Following a strong late 2020, this year’s Q1 has had a flying start. Not a single day goes by, without someone telling me how hectic the Tech ecosystem has become. Professionals in the Tech industry have adjusted effortlessly to the pandemic: 100% digital deals are the new norm. Vaccination campaigns in the Western countries have already been impacting the public at large and for likes of Israel, life seems to have resumed its normality, with shops and restaurants re- opening.
With already 173 deals and €1.45bn in VC investment in Q1-21, 2021 is on track to be a new record year both in value and in volume for la French Tech. Top 10 deals are still driving a significant part (c. 50%) of the total VC investment. Especially the top 3 deals: Vestiaire Collective (€178m led by Tiger Global), Ecential Robotics (€100m led by BPI France) and Payfit (€90m led by Eurazeo).
On the other hand, Q1-21 saw a surge of smaller deals, which is an extremely positive sign for the future performance of the French Tech.
Oddly enough, Tech exits were disappointing (again!) in Q1-21. This in spite of the number of exits reaching the high-water mark of 80 (the record ever for a single quarter in France). The total exit value was only €658m, with no major exits. The largest being Photonis sold to HLD for €370m. Stateside, an ex-French Tech company*, Talend was bought out of Nasdaq by Thoma Bravo for €2bn.