Entrepreneur Bpifrance: a record year of funding in 2020

Bpifrance: a record year of funding in 2020

The Public Investment Bank has been widely mobilized since the start of the crisis, and this can be seen in the figures for the past year. Fundraising activities reached a record level with 20.5 billion euros injected into businesses, an increase of 9.5% compared to 2019. The “special Covid crisis” loans put in place in March 2020 fueled this growth.

With the crisis, bpifrance closes a record year for corporate finance

Four billion euros of cash support loans have been granted to more than 16,000 companies, says Bpifrance, via various in-house mechanisms: the Atout loan for SMEs and midcaps (2.4 billion), the Rebound ready financed by the regions (800 million) and the state guaranteed loan (800 million).

The tourism sector, particularly affected by the crisis, has also benefited from a doubling of the funding allocated. “ In total, we have granted 10.3 billion euros in loans to businesses, for an average duration of 7 to 8 years. They are therefore equipped for the future », Comments Nicolas Dufourcq, CEO of Bpifrance. This figure is expected to drop to around 9 billion in 2021, with the recovery.

Support during the crisis also materialized in grants and loans for innovative companies, with funding more than doubling to € 3 billion (+ 138%). This money includes in particular funds integrated into the 100 billion stimulus plan unveiled last summer, for calls for projects in the automotive and aeronautics sectors.

Mobilized on the front of the EL

Mobilized on the financing front, with large amounts disbursed, Bpifrance was also mobilized from an operational point of view. It is the public bank, in fact, which is responsible for setting up the guarantee lines for the approximately 650,000 EMPs granted since the spring of 2020.

It’s a lot of work that will keep us busy for years to come. », Assures Nicolas Dufourcq. In fact, the creation of the EMP last year reduced the use of guaranteed loans, which is one of Bpifrance’s historical activities in normal times.

Several parliamentarians were however moved last year that the bank called on the American giant Amazon and its cloud subsidiary AWS to host computer data related to EMPs, denouncing a loss of digital sovereignty. ” All data remains housed in secure servers, of which only Bpifrance has the key. They therefore remain anonymous », Replies Nicolas Dufourcq. Who also recalls that the technical services of Amazon have allowed “ to accomplish the miracle of launching the EMP in ten days “.

On the investment side, the bank claims to have played its ” countercyclical role »By increasing the capital invested, in start-ups and SMEs, but also in funds. The sales of shareholdings, however, significantly slowed down with the crisis.

The year was especially marked by the creation of the Lac1 fund, endowed with 4.3 billion euros for now, and which aims to invest in major listed groups that are strategic for France. To date, Lac1 has acquired 7% of the capital of Arkéma and has also taken a position in another French listed company – without revealing its name – for a total of 801 million euros. ” We plan to invest roughly as much this year. There are some beautiful cases under investigation », Concludes Nicolas Dufourcq.

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