This is a snapshot of the Parisian tech scene, through the eyes of Index Ventures and TheFamily, leveraging the experience of the thousands of people who make it happen.
We hope you’ll find it useful as a guide to navigate the ecosystem.
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Criteo and BlaBlaCar: two unicorns leading Paris’ revival
In October 2013, in what turned out to be a seminal moment, Criteo raised $250m when it listed on the Nasdaq. It is now valued at over $2bn, confidently taking on Google on its core competency of online performance advertising. It employs more than 500 employees, many of them engineers, in a flamboyant contemporary building in the heart of Paris.
Just one floor below, in the same building as Criteo, is BlaBlaCar, a ride-sharing company that raised $100m, one of the largest funding rounds in Europe, to expand its services beyond the 12 countries it already served, and connect the rest of the world to its next-generation transportation network.
From the ground up: entrepreneurship is the new politics
While exceptional in many respects, these two companies are representative of a broader entrepreneurial movement coming from the ground of French society. In a country historically governed from the top down, and where the state tends to identify itself with civil society as a whole, it has been easy for outsiders to overlook this grassroot phenomenon. But, while nobody was watching, France, and Paris at the heart of it, has quietly emerged as a tech powerhouse.
Come to TheFamily
With highly skilled engineers, artists and business students aplenty, a growing cohort of wealthy and experienced repeat entrepreneurs, and a steady supply of capital from local and international funds, stars have finally aligned for the take-off of a long under-hyped ecosystem. Now is the right moment to invest time and money in Paris. This definitive guide will help you get started.
Welcome to Paris!
#ParisIsBack: New Paris Tech Guide by @_TheFamily, thanks for mentioning us! @tinyclues @StickyADStv @criteo