We created this article as part of our research process for our European single-family office database. Here, we are investigating the share of French single-family offices investing in startups and venture capital.
In total, 28 single-family offices in France have a Venture Capital Focus. This represents a share of 47%. In recent years, France has seen a significant increase in Venture Capital (VC) investments. According to data from Dealroom.co, French startups raised €5.4 billion in venture capital funding in 2020, up from €3.6 billion in 2019. This trend reflects the growing dynamism of the French startup ecosystem and its increasing attractiveness to both domestic and international investors.
The sectors attracting the most VC funding in France include technology, biotech and healthcare, fintech, and clean energy. Paris is the epicenter of VC activity due to its concentration of tech startups, but other regions such as Lyon and Toulouse are also attracting significant investment. Correspondingly, most venture capital-focused single-family offices in France also have their headquarter either in Paris or Lyon.
French government policies have played a key role in encouraging VC investments. Initiatives such as La French Tech Visa aim to attract foreign entrepreneurs and investors to France by offering fast-track visa procedures. The government has also established tax incentives for investing in startups and provides co-investment funds through Bpifrance, a public investment bank. Also French family offices, many of them launched after selling startups and companies that were fueled themselves by venture capital, play an important role in the French startup world. In the following, we are introducing one exemplary French venture capital family office.
French single family office as major startup investor: Financière Saint James
Michaël Benabou is on of the co-founders of vente-privée.com, a fashion e-commerce firm, that grew from 2003 to 2013 to €1.5BN in revenues. In 2013, Benabou sold the majority of his shares and focused on his family office Financière Saint James, which is now a major venture capital and real estate investor. The family office invests from €200k to €5M and support with sales and go-to-market strategies. Portfolio companies can be found in the verticals SaaS, Fintech, Marketplace, Consumer and Proptech. The family office also invets in venture capital funds. Portfolio companies include colonies, spendesk or Payflow. Succesful exits include Glovo or lalilo.
You might also like the list of the 2,500 largest venture capital investors in the world, provided by our partner portal Thousandinvestors.
Picture source: Alexander Kagan (01.01.2024)