France has fully grasped the game-changing challenges brought by AI technologies and asserts its strategy in the battle for AI supremacy. With more artificial intelligence (AI) startups created every year, massive investments in these startups and a high level of R&D spending (2.9% of GDP), France is one of the main European players in AI. 

French AI startups expected to become 2019’s most European funded AI start-ups 

French startups raise more money every year especially in the field of artificial intelligence. Indeed, only in the first half of 2019, French AI companies already raised €570 million. This amount exceeds the total amount of funds raised by French AI startups throughout the whole year of 2018 (€510 million). 

French AI startups are also expected to become the most funded in 2019. They are expected to reach €1.14 billion of funds, according to a recent study produced by France Digitale and the Roland Berger consulting company. The study places the French AI startups right ahead of the British and Israeli ones, respectively expected to raise €1.11 billion and €810 million.  


Read more: Cédric Villani about AI in France for Nordic investors


France, second European country in the number of AI startups created 

When it comes to startup creations in the field of AI, France is performing well. According to the PNY Technologies report, France has created 424 AI companies, which corresponds to 21% of all European AI startups in 2019. The United Kingdom is leading the ranking, just before France, with 529 AI companies (27% of the European total). In the top 5, Germany holds the third place with 182 IA companies (9%), Spain the fourth, with 92 IA companies (5%) and the Netherlands the fifth, with 70 AI companies (3%).  


Read more: Keep an AI on France #3: key sectors


Nordic startups are becoming increasingly influential in the field of AI 

France Digitale-Roland Berger’s report highlights four main countries, European leaders in the AI sector, the UK, France, Germany, and Spain. Driving Europe’s AI ecosystem, these countries are contributing to 60% of start-ups, labs, and communities across the 30 countries and are home to 1,514 startups and 193 labs.  

However, by using the “density criteria” (number of start-ups created according to the number of inhabitants in a country) instead of the “volume criteria” (number of start-ups per country), the study also shows that the Nordic countries as clusters are extremely dynamic. Finland and Sweden, “rising stars”, are becoming increasingly influential in AI with a high AI start-ups/population ratio. (see figure 1).


Figure 1 - European AI startups: volume vs density (source France Digitale & Roland Berger report)


Contact us for more information about the French AI ecosystem.