October 28, 2021

The 36 Hottest Startups in France in 2021

Business leaders

Here's our pick of the hottest and most promising French startups in 2021.

Home to over 30 Fortune 500 companies, France is one of the world’s hottest consumer markets. From consumer giants like L’Oreal to insurance pioneers like AXA, numerous multibillion-dollar empires have their roots within the country. 

While the French economy was adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic (much like other large economies), it has seen a remarkable recovery in 2021. French startups led the recovery, raising a record €5.6 billion in venture capital funds during the first two quarters of the year. 

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How we shortlisted the entries**

Given the large number of startups in France, there were many companies vying for a place on our list. We decided to focus on companies that have raised funding from external investors up to Series B.

These picks consist of promising companies set to become industry leaders, forces to reckon with - or both. So which companies made the list? Let’s find out! 

1. Sweep

Founded in 2020, Sweep is a promising tech company that offers environmentally conscious businesses an interactive toolkit to calculate and reduce their carbon emissions. The company has been successful in raising €5M in private funding so far.

Founders: Nicolas Raspal, Rachel Delacour, Raphael Güller, Yannick Chaze

Location: Montpellier, France

2. Pennylane

Launched in 2020, Pennylane supplies businesses with an interactive bookkeeping system that offers more insight into their accounts than a typical third party accountant. The FinTech startup has raised €34M so far.

Founders: Alex Roquoplo, Arthur Waller, Edouard Mascré, Félix Blossier, Quentin de Metz, Tancrède Besnard, Tancrède Besnard, Thierry Déo

Location: Paris, France

3. Alma

Alma is one of very few startups that have been able to break into the tumultuous fintech payment markets. The presence of both industry giants (Visa, Mastercard) and young unicorns (Klarna, Stripe) makes the market incredibly cutthroat. Alma’s attempt at entering the French fintech industry has proven to be very successful so far, witharound €65M raised in private funding.

Founder: Guillaume Desloges, Louis Chatriot

Location: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

4. Agricool

Founded in 2015, Argicool is a trailblazer in France’s expanding organic foods market. The company develops technology to grow and deliver fresh fruits and veggies in French cities within a few hours. Agricool uses innovative vertical mini-farms that make excellent use of the terse farming space available in urban areas. Agricool has raised €37M in Series A funding thus far. 

Founders: Gonzague Gru, Guillaume Fourdinier

Location: Paris, France

5. Indy

Lyon’s Indy is an automated accounting ‘robot’ that caters to entrepreneurs running SMBs. Indy’s innovative software syncs directly with a corporate bank account to manage all business transactions. It also collects data from these transactions to prepare a detailed accounting report. Indy has raised €46M so far. 

Founders: Adrien Plat, Come Fouques, Pablo Larvor, Romain Koenig

Location: Lyon, France

6. Pixpay

Pixpay is a fintech startup with a unique vision: providing digital bank cards and other facilities to 10-18-year-olds. From running extensive marketing campaigns on social media apps to launching a spinoff payments app, Pixpay has made some pretty bold moves. Founded in early 2019, Pixpay has already seen tremendous success, securing sizable early-stage VC funding of €11M. 

Founder: Benoit Grassin, Nicolas Klein, Caroline Ménager.

Location: Paris, France  

7. iziwork

Founded in 2018, iziwork is a combination of the booming HR Tech space and a freelancer marketplace. Essentially, iziwork is  an online job board for freelancers – allowing employers to scout and connect with potential candidates by filtering through various criteria. Including their last raise of $43M, Iziwork has raised a total of $68M.

Founders: ​​Alexandre Dardy, Mehdi Tahri

Location: Paris, France

8. Luko

Luko is a unique insurance company focused on selling home insurance products for both homeowners and renters. Luko has a unique business model: It charges 30% of the entire premium paid for operations, and everything else is pooled together for compensation. At the end of the year, clients can donate their prorated share of the unused premiums. With total funding at $84.9M, Luko raised its last round (Series B) of $60.6M in December last year. Marquee investors like Accel, EQT, Speedinvest have participated in earlier rounds.

Founders: Benoit Bourdel, Raphael Vullierme

Location: Paris, France

9. Jow

Founded in 2017, Jow is a mobile app that makes it easier to cook by recommending menu ideas, recipes and allowing you to purchase groceries. The software automatically adds the essential ingredients based on the menu and lets users buy them from the app's partner grocery stores. These groceries are then delivered to their homes. Jow raised its Series A round of $20M earlier this year to enter the American market. 

Founders: Antoine Maillard, Brice Audrain, Franck Maurin, Jacques-Edouard Sabatier

Location: Paris, France 

10. Homa Games

Founded in 2018, Homa Games is the platform for creating and publishing mobile games. Game developers from around the world use Homa’s technologies to power their creativity. Homa Games has released over 30 games already, including Tower Color and Sky Roller. The startup has raised a total of $65M, including a $50M Series A round in October 2021.

Founder: Daniel Nathan

Location: Paris, France

11. Sendinblue

Sendinblue is a SaaS & cloud-based tool used to automate email and SMS marketing. It has tools that assist users with design, consumer segmentation, email monitoring, thorough campaign reports (CTR, open rate), and trigger-based campaigns. Sendinblue counts BMW, Michelin, and Asics among their clients. Founded in 2012, the company raised $150M in their 2020 Series B. 

Founders: Armand Thiberge, Kapil Sharma

Location: Paris, France 

12. Planity

Founded in 2015, Planity is an aggregator platform for salons in the vicinity. The app lets users book salon visits online and helps salons increase their efficiency. Planity raised their Series B funding of $35M in July 2021. 

Founders: Antoine Puymirat, Paul Vonderscher

Location: Paris, France 

13. Lydia

Founded in 2013, Lydia is a consumer mobile payment platform, supporting Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and QR code payments. Lydia enables users to keep track of their bank accounts, send money online, set up recurring payments, and block payment cards. Lydia is commonly known as the Venmo for France. It enables users to send payments to others via a phone number. Lydia has raised a total of $160M, of which $86M was raised in December 2020 during a Series B round. 

Founders: Antoine Porte, Cyril Chiche

Location: Paris, France

14. Klaxoon

Klaxoon is a SaaS platform that provides services such as remote meetings, webinars, and virtual learning courses. Instructors can submit content and engage with students through quizzes, surveys, challenges, and live chats. The Klaxoon Box is a hardware solution that allows users to access Klaxoon apps without the internet. The Klaxoon Box got the CES 2016 Innovation Award. Founded in 2015, Klaxoon’s last funding round was a Series B raised in 2018 for $50M.

Founder: Matthieu Beucher

Location: Cesson-Sévigné, France

15. Expensya

Expensya is a SaaS solution that automates business expense management. It enables employees to upload invoices and extract data via OCR. Expensya can be integrated with SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft Dynamics to provide end-to-end spend management software. Founded in 2014, Expensya raised $20M this year as part of its Series B funding.

Founders: Jihed Othmani, Karim Jouini

Location: Paris, France 

16. Artur’In

Artur’In leverages AI-based tools to help SMEs automate their digital marketing campaigns. It aims to improve visibility and bolster growth by automatically creating and publishing content across social media platforms. Founded in 2018, Artur’In raised $52M as part of a Series B funding round this year. 

Founders: Dan Serfaty, Melissa Serfaty, Philippe Jochem, Pierre-Emmanuel Servant, Rodolphe Gougaud, Thierry Lunati, Eric Lauer

Location: Paris, France

17. Livestorm

Livestorm is a browser-based video engagement platform to organize virtual meetings, events and webinars. It focuses on providing in-meeting features such as screen sharing and virtual backgrounds to help customers deliver targeted messages to event attendees. Livestorm counts Honda, Sendinblue, and Shopify among its 5,000 clients. Founded in 2016, Livestorm has raised a total of $35M, of which $30M was raised last year during a Series B round.

Founder: Gilles Bertaux, Robin Lambert, Tom Forlini, Vincent Garreau

Location: Paris, France 

18. MisterFly

MisterFly is a website that allows travellers to book various travel services such as plane tickets, hotel rooms, and vehicle rentals. After submitting destination information and departure times, travellers can search, compare, and book travel services. Founded in 2015, MisterFly raised $11.5M in Series A funding in 2021.

Founders: Carlos Da Silva, Nicolas Brumelot

Location: Paris, France

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19. Synapse Medicine

Doctors can use Synapse Medicine's AI-enabled virtual assistant to help them with medical prescriptions. Synapse is an easy-to-use app for healthcare professionals to check for reliable, up-to-date information about medicines and the safety of drug therapies for patients. The startup is currently operating in private beta. Synapse raised $11M as part of a Series A round in 2020.

Founders: Bruno Thiao-Layel, Clement Goehrs, Louis Letinier

Location: Bordeaux, France

20. +Simple

+Simple provides SMEs and entrepreneurs with tailor-made insurance policies to insure them against all risks. +Simple typically bundles insurance policies together and provides a packaged policy digitally to their clients. Founded in 2015, +Simple raised $24M as Series B funding in 2020.

Founder: Anthony Jouannau, Eric Mignot, Salah Hamida

Location: Paris, France 

21. Mooncard

Founded in 2015, Mooncard is a corporate payments provider competing with finance giants like Visa and Mastercard. It aims to leverage a host of unique features to reduce administrative tasks for companies. Mooncard’s credit cards automate the management of expense claims and company expenses. It recently raised $24M in its Series B funding round held in September 2021.

Founders: Christophe Crémer, Damien Metzger, Renaud Vaillant, Tristan Leteurtre

Location: Paris, France 

22. Sencrop

Sencrop is a one-stop shop for farmers aiming to leverage data to improve their produce. Sencrop offers farmers a station that can capture data about the weather, humidity, wind, rainfall, and other factors and predict likely diseases for the crops. The farmers can then visit the marketplace on the app to buy solutions or products that can help counter these problems. Founded in 2016, Sencrop has raised $10M in its Series A funding round held in 2019. 

Founders: Martin Ducroquet, Michael Bruniaux

Location: Lille, France

23. Wecasa

Founded in 2016, Wecasa is a Paris-based service marketplace that focuses on optimising the user experience on its platform. Wecasa is a data-driven marketplace that shows users different care and general services providers based on their data. It has raised $18M as part of its Series B funding round in 2021.

Founders: Antoine Chatelain, Julien Lestavel, Pierre Andre

Location: Paris, France

24. BeReal

BeReal is an app-based platform for sharing photos. The app notifies all the users at a random time to capture and share a photo within a specified time. The platform allows users to take photos from the selfie camera and main camera at the same time. It also allows users to share photos and see them on maps or their timelines. Founded in 2020, BeReal has already raised a whopping $30M in Series A. 

Founders: Kevin Perreau, Alexis Barreyat

Location: Paris, France 

25. Heetch

Founded in 2013, Heetch is an online ride-sharing app that facilitates late-night transportation seekers in France. Competing with industry giants like Uber and Ola, Heetch’s attempt at breaking into the market by targeting an important niche has been largely successful. The company has raised a total of €67M including its latest (Series B) funding round. 

Founders: Amir Reza-Tofigh, Aylic Petit, Mathieu Jacob, Teddy Pellerin

Location: Paris, France

26. Cityscoot

Paris’s Cityscoot is a mobility company that lets users rent electric mopeds in and around Paris, Nice, Bordeaux, Milan and Barcelona. Cityscoot presents itself as an elegant and environmentally conscious solution to Europe’s growing traffic problem. The company has raised €79M so far. 

Founders: Bertrand Fleurose

Location: Paris, France.

27. Medadom

Medadom is a healthtech startup that enables remote doctor consultations and better prescription and EHR management for hospitals. The steep increase in waiting times and appointment cancellations during the pandemic has helped Medadom gain attention from nationwide clients and avid investors. The company recently raised €40M in its Series A funding round.  

Founders: Charles Mimouni, Eliedan Mimouni,  Nathaniel Bern

Location: Paris, France

28. Delair

Delair is a Toulouse-based startup that manufactures high-end drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance, analysis, and defence operations. The company recently diversified its operations by launching asset management and innovative image-based data analysis services for large businesses. Delair debuted as a startup in 2011. It has raised $43M up to its Series B round. 

Founders: Bastien Mancini, Benjamin Benharrosh, Benjamin Michel, Michael de Lagarde 

Location: Toulouse, France

29. Forest Admin

Forest Admin is a Saas startup that provides universal data management interfaces for business organisations. Presenting itself as an elegant digital solution for data management problems, the company allows businesses to build their own easy-to-use data admin interfaces. Founded in 2016, Forest Admin has raised a total of $11.2M. 

Founders: Quentin Nickmans, Sandro Munda, Thibaud Elziere

Location: Paris, France

30. Cailabs

Hailing from Rennes, France, Calilabs designs, manufactures and sells innovative photonic (optical fibre) products that significantly increase the speed and quality of data transmission. The company’s state of the art optical fibre solutions have helped it secure funding of €17M up to its Series A funding round. 

Founders: Guillaume Labroille, Jean-Francois Morizur, Nicolas Treps

Location: Rennes, France

31. Descartes Underwriting

Descartes Underwriting is an insurtech company specialising in climate risk modelling and data-driven risk transfer. The company aims to make a name for itself in the cutthroat insurance/finance market through its innovative, technology-driven risk assessment systems. Descartes currently works with businesses from varied sectors like agriculture, construction, entertainment and hospitality. Debuting in 2019, the startup has secured funding of $20.8 million so far. 

Founders: Sébastien Piguet, Tanguy Touffut

Location: Puteaux, Ile-de-France, France

32. Molotov

Molotov is a 2015 streaming startup based out of Paris. Its platform primarily airs content owned by local television stations from France and other neighbouring countries. Despite debuting in a cut-throat sector populated by giants like Netflix and Amazon, Molotov has generated a consumer base of over 11 million active users. Its exclusive educational content aimed towards school-going children helped it gain popularity in France. Molotov has raised a total of $34.5M. 

Founder: Jean-David Blanc

Location: Paris, France

33. Agicap

Founded in 2016, Agicap is a Lyon-based fintech startup that allows SMEs to manage their cash flow digitally. Agicap’s pathbreaking software helps businesses streamline and manage their cash flows and risk-prediction systems. The company has secured a total funding of $119.8M up to its Series B funding round. 

Founders: Clement Mauguet, Lucas Bertola, Sebastien Beyet

Location: Lyon, France

34. Sorare

Sorare is a global fantasy football game where users can earn and trade officially licensed digital collectibles. Like many other fantasy sports games, Sorare has seen stable growth and excellent revenue figures since its inception in 2018. Sorare is currently one of the fastest-growing unicorns with $680M (Series B) funding at a $4.3B valuation.

Founders: Adrien Montfort, Nicolas Julia

Location: Paris, France

35. WeMaintain

WeMaintain is a tech-enabled lift maintenance company based out of Paris. It allows business managers to avail a comprehensive service that combines the technical skills of lift engineers with an agile and scalable delivery system. Founded in 2017, the venture raised $36M in its last round (Series B) of funding in June 2021. 

Founders: Benoit Dupont, Jade Francine, Tristan Foureur

Location: Paris, France

36. Odaseva

Odaseva is a Paris-based SaaS company that provides businesses with efficient cloud-based data storage platforms. It markets itself as a ‘scale-up’ company that helps companies to streamline and upgrade their data storage and management systems. Odaseva raised $25M as part of its Series B round in 2020. 

Founders: Chantal Quentin, Richard Zolezzi, Rémy Claret, Sovan Bin, Vincent Delamarre

Location: Paris, France

Did we miss anyone that should be on our list? Let us know at hello(@)cledara.com.

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