November 3, 2023

2023’s most active French investors based outside of Paris

Shining a spotlight on the funding buzz beyond the capital

Sadia Nowshin

3 min read

Image: Unsplash

Despite making more headlines for its bed bug infestation than its status as a tech hub in recent weeks, Paris is undoubtedly the heart of the French tech ecosystem. 

It has also established itself as a nucleus for the hottest sector in tech as founders looking to build the next big AI startup descend on the French capital. 

But while startups based in Paris may be raising 80% of the funding in France, that doesn’t mean the rest of the country is watching the tumbleweeds roll by. 


Just as there’s plenty of funding buzz happening outside of the Golden Triangle bubble in the UK, there are other areas of France where active investors are ready to deploy cash.

Below are 2023’s most active investors at pre-seed to Series A stage, based outside of the French capital. 

Firms had to have closed at least five deals to be included and all data is from Dealroom. Sifted reached out to all of the firms listed for confirmation, but none responded. 


HQ city: Rennes
Deals in 2023: 8

GO CAPITAL invests in seed to Series B across startups in digital, healthtech and what it describes as “industry of the future”, which includes the energy transition, maritime economy and agritech. Portfolio companies include Paris-based gene therapy biotech Coave Therapeutics, intelligent robot maker Niryo and anti-money-laundering startup Kanta. 


HQ city: Lyon
Deals in 2023: 7

Family office Evolem was founded by Bruno Rousset, the founder of insurance company APRIL Group, in 1997.  Now, his son Nicolas Rousset is chairman and four other family members make up its supervisory board. 

The fund focuses on French startups across sectors and usually gets involved at the seed stages. Previous investments include now-acquired insurance provider Luko, SaaS software suite for restaurant management company Innovorder and Virgil, which invests in property alongside customers to help people get on the property ladder. 

IRDI Capital Investissement

HQ city: Toulouse
Deals in 2023: 7

IRDI has 14 managed funds, from which it invests in startups based in the greater southwest of France, and is based across Toulouse, Montpellier and Bordeaux. Tickets range from €200k to €15m, and it mostly invests from seed to Series A stage. This year, it’s backed companies including Bulane, which is developing a more sustainable industrial flame, walking assistance healthtech REEV and manufacturing tools maker Lynxter. 

Région Sud Investissement

HQ city: Marseille
Deals in 2023: 6

Région Sud Investissement invests across the southern Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, chipping in cheques from €200k to €2m in pre-seed to Series A startups. It also offers equity loans or convertible bonds from €15k to €200k as an alternative financing option. Portfolio companies include solar energy startup SunPartner Technologies and Vulog, which provides tech for shared mobility companies. 


HQ city: Pessac
Deals in 2023: 6

Aquiti invests across the New Aquitaine region of southern France and has around €200m under management. It offers both equity investment and loans to early-stage companies from €10k to €10m, and is set up in three offices across Bordeaux, Limoges and Poitiers. In the past 20 years, it has backed companies like carbon capture startup CarbonWorks and, this year, personal robot builder Generation Robots. 

NACO funds

HQ city: Bordeaux
Deals in 2023: 5

NACO Funds, launched in 2022, is a co-investment fund also focused on startups in the New Aquitaine region, with an eye on companies that are working on solutions for economic, social and ecological change. It invests up to €3m alongside business angels or other investment funds and banking groups. 


CMA CGM Ventures

HQ city: Marseille
Deals in 2023: 5

CMA CGM Ventures is the investment arm of shipping company CMA CGM, which says it aims to back between 10 and 20 startups a year. 

It also launched ZEBOX in 2018, an incubator and accelerator for AI, robotics, cybersecurity, blockchain, AR and IoT verticals. It invests mostly at seed and Series A stage, and in 2023, has backed companies like electric-vehicle-charging robot maker Mob-Energy and freight route-planning platform Searoutes. 

Sadia Nowshin

Sadia Nowshin is a reporter at Sifted covering foodtech, biotech and startup life. Follow her on X and LinkedIn