Macron aims for surge in number of French tech unicorns by 2030

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron, who sees growth in the country’s tech sector as crucial to his plans to boost the overall economy, said on Friday he was hoping for a surge in the number of French tech “unicorns” or start-ups by 2030.

Macron said he wanted the number of French technology unicorns to reach at least 100 by 2030, compared to 27 at present.

“What target am I fixing for us? To try to develop 10 tech giants in Europe, in the coming five years, and to increase the number of our unicorns to at least 100 by 2030, which is feasible,” Macron told the Paris VivaTech conference.

Paris has traditionally lagged New York, California and also London in Europe as a technology and finance hub, but the French technology sector has recently notched up several high-profile fundraising rounds for some companies.

Macron’s initial election as President in 2017 also coincided with the launch of the tech sector start-up site ‘Station F’ in Paris.

Earlier this year, French online bank Qonto raised 486 million euros ($508.8 million), technology and data management company Castor raised $23.5 million while Shift Technology last year closed a $220 million fund-raising round.

Macron also welcomed the fact that Paris has been home to some high-profile tech sector flotations.

French cloud computing company OVHCloud floated last year, while French music streaming platform Deezer is also planning a Paris stock market listing.

($1 = 0.9552 euros)

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Frances Kerry)