Tech & Web
On Tuesday, the two digital jewels climbed the podium of French unicorns by carrying out exceptional fundraising in quick succession.
Back Market, a specialist in refurbished high-tech products, raised 450 million euros, thus becoming the most highly valued French unicorn.
© LOIC VENANCE / AFP
Historic day for French Tech. On Tuesday, January 11, two giant fundraisers were unveiled in quick succession by the payment specialist dedicated to businesses Qonto and the marketplace Back Market, which are on the podium of French unicorns. Back Market, a specialist in the resale of refurbished electronic objects, announced in the second half of the day that it had raised 450 million euros, to reach 5.1 billion euros in valuation.
A few hours earlier, Qonto trumpeted having raised 484 million euros, for a valuation of 4.4 billion euros. The Back Market operation, created in 2014, was carried out with Sprints Capital, Eurazeo, Aglaé Ventures, General Atlantic and Generation Investment Management. “At Back Market, we are on an overall three-digit growth every year,” explained its CEO, Thibaud Hug de Larauze, in a press release. Objective: "that our French partners also benefit by sharing with our foreign partners a cake that will continue to grow in the years to come".
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A very promising second-hand market
Back Market now has more than 650 employees and wishes to recruit nearly 400 more in 2022. In a very promising second-hand market, the company aims to enable the French reconditioning industry to assert itself as a champion of export to Europe. As for Qonto, the list of contributors to the new operation is long: the American investment funds Tiger Global and TVC have entered, as well as Alkeon, the French Eurazeo, KKR, Insight Partners, Exor Seeds and Gaingels.
The Swiss Guillaume Pousaz and the investor Ashley Flucas complete the panel of “business angels”. They joined former investors who handed over money for this round: the Chinese giant Tencent, the venture capital fund DST Global, known for its support for tech nuggets like Alibaba, Facebook or Spotify, the French venture capital fund Alven Capital and the American Valar.
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An ecosystem “that never stops growing”
With this fundraising, one of the largest in the history of French Tech, Qonto becomes the 24th unicorn (a young company not listed on the stock exchange and valued at more than a billion dollars) of an ecosystem "which does not ceases to grow, in Paris and in the territories", welcomed Cédric O, Secretary of State in charge of Digital, in the press release from Qonto, recalling the government's objective of increasing from 3 to 25 unicorns between 2017 and 2025. Including this fourth round, the payment institution raised a total of 622 million euros. Created in 2017, its objective is to make life easier for companies, and in particular for VSEs and SMEs.
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