Paris is well-known for its charming cafés, monuments such as The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Panthéon, and the Sacré Coeur, and spacious boulevards, but alongside these cultural and gastronomic highlights lies a buzzing tech and entrepreneurial scene. The startup scene is growing fast in Paris and France in general, and the country’s leading figures are more than serious about it continuing. Just last year French President Emmanuel Macron pledged an additional €7 billion to go towards supporting startups and the digital economy, and we recently did an interview with Xavier Niel, French tech billionaire who poured €250 million into building Station F the now largest startup incubator in the world, who predicts: “Paris will be the most vibrant tech scene of Europe”.
Paris was of course featured in our annual ranking of Europe’s biggest startup hubs, as one of the top 3 cities, due to its vibrant tech event scene, a buzzing VC investment landscape, an attractive ‘French Tech visa’ and more than enough innovative talent, among others. For this reason, when building this listicle, we featured startups founded relatively recently, between 2019-2021 (as opposed to the usual 2018-2021), taking into account of course elements such as team size, funding, growth rate, innovation, and market size.
So without further ado, here are 10 promising startups that the EU-Startups team has their eye on for 2021 and beyond:
Sunday – Founded in Paris in 2021, and also based in London, Madrid and Atlanta, this team of 100+ aims to turn the tedious 15 minutes it takes to pay at a restaurant into a quick, simple experience that takes less than 10 seconds. Via a QR code, users can pay, and walk away in no time. In the meantime, restaurateurs can focus on what matters for them: cooking incredible food and delivering an amazing guest experience. The team landed around €20.4 million this year, to grow their solution to the next level.
Ankorstore – Aiming to reinvent wholesale, this French startup was founded in 2019. Its online marketplace is helping brands and retailers work together at unique conditions. On one side, it’s building strong tools for brands to distribute their goods all around Europe, and on the other it’s inspiring retailers with a distinctive selection of products. The 200+ strong team landed €84 million just this year, and €25 million in 2020.
Qwarry – Qwarry is a cutting-edge ‘Semantic Marketing Platform’ that is ready to shake up the advertising technology landscape. Founded in 2019, Qwarry provides a unique and effective semantic targeting platform for brands and publishers who want to drive the future of digital advertising without personal data. Grown to a team of 40 people, the Paris-based team landed a funding round of €2 million last year.
Pixpay – Founded in 2019, Pixpay offers an alternative to banks for 10-18 year olds. Its ambition: to become the benchmark fintech for teenagers in Europe, by revolutionizing the way they manage their daily budgets. Pixpay offers young people a MasterCard payment card and a mobile app allowing them to pay, get paid, save or even benefit from discounts on their favourite brands. It is also a mobile application for parents. The team of around 40 landed €8 million just last year to grow further.
Pennylane – Founded in 2020, Pennylane is building the financial OS (Operating System) for European SMEs. A single source of truth for financial data, used on one side by entrepreneurs to run their business (invoicing and getting paid, paying suppliers and expense management, piloting cash and profitability) and on the other side by their accountant for bookkeeping and fiscal declarations.Pennylane has landed in total €34 million, with €30 million of this being raised just last year.
Outsight – Founded in 2019, Outsight has drawn upon the definition of its name for purpose: “the ability to see and understand external things clearly”. It’s mission? To defeat the complexity of working with 3D data thanks to ready-to-use advanced features. In more detail, the startup makes LiDAR-based Spatial Intelligence become ‘Plug & Play’, so it can be used by application developers, in any market. In 2019, they landed €18 million.
Pigment – Pigment (founded in 2019) is trying to revamp the experience of using error-prone spreadsheets and inflexible software to forecast the future of businesses. Pigment’s platform allows users to take control over their business data, by offering an intuitive, full-spectrum view and allowing users to play with multiple future scenarios in real-time through charts, simulations, and continuous modelling.
Libeo – Founded in 2019, Libeo is offering solutions for SMEs when it comes to B2B payments. Its easy-to-use platform simplifies the management and payment of supplier invoices by connecting companies to each other directly, without them having to go through their banking interface. The digitalisation of this process both saves time and ensures the security of transactions. The team secured a new venture round in 2021, having landed around €22 million previously.
Typology – Typology, a young Paris-based startup, was founded by Ning Li, who has already got a wealth of experience building the successful startup MADE.com, and who we interviewed quite recently. Typology aims to demystify skin care through its offering of premium, natural and vegan products. It bundles its products into “routines”, such as for blemished skin, wrinkles, and fine lines, etc.
Electra – Founded in 2021, Electra is taking part in the movement to transition to greener, electric-powered mobility and for the reduction of noise for urban residents. Its platform provides ultrafast charging stations for electric vehicles. With a team of 15 employees, they landed an impressive €15 million seed funding round in 2021 to take their concept further.
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!