French tech’s wild year

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After having established itself on the French market for peer-to-peer payments, Lydia announces a $103 million financing round and becomes the 22nd unicorn of French Tech. The least we can say is that European and French tech is pulverising its fundraising record. According to the annual report of the British fund Atomico, the continent’s start-ups are on course to raising €107 billion in 2021, a threefold increase over 2020. The valuation of the entire tech ecosystem, both quoted and unquoted, is now estimated at more than $3 trillion. This has tripled in less than three years.

So what is the reason for this unprecedented success?

A growing number of investors

The tech sector is taking full advantage of the investor enthusiasm for technology companies, while the sanitary crisis may have further accelerated the digital transformation. The sector is increasingly attracting large American and Asian funds, which now account for a third of all fundraising in Europe. Nearly 70% of the capital for deals over $250 million comes from the United States and Asia.

Substantial fund-raising

In addition, there have been mega-fundraisings of over $100 million. Atomico counts 152 of these since the beginning of the year, while there were only 64 last year.

And this trend points to a promising future. Indeed, more and more European start-ups have the resources to compete with American start-ups. The trend is therefore towards the internationalisation of these European champions.

An upsurge in IPOs

Atomico notes that, after two consecutive years of decline, young European start-ups are now raising as much money as their American counterparts. Buyouts of startups, mostly by large US groups, have also increased. And several major IPOs have taken place this year, such as Deliveroo, Wise and Auto1.

In 2021, 22 unicorns were born in France

Here is a quick list of the unicorns that were born this year in France. As a reminder, a unicorn is an unlisted technology company with a valuation of over 1 billion dollars :

– Alan

– Back Market

– BlaBlaCar

– Contentsquare

– Deezer

– Dental Monitoring

– Doctolib


– Ivalua

– Ledger

– Lydia

– ManoMano

– Meero

– Mirakl

– Qonto

– Shift Technology

– Sorare

– Swile

– Vestiaire Collective

– Voodoo

– Veepee


The trend will most certainly continue in 2022. Hence, tech has a promising future. Data protection issues are therefore all the more important, relevant and urgent.


  • Perreau, Charlie. “Lydia Lève 103 Millions Et Devient La 22e Licorne De La French Tech.” Les Echos Executives, Business Les Echos, 8 Dec. 2021,
  • Marin, Jérôme. “La Tech Européenne Pulvérise Son Record De Levées De Fonds.” Cafétech, 7 Dec. 2021,
  • Marin, Jérôme. “Lydia Dépasse La Barre Du Milliard De Valorisation.” Cafétech, 8 Dec. 2021,
  • Illustration : Midena, Maurice. “Licornes : OÙ En Est La France ?” Forbes France, 4 Apr. 2019,

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