Faced with the crisis, French fintech is holding up, at least in appearance. This year, the fundraising increased by 4% in the area, to amount to 664 million euros, according to the annual report of the Observatory of fintech.
These figures are nevertheless inflated by a thunderous start to the year, with the roundtables of the neobank Qonto (104 million, a record in France), the payment application Lydia (40 million) or the start-up specializing in Famoco secure transactions (20 million).
Since then, the pandemic has passed through there as well as the Wirecard scandal, the former German fintech star at the heart of an accounting fraud. In the second half of the year, financing was much lower than last year, at 168 million euros. Over the year as a whole, growth markedly slowed down compared to 2019, when the market soared by 60%.
Fewer operations, but bigger
The number of financings also decreased this year, with 58 transactions compared to 85 in 2019. The On the other hand, the average volume of tickets invested has risen sharply: + 52%, at 11.4 million euros.
The size of the projects remained significant compared to 2019, the first ten fundraising representing the same amount from one year to the next (423 million). But it was the decline in small-scale operations that mechanically increased the average ticket.
” The crisis has led investors to take a less risky approach to their equity investments. They primarily targeted mature models, which have already proven their worth, and were more selective on early stage operations (note: the first financing) », Explains Mikael Ptachek, President of the Observatory. Fundraising under 3 million euros represented 43% of transactions, against 60% the previous year.
Online home insurance specialist Luko is one of those companies that funds have continued to rely on. The start-up has managed to raise 50 million euros in recent weeks, after a first round of funding of 20 million last year. ” Our model is based on recurring income, with activity that picked up very strongly from the end of the first confinement », Explains his boss and co-founder Raphael Vullierme.
The “revealer” of the crisis
“ The crisis can also act as an indicator of the solidity of a company for certain funds », Recognizes Violaine Raybaud, Director of Development at Descartes Underwriting. This other nugget of French insurance, specializing in climate risk modeling, managed to raise 15.7 million euros this summer.
Economic conditions have not deterred it from postponing its financing plans. ” It was the right time for us, despite all the complications of the crisis “.
If the sector has managed for the moment to withstand the shock, the ecosystem is hoping for a return to normal as quickly as possible. Especially for “early stage” funding. ” The risk is that there is a hole in the cycle, and that this creates a gap between different generations of start-ups. », Warns Mikaël Ptachek.