Investor interest in France’s tech ecosystem is at an all-time high and the momentum continues to accelerate into the home stretch of 2017. During an already busy week in Paris – featuring the CES Unveiled event, the TechFugees Summit at Station F, and the prestigious Hello Tomorrow conference – three big deals were announced by French startups, building on what is destined to be another record breaking year of investment activity.
First up was Shift Technology, a Paris based firm that announced a $28 million Series B funding, led by Accel Partners and General Catalyst and also included participation from previous investors Elaia Partners and Iris Capital. Shift is one of an impressive line-up of French AI-based technology developers, and their focus is on insurance fraud. The company has a solution that helps insurance companies better detect behavior that is indicates someone might be trying to cheat the system. The investment will allow them to expand to additional large insurance markets such as New York and Tokyo, building on an existing infrastructure that includes operations in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Zurich. Shift is also looking at news way to apply their AI approach to different areas of insurance where there is a potential for fraud. The company is on a roll of late, with 45 customers globally, an 800% increase of revenue and doubling of headcount in the past year.
On the same day, Nantes-based iAdvize closed its Series C round, reeling in $37 million with participation from Idinvest Partners, Bpifrance via Large Venture, and Quadrille Capital. iAdvize is all about customer engagement on line, and helps its client increase business through a platform that enables conversational advice from experts to web visitors. When a potential customer engages with a company through iAdvize’s Ibbu platform, they can get helpful information on products and services that provide a more informed buying decision. iAdvise clients get insight data on the customer interactions that can be used to help shape sales and marketing campaigns as well as provide better customer support. Current customers of the solution include French e-commerce and services leaders like Cdiscount. Materiel.net, EDF and Voyages-SNCF.com. iAdvize will use the funds to expand its footprint as well, with an eye on the US market from a planned base in Boston – adding to its presence in France, Spain, the UK and Germany.
Rounding out the busy week in French Tech investments was Convargo, which announced its $19 million Series A round. The company, which is building an on-line marketplace for the road freight buyers and sellers, was backed by Inventure Partners and Earlybird. The Paris based firm is bringing new levels of automation and efficiency to finding the best shipping solutions for companies and trucking companies alike. Customers can quickly find a trucking company that best meets their needs through Convargo’s online marketplace, which provides complete estimates based on the size of the shipment and the preferred route. Shipment tracking is enabled through the system as well. Freight shipping companies benefit from a wider network of potential customers to fill their trucks. Convargo is using the funds to expand its reach across Europe.