It’s that time of year. The French government and the initiative supported by the government French Tech collected the applications, processed the numbers and ranked the 120 best performing startups in France right now, with a special category for the top 40. The result is two rankings which are based on objective criteria – the Next40 and the French Tech 120.
Before telling you more about the criteria and what you get when you are on these lists, here are this year’s French Tech 120 and Next40:
Compared to last year’s Next40, 29 of them were already in the top category. This means that 11 startups joined the group – some of them were already part of the French Tech 120 and outperformed the rest of the startup industry, such as EcoVadis, NW Storm, Innovafeed, Pigment and Verkor.
The newcomers to the Next40 are Club funding (a real estate investment platform), Electra And ZePlug (two EV charging startups), Flying Whales (airship manufacturer), SAFTI (real estate market) and Wifirst (a professional telecommunications company).
As with last year’s Next40 startups, some of them have become public companies – the French government only wants to include private companies in these rankings to give some visibility to companies that don’t publicly share their profits. This is the reason why Deezer is no longer there this year and OVHcloud was removed from the list last year. Others have descended into the second category or dropped out of the rankings altogether. For example, Meero cannot be found.
The Next40 ranking is still primarily determined by the amount of VC money you have collected. If your company is a unicorn, that means if you raised a funding round that led to a valuation of $1 billion or more, the startup automatically becomes a Next40 company. This is how 26 companies joined the Next40. As for the rest of the group, they have raised a funding round of 100 million euros or more between 2020 and 2022 ($107 million at today’s exchange rate).
In the next category, the French Tech 120, the government has selected the 40 companies that have raised the biggest funding rounds. For this year, these startups have raised at least 40 million euros ($43 million).
Finally, for the last 40 selected startups, the government looked at revenue. These companies have generated at least $10 million in annual revenue and have grown rapidly with at least 25% year-on-year revenue growth over the past three years.
And it is true that some of these startups are now generating serious income. For example, Miracle reached $135 million in annual recurring revenue in 2022. The startup operates marketplaces for third-party products on popular e-commerce websites. The company handled $6 billion in gross cargo volume last year. Digital Marketing Automation Service sendinblue reached €100 million in annual recurring revenue ($107 million). Younited had revenue of 190 million euros ($203 million) last year.
These French startups can contact La French Tech if they encounter a problem with public administrations. La French Tech can then make an introduction to a representative of French Tech in one of the 60 different partner administrations. These representatives try to help startups when it comes to obtaining visas for foreign employees, obtaining certification or a patent, selling a product to a public administration, etc.
In total, the 120 companies of the French Tech 120 work with 47,800 employees. These startups generate 11.3 billion euros in revenue ($12 billion). In other words, most indicators move up and to the right, but some increase faster than others. For example, only 15 companies have at least one female co-founder or CEO. There is still a long way to go in terms of female representation and diversity in the French tech ecosystem.