“History”, the word is out. Believe’s IPO on June 10 is arousing excitement from all sides in French Tech. All its players are waiting to see how a day will unfold which could offer a new liquidity option to investors and entrepreneurs, summarizes Cédric O, Secretary of State in charge of Digital: ” What will happen this Thursday is historic for French Tech. In twenty-five years, there have only been two IPOs of tech companies worth over 1 billion, that’s Dassault Systemes and Worldline. There are still areas for improvement, but we are therefore competing with places in Amsterdam and Stockholm. It could also be the opening of a good period for French Tech with other IPOs to come, such as OVH. “
The choice of Believe to become a “public” company, in the Anglo-Saxon sense of the term, was however not obvious, considers Franck Sebag, partner of EY: ” When you see companies like Contentsquare raising $ 500 million with private capital, I wonder if going public is the best option right now. The question that arises is what will be the story of Believe once listed. Deliveroo had pushed a very high price and then the price collapsed, for example. “
The stake of a virtuous loop
Why is this operation so scrutinized by the French start-up ecosystem? The answer lies mainly in the lack of exits, thus recalls Marie Ekeland fund 2050 and which had detected Criteo before taking him to the Nasdaq: ” This operation is good news for the ecosystem as it validates that listing on Euronext can be an interesting option to explore in order to offer liquidity to investors and the team. Once the money has been collected, the entrepreneurs become the business angels of aspiring startuppers and the virtuous loop invented in Silicon Valley will thus be able to close also in France.
But before this path materializes, it will take pass certain traps and properly prepare, details Jean-Baptiste Rudelle, co-founder and former CEO of Criteo : ” An IPO is prepared eighteen months in advance and you have to put yourself in battle order. The company becomes a glass house through which everything is scrutinized and the cultural change is radical. We must ask ourselves the question of what this brings to the company. For us, it was clearly a message sent to the United States to say that we would be there for a long time, it installed us, credibility and opened doors from a commercial point of view. “
Euronext Paris rather than the Nasdaq? The option chosen by Believe is also the one defended by the government. ” I think Denis Ladegaillerie [le PDG de Believe, NDLR] does it in Paris partly for patriotic reasons. Until then, entrepreneurs did not consider this option, but with government reforms since 2017 and the effort of bpifrance, market conditions have changed. It remains to examine the behavior of investors and see if this promise comes true, or returns the dreams of European tech leadership to vanish with their volatility.
The next candidates for the IPO
Among the residents of the Next40 index, several companies can claim an IPO, whether on Euronext Paris, like Believe, or on the Nasdaq. Here is the inventory:
– OVH (cloud): Euronext Its founder, Octave Klaba, has already indicated his intention to list his company in France.
– Doctolib (health): Euronext The Covid-19 crisis shed light on the start-up which was at the heart of the vaccination campaign.
– ManoMano (e-commerce): Euronext The marketplace model has established itself as one of those that bring the most growth. The two founders are attached to the French roots of their company, which would make an ideal candidate.
– Deezer (streaming) Since its aborted IPO in 2015, the French group has raised 260 million euros. With a different geographic approach to Spotify, it has found its market and will soon have to consider an exit for its investors.
– Ÿnsect (agritech) The producer of insects intended for animal and soon human food has not hidden its ambition to be listed on the stock market. It remains to confirm its growth to demonstrate the full potential of its model, based on an industrial tool.