making a very concrete contribution to achieving the objectives of France 2030 set by the President of the Republic in October 2021.
This new class also attests to the relevance and quality of the support provided by France 2030: all of the industrial and DeepTech start-ups in the French Tech Next40 have benefited from it.
However, this momentum must be amplified. With more than 1,500 projects financed since October 2021, for a total of €11 billion, France 2030 represents a fabulous seedbed for the next promotions of French Tech Next40/120. For each of the plan’s 10 objectives, from hydrogen to small nuclear reactors to low-carbon aviation, we must continue to support the disruptive innovations that will create the industrial champions of tomorrow.
French Tech Next40 welcomes its first female leader: a symbol that should pave the way for more and more women leaders
Since its launch, the number of female presidents (CEOs) and co-founders in the French Tech Next40/120 companies has increased from 5 in 2020 to 15 in 2023: 7 female leaders (CEOs) and 8 female co-founders. We would like to highlight the arrival for the first time of a female executive in the French Tech Next40: Éléonore Crespo, the co-founder and co-CEO of Pigment.
While these figures show progress, they also demonstrate the extent of the progress that still needs to be made to achieve parity in French Tech, an issue to which the Mission French Tech, alongside start-ups, is fully devoted.
French investors are the main contributors to the ecosystem
The financing of French Tech Next40/120 startups is primarily and largely supported by French investors. An analysis of financing rounds between 2020 and 2022 confirms Bpifrance as the main supporter of the emergence and growth of the French ecosystem. 56% of investors are French or European, and among foreign funds outside Europe, it is primarily the United States (30% of the total) and the United Kingdom (10%) that are contributing to the financing of the start-ups selected this year, demonstrating the attractiveness of France for foreign investors.
The selection criteria for the Class of 2023 were particularly demanding, and have been raised from previous years.
The French Tech Next40 brings together the 40 most successful start-ups in the ecosystem to reward their status as spearheads of the French economy. To join, you had to be a French unicorn not listed on the stock market, or have raised at least €100 million between 2020 and 2022, up to the number of places available.
The 80 other places that complete the French Tech120 are aimed at other high-potential start-ups, selected according to two methods:
- either fundraising, to embody the confidence of investors: to have raised, between 2020 and 2022, a fundraising of at least €40 million, a threshold that has doubled compared to the class of 2022 (40 companies selected from those eligible, in order of fundraising) ;
- or hyper-growth, to embody the confidence of customers: justify a turnover of at least 10 million euros during the last fiscal year and demonstrate an average growth of at least 25% during the last three fiscal years (40 companies selected among those eligible, in order of revenue).
The first part is mainly aimed at DeepTech and/or industrial start-ups, which need significant funding to support their research and development and/or their industrial site, while the second part allows us to highlight certain start-ups that do not need to raise as much money, but which are experiencing hyper-growth in sales, a sign of their customers’ confidence.
This year’s class of 2023 is also a more comprehensive approach to performance, incorporating issues of ecological transition, gender equality and inclusion. For the first time since the program’s inception, all of the winners have agreed to make a commitment to :
- Ecological transition with the completion of a “scope 1, 2 and 3” carbon footprint by the end of 2023;
- Parity by sending the French Tech Mission the results of its gender equality index, along with proposals for improving it;
- Inclusion by initiating a collective effort led by Mission French Tech on these issues during the first half of 2023, starting with a diagnosis requested in the context of the call for applications opened today on the issues of impact.
The start-ups selected in the French Tech Next40/120 program benefit from a dedicated support program for one year, operated by the Mission French Tech teams.
With its first 3 editions, the French Tech Next40/120 program has grown from year to year. For 93% of start-ups supported in 2022, it has been an asset for the development of their business (survey conducted among the class of 2022 in December 2022).
The objective of the program is to provide individual and collective support on strategic issues such as international development, financing, recruitment, localization, intellectual property, and regulatory issues.
This support is divided into four parts:
1/ A dedicated start-up manager, who supports the companies in their portfolio on their priority issues and acts as a link with the network of “French Tech Correspondents”. This network brings together 60 government agencies and public services that are partners of the Mission French Tech, and that have mobilized to contribute to the success of the start-ups supported by the Mission, in particular those in the French Tech Next40/120. These partners, including Business France, the French Customs and Excise Department, INPI, AFNOR, the Bank of France, and URSSAF, provide start-ups with support on issues such as international development, intellectual property protection, financing, and human resources.
2/ Increased visibility, via influence and communication operations, a presence in official delegations in France and abroad, in connection with the French Tech Capitals and Communities in France and abroad, and the “French Tech Correspondents”.
3/ Specific support on regulatory issues, with the aim of continuing to ensure a legal framework in France that is favorable to the development of start-ups. It allows for individual monitoring of the specific problems of the French Tech Next40/120 start-ups, and for the entire promotion to benefit from the work of the Mission French Tech on priority legal issues.
4/ Events for sharing experiences and providing expertise on various issues: financing, recruitment, parity, inclusion and diversity, regulatory issues, international, ecological transition, external growth.
“As a member of the French Tech Next40 for the third year in a row, we at Qonto are very proud to have actively contributed to the initiatives of the French Tech Mission, especially with the Parity Pact. In the last two years, we have already grown from 34% to 43% women in our teams, and our goal is to continue to improve to reach parity. We are very grateful that Mission French Tech is engaging with us on many impactful topics – from diversity and inclusion to a commitment to energy sobriety.”
Sarah Ben Allel, VP People at Qonto
“We had the opportunity to be part of the delegation that accompanied Minister Jean-Noël Barrot to CES in Las Vegas. The program set up during this visit allowed us to meet with interlocutors who could have a decisive impact on accelerating our development in the United States.”
Julien Hodara, CEO of Libon
“It was very useful and pleasant to be able to exchange regularly this year with the HRDs of French Tech within the HRD Club: we have different realities due to our different sizes and missions, but we share common issues around growth and diversity for example. Younited was able to share its experience in integrating its values into the recruitment process of a hypergrowth company. We also signed the Parity Pacte, an initiative that is necessary in French Tech and gives visibility to our commitments on the subject.”
Vigdis Flaten, Chief People & Impact Officer of Younited
“We have received particularly effective support from Mission French Tech in many areas, including tax partnerships and help with talent passports. But I especially wanted to commend their unwavering support in public affairs, which has allowed us to significantly expand our scope of action.”
Thomas Ybert, CEO of DNA Script
Class of 2023
French Tech Next40
|360Learning||Flying Whales||Shift Technology|
French Tech 120
|Adikteev||Deepki||La Belle Vie|
|Campings.com||ImCheck Therapeutics||Mnemo Therapeutics|
|Pennylane||Skello||Ultra Premium Direct|