September 20, 2019

Paris is one of the 5 cities that could displace Silicon Valley

A study of innovation hotspots has chosen Paris alongside Beijing, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles and Toronto as the biggest contenders to be the future’s world tech powerhouse

Kim Darrah

2 min read

The five cities tipped to be the technological hubs of the future are Beijing, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, Toronto and Paris, according to a new report from the Economist’s Intelligence Unit. 

The study aimed to identify the cities that are most likely to displace today’s biggest tech hubs — San Francisco Bay Area, New York, London and Boston — as tech powerhouses.

Beijing was ranked top on nearly all the measures, which included progress on AI, energy storage, advanced manufacturing and robotics.


But the inclusion of Paris in the top 5 was a recognition of how far the city has come in the past few years amid a concerted effort by the government and private sector actor to stimulate the ecosystem.

Just this week President Emmanuel Macron announced that another €2bn will be invested in France-based venture capital funds focusing on late-stage investments in a bid to grow more billion-euro startups.

Two years ago, startup campus Station F sprung up in a 1920s freight station and has since produced a number of exciting startups and become a symbol of the city’s startup ambition.

In 2018, €2.3bn in venture capital was invested into Parisian startups, up four times from €514m in 2013, according to Dealroom data.

The study picked out cities based not only on VC funding, but also on their progress in 10 major technological areas including blockchain, AI, computer vision, nano-technology and advanced biosciences. 

Heat map showing how each city ranks on areas of technological innovation
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Paris scored particularly highly in AI, energy storage, advanced manufacturing and robotics. 

Indeed, there are plenty of rising stars of the Parisian startup in these sectors. 

Examples of hot AI startups include Anotherbrain, which has pioneered a low-energy form of AI; Meero, an on-demand photography platform; and ContentSquare, which uses behavioural data to understand how and why people use apps. 

In the robotics space, Stanley Robotics has developed a valet robot that can park cars, which are now active in France’s Lyon-Saint-Exupéry airport.

Other fast-growing Parisian startups to keep an eye on include insurtech startup Alan, which recently announced its expansion plans (and also came third in LinkedIn’s list of the most sought after startups to work at), and Spendesk, which is shaking up the way people do expenses and is expanding quickly.