France & Germany leap for Europe’s tech crown as Brexit bites

By Oliver Smith 10 November 2016

Forget Berlin, investors are now pouring more cash into France than Germany.

With Brexit shaking confidence in Britain, and President-elect Donald Trump’s upcoming tech plans causing uncertainty across the pond, it’s not surprising that digital businesses are looking elsewhere.

In fact Germany and France are going head-to-head to try and steal London’s title as the capital of European technology.

Read more: US tech leaders still pick London as their top European capital after Brexit

And while Berlin claims to have already lured five London digital businesses to relocate, France this morning launched a barrage of figures boasting about its prowess at attracting record levels of startup investment.

Between July and September 2016 a record $857m was invested into small digital businesses based on France. That’s nearly double how much poured into Germany and 7% shy of the UK’s funding figures.

Among the biggest deals include ride-sharing group BlaBlaCar which raised $24m, and internet hosting group which raised $279m.

The figures, collected by the French Government’s promotional agency La French Tech and CB Insights, also show the total number and value of investments have exploded in 2016, especially given that deals from the final quarter of the year have yet to be tallied up.

These figures are little more than bragging rights for France right now, levels of investment certainly aren’t the only reason why the founders of small digital businesses choose to start their company in a certain city.

But it’s yet another shot across the bow of London’s tech scene.

It fuels the argument that Britain must continue recruiting the best European talent once we leave the EU in order to maintain our title as the capital of European technology.