As 2020 comes to an end we all hope for a better 2021, and an end to the Pandemic. Lockdown #2 went much smoother for most of us as working from home has become the new normal. The US has elected a more familiar and predictable figure. Vaccination campaigns have begun. As fears of a lockdown #3 are appearing at the outset of the winter, it may be easier to endure as it seems to be the last one.
Meanwhile, French Tech shows no sign of a slowdown. 2020 sounds like a robust and normal year, with a new record for total volume of investments in French start- ups reaching €5,4bn (+15% growth vs. 2019). The growth has been fivefold over the last 6 years. 2020 has generated the largest ever deals with the top 3 being: Voodoo (€400m by Tencent), Ynsect (€380m in 2 rounds by Astanor and UpFront Ventures) and Mirakl (€255m by Permira).
Yet, this amazing performance should not blind us to less glamorous features of the year. The decrease in number of deals has accelerated in 2020, especially for early rounds (seed, series A), making it harder and harder for entrepreneurs to access them. In the last 3 years, all VCs have limited the number of investments per fund, concentrating capital on the ones they view as the most promising.
The great performance in Tech investment has also to be once again contrasted versus fewer Tech exits – reaching €4.2bn (-7% decrease) for 200 deals in 2020. The market is still waiting for the new generation of start-ups backed by VCs from 2013 onwards, to exit massively with €1bn+ valuations. 2020 also saw the surge of exits by PE funds reaching all-time high at 40% of the total numbers of deals in Q4- 20.