France VCs looking harder at hardware (infographic)

Apr 19, 2016
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Next month, numerous movers and shakers from the global hardware and IoT ecosystem will descend on Paris for the 3rd edition of the Connected Conference.

While those outside the industry might question why Paris is the home to one of the top events on everything connected, insiders know all too well the formidable IoT and hardware companies that France has produced in recent years.

Of course, none of these businesses would have gained much traction (particularly during the scaling phase) without some level of VC support. Not surprisingly, French VC funds have largely stepped into this role with non-French VCs and other larger investors jumping in on later stage rounds.

Kima, for example, plays a substantial role in helping to fund many hardware startups’ early stage development (startups from France and beyond). Bpifrance’s well publicized strategy shift to allocate more funding towards enabling high-potential French startup’s growth phase, has been evident in hardware and IoT with investments in Sigfox, Netatmo and, most recently, Parrot.

What does this investment picture look like? Rude Baguette has put together the below infographic, which gives an overview of what French VC funds and other institutional investors (like Bpifrance) have invested in.  We’ve also included each VC firm’s AUM so that you can get an idea of their overall fund size.  We may have missed a few startups, so if you know of any that should be added, feel free to drop me a note.

After years of ‘anti-hardware’ sentiment in the VC community, investors have been looking a lot harder at hardware over the last few years. The general consensus is quickly moving towards the belief that IoT and hardware, whether it be for industrial, medical, consumer etc. use, will clearly lay at the heart of future technological innovation. Despite the myriad of warnings about a looming ‘correction’ in startup investing, here’s to hoping that France’s VC community continues to bet on the ‘internet of everything’.

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