10 French startups must go public as soon as possible


The Government has given its new objective with French Tech. After the valuation of more than one billion euros for 25 startups by 2025, ten of these unicorns will now also have to go public. The listing will be supported by Bpifrance and the Caisse des Dépôts explained this morning the Minister Delegate in charge of the digital transition and telecommunications Jean-Noël Barrot. The two organizations will create an envelope of 800 million euros. Namely that the obligation to list on Euronext Paris is not provided for. Those who target the Nasdaq will not be blamed. Regulatory simplifications are also being negotiated.

“You have to be ready”

The market is particularly gloomy, whether in venture capital fundraising or for IPOs. But unlike other markets, France is doing well and we’ve seen several big fundraisers this year, including for deep tech startups. For the Government, the need to innovate will necessarily have to go through an IPO in order to think big. Today, it is no longer necessary to compete only with companies in France or in Europe. To succeed, you have to impose yourself internationally. Some markets do not leave room for other possibilities. We saw it with the split payment startup Alma, which must now compete with the Swedish giant Klarna or PayPal.

The objective of 25 unicorns in 2025 has been exceeded, we must now prepare the continuation of this growth trajectory, even if we are in a phase of uncertainty”, said the minister delegate during an interview with The echoes. To justify such an announcement in the midst of uncertainty, he added: “It is precisely the time to start the construction site. We must be ready for the day when conjecture becomes propitious again”. Being ready will therefore require the support of the Public Investment Bank and the Caisse des Dépôts, which will use part of the 800 million euros in each startup that announces its plan to join a stock market.

Nasdaq or Euronext Tech Leaders?

In 2021, 333 companies went public in Europe, 202 more than in 2020. Growth followed in France where they were no less than 42, compared to 11 in 2020. We especially remember OVHcloud and Deezer , but the real locomotives of recent months have been mainly in the fields of biotech and alternative technologies. NamR, at the end of May 2021, made its listing in Paris and then took the opportunity to turn to the international market. The startup, which is part of the greentech family, specializes in data analysis, particularly in the building sector, to reduce energy consumption and the carbon impact on the planet.

But then, which stock market to choose? This is one of the main questions of startups, with high growth, but still small sizes. Between Europe and the United States, France knows that many of its nuggets will choose Paris as the prices are significantly lower. But to compete with the Nasdaq, it was necessary to rework the showcase of the financial markets of the Old Continent. This is how NamR took advantage of the Euronext Growth platform, the operating company of the same name, created in 2005 to act as an antechamber to Euronext Paris and make the financial markets more accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises. .

Just last June, a new segment arrived, called Tech Leaders, to double the attractiveness of Euronext for tech startups with international ambitions. From 300 million euros, any company is welcome. And at more than a billion euros (the unicorns), it is not even necessary to claim sufficiently sustained growth to join Euronext Tech Leaders. Although he refused to compare the initiative with the Nasdaq, the general manager of Euronext Stéphane Boujnah declared: “The objective is to defragment the technological quotations which are distributed on the national markets to give them a European profile and to offer a sectorial vision to the investors.”

To return to the objective of 10 unicorns on the stock market before 2025, Jean-Noël Barrot added that regulatory work will be launched to try to make the stock market even more attractive to startups. This will notably involve establishing new possibilities for managers to hold specific shares with multiple voting rights. The goal: to be able to issue a large number of shares on the markets without losing “effective control of their business after listing”. Smart.

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