Young business angels, the new army of French technology, financing

Nothing seems to be able to stop the moving train. Despite the health crisis and the uncertainty about the resumption of economic activity, young tricolor business angels continue to fuel start-ups through their investments, reveals the 2nd edition of the annual ranking carried out by Angelsquare with “Les Echos”.

Aided by the TEPA law, this dynamic owes its momentum to the growing number of fundraisings, their amount and a change in the mindset of investment funds, which allows entrepreneurs to sell shares at this stage.

An accelerating phenomenon

It is therefore not surprising to see come first Thomas Rebaudco-founder and CEO of Meero, whose last funding round in 2019 ($230 million) allowed it to inject 790,000 euros into 13 startups last year. These investments made in the seed phase in the vast majority of cases are one of the historical features of the Silicon Valley ecosystem, where part of the money collected during the entrepreneurial adventure is systematically donated to other projects. “The phenomenon of young business angels is not new, but it is gaining momentum, notes Charles Degand, CEO of Angelsquare. We see more and more founders, but also employees who invest. »

Top 10 French business angels under 35 in 2020

#1. Thomas Rebaud : Co-founder and CEO of Meero. 790,000 euros invested in 13 operations (WeLink, Colizey, Bling, etc.).
#2. Arthur Leroy Beaulieu : head of TFH. 550,000 euros invested in 8 operations (Aircall, grocery store, etc.).
#3. Thibault Levi Martin : CEO of Partoo. 389,000 euros invested in 8 operations (Balt, Umiami, etc.).
#4. Damien Morin : CEO at Mobile Club. 380,000 euros invested in 14 operations. (Yuka, Bling, Slite…)
#5. Jeremy Wies : Founder and CEO of Synovo. 291,000 euros invested in 4 operations (Codaa, La Croisière Loisirs, etc.).
#6. Mary Outtier : Director of Product at Twitter. 285,000 euros invested in 11 operations (Fleex, AgroLeague, etc.).
#7. Josef Bovet : co-founder and CEO of Tiller Systems. 280,000 euros invested in 12 operations (Alma, Ambler, etc.).
#8. Laurent Acezat : web entrepreneur. 200,000 euros invested in 4 operations (Bling, Skypaper.io…).
#9. Charles Baldet : Account executive at Neobrain. 185,000 euros invested in 4 operations (Estimeo, Wedoogood, etc.).
#10. Maxime Bush : co-founder of Selency. 150,000 euros invested in 8 operations.
Source : Angelsquare and “Les Echos”.

On the Angelsquare platform, about forty new investors register every month, and the rejuvenation of profiles logically follows the curve of business creators. People under the age of 35 are particularly attuned to the risk-taking involved in such activity, notes Charles Degand: “Business angels like risk, they see opportunities during crises, including the one we are going through. » A good number of them are active with about ten operations every year, even in 2020. But they are not limited to a simple injection of money. The want to joinsometimes sit on the board of the start-ups they fund. “This also explains why this activity is highly geolocalized in France, adds the head of Angelsquare. They are close to the founders they support, enjoy visiting offices, showing teams that they are there and can help. »

too few women

“They” but not “them”. Reflecting the persistent imbalance between men and women among start-up creators, the panorama of French business angels is very unisex. Few women invest, a phenomenon accentuated by their tendency to be more discreet, such as Mary Outtier. Co-founder and CEO ofAiden.aisold to Twitter in 2019, it invested 285,000 euros in 11 operations last year, but seeks more shade than media light.

As with many other areas of financial activity, it will take until 2021 to measure the real impact of the current crisis on these young investors. Strongly encouraged via fiscal measures, they can also be scalded if the bankruptcies should hit start-ups in a cascade in the next twelve months. And roll up a mechanism crucial to the success of French Tech as a whole.

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