Acquisitions of French Startups by Corporates: From Love at First Sight to Stable Marriages?

Lionel Aré Olivier Sampieri Sébastien Bard Stéphane Charveriat Gabriel d'Andurain Jean-François Esnault

Acquisitions of French startups more than doubled in 2021-22 compared to previous years, thus anchoring acquisitions by corporates as the main exit option for startups. Does this trend reflect the growing maturity of the French entrepreneurial ecosystem, on the side of both startups and corporates alike?

Amidst global economic uncertainty, BCG and RaiseLab provide an overview of the acquisitions carried out over the last ten years. What are the objectives pursued within the framework of these consolidations? How are they executed? What operational challenges do they entail? What are the potential acquisition and integration models? Which models are best suited to unlocking value, and in which context? One year after the publication of their study "Corporate Venture Capital and Startups: How to Extend the Love at First Sight?", BCG and RaiseLab dedicate their new analysis to the acquisition of French startups by corporates. Entitled "Acquisitions of French startups by corporates. From love at first sight to stable marriages?", this study analyzes over 600 acquisitions made since 2013. Beyond providing a quantitative assessment of the past ten years, it offers several key insights for a successful acquisition. The report is based on more than twenty interviews with companies, founders, and former executives of startups, as well as various experts from the entrepreneurial ecosystem.