In 2022, a total of 1.072 million new businesses were created in France, a 2% increase from 2021 and a new record. According to the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), this upward trend has mainly benefited firms specializing in industrial activities (18.2%), business support (17.7%), household services (17.5%) and information and communication (14.4%). However, those businesses specializing in financial activities and insurance (5.8%) and construction (5%) shouldn’t be forgotten. A total of 61% of all these new businesses were micro-enterprises.

According to the EY Venture Capital Survey in France, 2022 was also a record year for “La French Tech”, both nationally and at a European level. “La French Tech” raised €13.5 billion, up 17% compared with 2021. In the meantime, Germany experienced a 15% fall and the United Kingdom a 30% decline.

The five startups that stood out the most are Qonto, a FinTech startup (€486 million raised), Ecovadis, a software and IT services specialist (€478 million), BackMarket, a provider of resale services (€450 million), Contentsquare, a provider of IT services (€393 million) and Exotec Solutions, an artificial intelligence expert (€305 million). The first four startups mentioned have even made it into the top 10 investments in Europe. Furthermore, these startups’ funding comes from large groups, such as Alkeon Capital Management, General Atlantic and Goldman Sachs Asset Management, among others, which proves their strong internationalization.

The year 2022 shows one last record, that of the number of unicorns created. Eight new businesses exceeded a valuation of more than €1 billion. Qonto, Exotec Solutions, PayFit (Internet services), Ankorstore (Internet services), Spendesk (FinTech), Ecovadis and NW group (CleanTech) reached this milestone during the first half of 2022, to be joined in the second half by Younited (FinTech). As such, France finished the year with 27 unicorns in all, when there were only two in 2017.

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