FRANCE FINTECH 2022 REPORT: FRENCH FINTECH STAYING THE COURSE
Paris, December 30, 2022,
France FinTech, the professional association of French fintech, insurtech and regtech, publishes the annual review of its ecosystem. The year 2022 is part of the very sustained development movement that French fintechs have been experiencing for several years.
With less than 100 fintech in 2015, France lists almost ten times more today. These cover all areas of innovative finance: banking and insurance services, asset management, payments, crypto-assets, regtech, business services, etc.
Our players, although still young, have already created nearly 40 jobs and have significantly begun their internationalization (one fintech in four is already present internationally). They have strongly developed their sales (a third achieves more than one million in turnover) and their profitability (000% say they are already profitable), even though a high proportion is still in a start-up phase.
In this field, France has many champions of European and even global stature. It ranks first in the European Union, in terms of both amounts raised and number of unicorns (10 including 4 new ones in 2022: Qonto, Payfit, Spendesk and Younited – our first centaur). In first position in the Next40 and in second place in the FT120, fintech is at the forefront of French tech.
Our entrepreneurs once again raised a record amount of equity this year: 2,9 billion euros for 146 transactions (i.e. an average ticket of 20 million euros).
This amount, which does not take into account the debt, represents almost 30% more than that of 2021.
The development concerned all the verticals with particular emphasis on some of them:
- The most dynamic compartments this year were:
- banking services;
- operational services;
- fundraising activities.
- A marked growth of innovative solutions concerning:
- ESG criteria (carbon footprint measurement, responsible investment solutions, etc.);
- cybersecurity, which responds to the rise in risks, particularly among VSEs and SMEs;
- real estate/proptech (investment, rental management, guarantee of unpaid rents, real estate loans, etc.);
- “new generation” savings (offers oriented “impact”, crypto-assets, or accessible from reduced amounts);
- so-called embedded finance “embedded finance” (services and financing associated in particular with e-commerce, local commerce, BNPL – Buy Now, Pay Later -, packaged offers).
The year 2022 also sees our major players becoming more and more hybrid in terms of deployment, with a concomitant development of B2C and B2B offers.
Two verticals faced difficult circumstances:
- The Web3-crypto-decentralized finance compartment went through a contrasting year. With 6 of the top 10 operations in Europe carried out in France, our country is asserting itself as the benchmark for the continent. The global crypto sector is experiencing a very choppy end to the year following the bankruptcy of the FTX platform, with losses recorded by some participants and strong corrections in valuation. Our ecosystem, very focused on security and execution solutions, should however prove resilient.
- Activities related to split payment (BNPL) also experienced turbulence linked, on the one hand, to the rise in rates and, on the other, to the European directive relating to consumer credit. These were reflected in particular by a sharp correction in the valuations of the European leaders.
A record year, therefore, with, however, the first consequences of a rise in macro-economic and geopolitical uncertainties. These lead to distinguish two periods: the first half, in full extension of the years 2020-2021 and the second affected by the global economic crisis.
- The first half of the year saw strong growth in the sector, as illustrated by fundraising: €2,2 billion ;
- The total amount raised in the second half was significantly lower: €715 million in 62 operations. Their analysis calls for a few remarks:
- These mainly concerned medium or small transactions (only 4 transactions over €50 million and only one over €100 million) and the start-up phase. In this regard, our entrepreneurs benefit from the development of the offer: several funds have recently increased their seed financing solutions (Alven, BlackFin, Iris, Partech, Resonance, etc.);
- Moreover, the number of transactions involving Business Angels has doubled in 2022, as many tech entrepreneurs have reinvested their funds;
- The main transactions this year were mainly carried out with investors already present in the capital of the start-ups. Venture capital (VC) funds seem to be concentrating on their portfolio, while waiting to take advantage of new opportunities offered by the good level of activity and falling valuations;
- Major international investors, especially Americans, for the most part did not carry out major operations with French fintechs in the second half of the year.
Overall, funds are more demanding in terms of plan analysis of business (BP), the level of expenses and valuations. The valuations of tech players have undergone corrections which have reached spectacular proportions for certain companies (fall in the overall valuations of European tech start-ups from $3 billion in 100 to $2021 billion in 2). French fintechs are of course not spared by this trend, but it seems that the amplitude of the movement is less in our ecosystem. It is true that the absence, until now, of very large valuations (décacornes and beyond) and the good performance of BPs, have rather preserved our players.
The deterioration of the economic environment and, even more, the uncertainty about the period to come, have led entrepreneurs to adapt their systems. In particular, they sought to:
- extend the duration of coverage of their capital requirements with drawdowns often going up to 12-18-24 months;
- reduce their expenses with efforts relating to operating costs (rent, consumables, etc.);
- postpone certain investments (foreign establishments in particular), developments (offers of products and services) and certain recruitments (in some cases carry out reductions in the workforce);
- rationalize some activities that are difficult to monetize in this context.
Certainly cautious, entrepreneurs remain rather optimistic (62% of them declare themselves as such) and maintain the main development objectives, in particular to consolidate what already exists.
The tensions mentioned have accelerated the selection of the best models. Around fifteen failures, a proportion in line with previous years, were recorded.
The market gives a premium to the best (“flight to quality") and some compartments are consolidating. About twenty acquisition transactions, including takeovers of foreign competitors (Qonto, +Simple, etc.) took place this year. It is possible that we will see in the coming quarters other initial public offerings (IPO) French leaders in the sector, who now have the critical mass and the necessary growth.
Facing an uncertain economic context, the French fintech ecosystem is adapting in order to continue the sustained development it has been able to drive for the past ten years. In particular, he ensures that he focuses on the monetization of offers and the profitability of models.
Our entrepreneurs are in a good position to take advantage of the fundamental trends in innovative finance: they are resolutely heading for 2023!
Certain trends identified this year should be confirmed in the months to come, in particular:
- A greater role for technology: artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning – AA – (user experience, risk analysis) as well as blockchain (payments and transfers, token creation, corporate financing, etc.);
- Innovative fintech solutions contribute to securing operations: cybersecurity, algorithmic analysis, compliance, etc. ;
- Offers to companies and investors: cash flow management, financing, liquidity-accounting management and human resources services (particularly social benefits). Fintechs are increasingly attracting large companies and are beginning to win major tenders;
- A new acceleration of innovation in insurance services: climate risks, cyber risks, connected objects and on-board insurance;
- The platformization of models with the expansion of services (super app) and the construction of complete pathways;
- And finally the internationalization of the models.
For Alain Clot, President of France FinTech:
“2022 will have been a unique year for the French fintech ecosystem, marked by both sustained growth of our fintechs, record fundraising, and a tremendous enrichment of the service offer to individual and business customers. But also by the rise in uncertainties linked to the global macroeconomic environment. Our entrepreneurs have been able to adapt to this particular climate and are in a good position to continue their expansion. They are giving France a sector of excellence”.
Aware of the responsibilities conferred on it by its position as the spearhead of French tech, fintech is committed to contributing to themes that are dear to it, such as social and environmental responsibility and the just transition, in particular through financing. of the local economy, the creation of skilled jobs, diversity, financial inclusion, financial education and national sovereignty.
Created in 2015 on the initiative of entrepreneurs, France FinTech brings together companies using innovative and disruptive operational, technological or economic models, aimed at addressing existing or emerging issues in the financial services industry and representing the main components of the sector. The association's mission is to promote excellence in the sector in France and abroad and to represent French fintech to public authorities, regulators and the ecosystem. France FinTech is today the largest sectoral association of start-ups in France and in Europe. It is chaired by Alain Clot and Kristen Charvin is its general delegate. Its steering committee brings together the founders and managers of Anaxago, Epsor, Jenji (Silae), Kriptown, Lydia, +Simple, October, Younited. Beyond its actions on the regulatory and legislative grounds, its numerous publications, its workshops and various meetings, the association organizes each year the reference event of the ecosystem, Fintech R: Evolution.
France FinTech is a member of the AMF-ACPR Fintech Forum and a founding member of theEDFA (European Digital Finance Association).