The funding crisis in France’s startup ecosystem is hitting even its most iconic figures. This was demonstrated by Meetic founder Marc Simoncini, who is set to announce a €20m raise on Tuesday 19 September to back his latest company, Angell Mobility, a maker of electric and connected bikes.
Initially, the young company hoped to raise 25 million euros. “It took us more than a year” To conduct this round of discussions, the entrepreneur testifies. “For 100 applications submitted to specialized funds of the digital economy, you were rejected in principle at least 90 times”he says.
Starting a company with a strong industrial dimension, which claims to rely as much as possible on French partners – starting with the SEB group, which assembles its bicycles in Is-sur-Tille (Côte d’Or) – Mr. Simoncini. It was not easy for him. Even if the company positions itself in the segment of high-end bikes with prices between 2,500 and 3,000 euros, it knows that its profitability prospects have nothing to do with that of a digital company.
Before this round of funding, Angell Mobility has already raised more than 20 million euros, mainly provided by Jaina Capital, Mr. Simoncini’s venture capital fund and SEB. This time, two new investors are entering the capital, including Bpifrance, which is making its first investment through its industrial seed fund, launched in March and awarded €50 million.
Expand the range of products
“We lacked the tools to support innovations that are less disruptive and targeted to more traditional industries »Paul-Francois Fournier, the executive director of the institution, testifies. “Nothing would be possible without Bpifrance”, believes Mr. Simonchini. The second new entrant is global logistics giant Marseille-based CMA CGM, which is working to decarbonize transport.
This funding will allow Angell Mobility to expand its product range (possibly beyond bicycles) and develop internationally, while it is mainly present in France, Germany and Italy. The company, which delivered its first products in 2020, had about 5,000 bikes in circulation in 2022.
This figure may increase rapidly on Tuesday, September 19, with the announcement of a partnership with the mini-brand (BMW Group) for the joint production of electric bicycles under the name of the automobile brand. Almost 4,000 of the limited edition units will be sold, mainly at Mini dealerships, but the partnership should last at least five years and allow for new models.
Source: Le Monde
Ashley Fitzgerald is a financial whiz and a writer at Run Down Bulletin. With a passion for all things economy, she provides insightful and thought-provoking coverage of the latest economic trends and events.