Innovation has always been part of France’s business culture. Its capital is bursting with ambitious entrepreneurs, record levels of VC funding, and a strong support network with hubs like Station F and initiatives like the French Tech Visa, creating a foundation for success for any aspiring entrepreneur. Some of them have already been enjoying the fruits of the ecosystem and have managed to make our 10 Paris-based startups to look out for in 2019 list. Here they are:
Hyperlex is a legaltech startup that reinvents contract management and analysis using artificial intelligence through their SaaS solution, allowing law professionals to get rid of the most repetitive and often error-prone tasks. Founded in September 2017 by Alexandre Grux, Alexis Agahi and Guillaume Bon, Hyperlex offers a centralized space for storing and sharing documents, simple search functions, an automatic synthesis of the information contained in contracts and much more. At the 2018 EDF Pulse Awards the startup was awarded in the “Smart Business” category.
InnovaFeed is a pioneer in the production of high-quality protein, oil and fertilizer from insect rearing (Hermetia illucens) for animal feed and aquaculture. The biotechnology startup has raised a total of €55 million since its launch in 2016, and is aiming for a production capacity of more than 10,000 tonnes per year before their international launch starting from 2022. One step closer to that goal is their strategic partnership with feed giant Cargill and Tereos, a cooperative sugar group in France.
Kard – The banking alternative of the new generation, Kard, was established in 2018 and already managed to attract a €3 million investment from Kuma Ventures along with few other investors. Targeted at young people, it has all the characteristics of their generation: mobile, social, data-driven, authentic, and free. Regular functions are offered, such as sending and receiving money instantly, receiving a notification for each expense and managing your budget simply. Plus you can interact with your friends.
Kayrros – Created in 2016, Kayrros wants to bring transparency to the energy markets with its predictive analytics products that combine machine learning and advanced mathematics with petroleum and financial engineering. It makes energy data accessible, usable, digestible and actionable – enabling oil and gas companies to make the right decisions when it comes to logistics, infrastructure, financial gain, and more. With offices in Paris, New York, Houston, San Francisco, and $35 million in funding, Kayrros is slowly disrupting the energy sector.
Margo Bank is a new player in the Parisian banking landscape. Launched in 2017, Margo Bank is setting out to create the next-generation commercial bank for European SMEs with the help of Xavier Niel, Marc Simoncini, and few other tech veterans and their €6.4 million investment in the company in 2018. Their anticipated modern banking products and services will be available after obtaining a banking license from the ACPR, the French Regulatory Authority.
Meero is an AI-driven photography platform that was set up in 2016 by co-founders Guillaume Lestrade and Thomas Rebaud. With 40,000+ photographers in over 100 countries and 30,000+ clients, including big players like Deliveroo and Airbnb, Meero delivers photos, videos and 360 tours in just 24 hours. In 2019 the Paris-based photography platform raised a massive $230 million, the largest ever Series C round in France. Next step: launch of masterclasses and documentaries for their photographers.
Mindsay – Founded in 2016, Mindsay has developed a SaaS-based suite of conversational AI chatbots, which can be integrated with companies’ websites, mobile applications, or social media interfaces, covering conversational marketing, automated customer care and travel expertise. Their one-to-one, personalized and assistive online interactions empower brands to build better relationships with their customers and take customer care to another level. They have already helped major brands such as British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, Disney and SNCF to get there. In 2019 they raised $10 million in Series A financing to reshape the conversational AI landscape.
Payfit – Over 3,000 SMEs across Europe use PayFit to manage payroll, absences and leaves, expense reports, bonuses, and shifts for their employees, through a simple web interface. The fully-fledged HR solution was launched in April 2016 and has since expanded to 300 employees in offices in Paris, Barcelona, Berlin and London. In June 2019 the company landed €70 million in a funding round to further digitize and simplify payroll management and HR processes for companies.
Spacetrain – What if you could travel from Paris to Normandy in 17 minutes? SpaceTrain hopes to make this a reality. Powered by hydrogen fuel cells, Spacetrain is an autonomous shuttle, circulating in sustentation by means of air cushions, on a reversed “T” track, with an average speed of 540 km/h. The first shuttle prototype is currently being built and first life-size tests are expected to be launched by 2021. According to the company, they want to offer a transport that combines speed, security, reliability and ecology, thus shaping the future of sustainable transportation.
Zoov is an eco-friendly, GPS-enabled e-bike sharing mobility solution. Currently operating in the Saclay region, Zoov now wants to take their lightweight, ultra-compact charging stations to other cities around France, after a recent fundraising of €6 million. The Zoov station is subject to two patent applications and it operates on the principle of supermarket trolleys, enabling the parking of up to 20 bikes in a standard parking space. With their sustainable, data-driven, and scalable e-bike sharing solution, Zoov is making e-bikes the leading mode of transportation.
By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for exciting startups in a specific market for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!