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How the richest French families are boosting the French Tech ecosystem

© Unsplash.com/Andrew Neel

Family offices, wealth management and investment structures serving the financial interests of wealthy families, are establishing themselves as an essential pillar in French Tech. So much so that they are now among the largest investors in French start-ups.

Participation in dozens of funding rounds

According to a study published by France Invest in April, business angels and family offices injected no less than 960 million euros into French start-ups in 2023, representing 26% of fundraising. This is more than the public sector, which contributed 794 million euros. Some have been particularly active in recent years.

Among them, for example, is the Aulas family with its Holnest investment fund. Created in 1983 by Jean-Michel Aulas, former president of Olympique Lyonnais, it has injected money into no less than 11 start-ups since April 2023. With Famille C Participations, the Courtin-Clarins, owners of the brand cosmetics company Clarins, have financed 15 start-ups since the creation of the fund in 2018. Recently, they are particularly focusing on the retail sector.

Evolem, a Rousset family fund, was involved in 51 financing rounds from 2018 to 2024. It notably financed the insurance specialist Luko, Bruno Rousset having founded the April group in 1988. The family office is interested in other sectors such as deeptech or fintech.

Many sectors covered by family offices

Aglaé Ventures and Motier Ventures are among the top French family offices. The first, that of the Arnault family (LVMH), has not only supported several dozen French start-ups, it has also financed American tech behemoths like Netflix or Slack.

< p>The second, belonging to the Houzé family, owner of Galeries Lafayette, distinguished itself in June by participating in 6 lifts. A particularly prolific month for French Tech, with almost 1 billion euros raised. Motier Ventures appears to have a great interest in artificial intelligence (AI). He supported Mistral AI during its two financing operations, in addition to the start-up Flex AI. For its part, Aglaé Ventures has injected funds into H Company, one of the French AI flagships.

The Mulliez family, the main shareholder of the Auchan and Decathlon groups, also has its own family office. Named Creadev, it has not participated in a financing round since 2022. Unsurprisingly, its investments have been closer to technologies potentially useful to its activities, such as retail, agritech or foodtech.

As the tech landscape continues to mature, the role of family offices seems set to strengthen, promising new dynamics in the financing and development of French start-ups.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116