10 perfect start-ups from Paris to watch

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We look at 10 hot start-ups from Paris to watch in 2019, covering a wide array of technologies from fintech to SaaS, supercomputing and more.

In France, all roads lead to Paris. But, as well as being the crossroads of European history and culture, Paris is the home to a compelling coterie of cutting-edge tech start-ups.

Anyone who has ever been to Paris often smiles at the memory, be it for the majesty of the city with its art and its architecture, or almost still tasting the fantastic meals they enjoyed.

Paris isn’t just known as the City of Lights for aesthetic reasons; when it comes to technology, it could also become known as the City of Enlightenment. Paris is putting its name on the map of global tech entrepreneurship, rivalling London and Berlin as centres of the European start-up ecosystem.

The city boasts a thriving incubator/accelerator ecosystem with a can-do spirit, with outliers including women-dedicated Paris Pionnières, the specialist incubator Paris&Co and the government-supported Agoranov.

Station F, which claims to be the world’s biggest start-up campus, opened in July 2017. The supersized incubator has enough space to house the Eiffel Tower and offers start-ups an ecosystem in which to connect and grow.

Paris also boasts a heady events scene with top events such as Salon des Entrepreneurs and Startup Weekend, to name a few.

Active venture capital players on the Parisian scene include Bpifrance, Partech, IDinvest, Elaia, ISAI, Newfund, Alven Capital and Microsoft Ventures.

And so, here are the 10 start-ups from Paris to watch in 2019.

Algolia

Led by CEO Nicolas Dessaigne, Algolia is a SaaS start-up that was founded in Paris in 2012 and also has offices in San Francisco. A hosted search engine API, Algolia provides product teams with the resources and tools they need to create fast, relevant searches. A funding round in June 2017 led by Accel yielded an incredible $53m, and overall funding raised by Algolia is understood to stand at $74.3m.

Blade Group (Shadow)

Blade Group is focused on delivering the PC of the future and has created Shadow, a super-powerful computer running Windows 10 that is also accessible from anywhere on most connected devices. Blade Group was founded in Paris in 2015 by Asher Kagan, Emmanuel Freund and Stéphane Héllot. The company has raised more than $70m over three investment rounds.

ContentSquare

Named by Gartner as one of the most innovative e-commerce technologies, ContentSquare specialises in optimising web and mobile sites through an in-depth look at visitors’ browsing and purchasing behaviours. Founded by Jonathan Cherki in 2012, ContentSquare has raised $122m to date, including a $60m round in recent weeks led by investors that included Eurazeo, Canaan Partners, Highland Europe and H14.

Early Birds

Early Birds is a predictive marketing platform aimed at e-commerce sellers and merchants. Users include Lacoste and Carrefour. It was founded in 2012 by Laetitia Comès-Bancaud and Nicolas Mathon. The company has raised €5.5m in funding to date, with €5m coming from a funding round led by French investment firm Arts Et Biens in 2017.

Le Collectionist


Le Collectionist is a luxury rental vacation platform aimed at the super-wealthy. Founded in 2013 by Eliott Cohen Skalli, Max Aniort and Olivier Cahané, Le Collectionist has raised $12.2m in funding to date, including a $10m investment in 2017 led by the Red River West fund, which is backed by the Pinault family and is known for its investment in luxury brands.

Meero

Meero uses AI algorithms to automate the processing of photo shoots from hours down to seconds. Meero was founded in 2016 and is led by CEO Thomas Rebaud. It has raised $63.4m in funding to date, including $45m in a series B round last year including Alven Capital and Idinvest Partners.

Prevision.io

Prevision.io develops SaaS-based and on-premise AI tools for automating machine-learning processes for data scientists. Founded in 2016 by Tuncay Isik, Florian Laroumagne, Nicolas Gaude and Pierre Nowak, the company raised €1.5m in a seed funding round in 2017 led by transport firm SNCF.

Qonto

A challenger bank for SMEs, Qonto aims to make banking easy, efficient and transparent. Founded in 2016 by Alexandre Prot and Steve Anavi, the company has raised $36.1m in funding to date, including $23m in a round in September 2018 led by existing investors Valar Ventures and Alven Capital, with participation from the European Investment Bank.

Realiz3D

Led by CEO Jean-Maxime Gil, Realiz3D (formerly MyCloud3D) specialises in 3D modelling and cloud-based sharing of designs for real-estate developers. The company was founded in 2012 and raised $1.8m in a seed round two years ago.

S4M

S4M is a mobile advertising company that provides personalised content for each individual user. Led by global CEO Christophe Collet, S4M has raised a total of $20m over five rounds, including $12m in a series B round in May last year.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com