Strengthening competitiveness and boosting investment are among the top priorities of the French political agenda. As such Bpifrance became more and more interventionist in the financing of startups.
As public funding is generally limited to the amount of equity a company has, a fundraising is a perfect time to consider public funding in order to leverage the new capital raised.
Equity = share capital + capital raised + cumulated results
Schematically we can distinguish 4 main ways for Bpifrance to finance startups:
- Grants, Repayable advance and interest-free loans,
- Bank Guarantee,
- Fund of Funds,
- Direct Equity Investment.
Grants, Repayable advance and interest-free loans
Bpifrance (and sometimes French regions) intervenes directly with grants, repayable advances, zero interest loans to support companies in their early development, typically in the feasibility and go-to-market phases. Here are 3 examples:
- Bourse French Tech (BFT)
This grant is up to 45K€ and is aimed towards innovative companies being created or under one year of existence. The grant covers the first expenses of the business creation and the feasibility phase.
- Aide pour le Développement de l’innovation (ADI)
The ADI aims to finance R&D projects with concrete industrialization and market perspectives.
It covers a maximum of 45% of the expenses for R&D projects up to 3M€ budget (hence a 1,35M€ cap of public aid). The ADI takes the form of either a repayable advance or a loan.
- Prêt Amorçage Investissement (PAI)
The PAI aims to strengthen the cash flow of a company that has just successfully raised funds and support its development and growth by providing additional financing in the form of a loan.
The loan will be capped at 500K€ and concerns fundraising of a minimum of 200K€.
- Bank Guarantee
A bank guarantee from Bpifrance means Bpifrance ensures that the liabilities of the debtor will be met. In other words, if the debtor fails to settle the debt, Bpifrance will cover it to the lending bank. This mechanism facilitates access to bank credit for startups that often lack collaterals.
Fund of Funds
As an entrepreneur, you will not directly notice it, but Bpifrance acts as a Limited Partners, taking minority stakes in various Venture Capital and Private Equity Funds, which invest in companies themselves.
For instance, ISAI, Partech, Serena, Ventech or XAnge among others have raised funds from Bpifrance.
Direct Equity Investment
Bpifrance also manages several funds which directly invest in French companies.
For instance, Large Venture is a 1 Billion Euro fund launched in 2013, that invests in funding rounds of over 20 M€ like the ones from Doctolib, iAdvize, Younited Credit, etc.
There are also direct funds specialized in Fashion & Luxury, Tourism sector, Automotive industry or Smart City…
France is recognized as a country with public support for entrepreneurs looking to innovate and launch new ventures, so do take advantage of it!
Eldorado.co is a platform that connects Startups with the largest collection of private investors andpublic fundings. Eldorado creates digital tools and services to help founders grow, and fund their companies.