The 17 hottest tech startups in France

Qobuz CEO Yves RieselQobuzQobuz CEO Yves Riesel

France has built a vibrant tech culture in the last few decades, growing from a network of hardware manufacturers in the 1990s to a collection of video game developers, apps and streaming sites today.

We ranked together some of the most interesting tech startups headquartered in France, including established companies, innovative hardware manufacturers, and small startups making waves in the tech scene.

17. Yatedo

Yatedo cofounders Amyne Berrada and Saad Zniber.

It's easy to find information online through Google, but what if you want to find people? Yatedo is a search engine for people that brings together information from all over social media and the web to generate profiles for different people. Those pages include contact information, career history, and social media profiles, all in one place.

The company brought in $US1.6 million (£1.09 million) in seed funding from True Global Ventures in 2012.

Founders: Amyne Berrada and Saad Zniber

15. Leetchi

Leetchi CEO Céline Lazorthes.

If you've ever organised a gift for someone in the office, you know how tricky it is to get everyone to pay up. Leetchi solves that problem by allowing users to create a money pot. Friends and coworkers can use Leetchi to contribute to the pot through an app on their smartphones.

The site was founded in 2009, and has raised a total of $US7.9 million (£5.4 million), bringing in $US5.5 million (£3.7 million) in 2012 from investors including Idinvest Partners. It used that money to expand into the UK and Germany.

Founder: Céline Lazorthes

13. Qobuz

Qobuz CEO Yves Riesel.

Qobuz is a music streaming company that lets customers stream and download high-resolution music of a higher quality than what you'd find on iTunes or Spotify. Just like Tidal, Qobuz places an emphasis on audiophiles, people who are prepared to pay extra for better quality music.

The service launched in 2007, but started to spread around Europe in 2013, when it launched in the UK. The price for the high-end, HI-FI subscription is £19.99 per month, the same as Tidal's top tier.

Founders: Alexandre Leforestier and Yves Riesel

9. Gameloft

Gameloft CEO Michel Guillemot.

Gameloft is a French video game developer and publisher based in Paris, as well as 28 countries around the world. It focuses on mobile games, producing hundreds of different titles. Gameloft currently has 113 different iPhone games available to download, with many of them using the 'freemium' model of a free download with optional paid extras.

CEO Michel Guillemot says that 1 million Gameloft games are downloaded every day and the company has 5,200 developers working across 27 development studios.

Founders: Michael Guillemot

8. Chauffeur-Privé

Chauffeur-Privé CEO Yan Hascoet.

Founded in 2011, Chauffeur-Privé is one of Uber's biggest competitors in France, and is raising big money to expand its ridesharing service. Unlike Uber, Chauffeur-Privé allows users to book rides in advance.

The company raised €5 million (£3.6 million) from CM-CIC Capital privé and XAnge in January, valuing the company at a figure over €20 million (£14.4 million). CEO Yan Hascoet told Le Figaro that Chauffeur-Privé is going to use that funding to expand outside of France.

Founders: Yan Hascoët, Othmane Bouhlal and Omar Benmoussa

6. Happn

Happn CEO Didier Rappaport.

When people get tired of dating app Tinder, they often turn to Happn. The app tracks which other Happn users you pass while travelling around town. These Happn passers-by are catalouged and then it's up to the user to choose which ones they like. If two people match, then they can talk.

Happn has been a hit with investors, bringing in $US8 million (£5.4 million) in funding since its launch in 2013. CEO Didier Rappaport has a history of building French startups, too. He was previously a cofounder of Dailymotion.

Founders: Antony Cohen, Didier Rappaport

5. Deezer

Deezer CEO Dr. Hans-Holger Albrecht.

Deezer is a streaming service (like Spotify) from France that can be used through its app and website, as well as through speakers and in-car entertainment systems. Deezer also offers a high-definition music streaming service called Deezer Elite which streams music in a format that is higher quality than MP3s. Deezer Elite was first tested in the US, but it is being launched around the world.

Deezer's most recent funding round was back in 2012, when it raised $US130 million (£88 million) from investors including Warner Music Group owner Access Industries and Idinvest. The company also recruited a new CEO, with Dr. Hans-Holger Albrecht joining the company and board following the departure of Axel Dauchez.

Founders: Jonathan Benassaya and Daniel Marhely

2. Dailymotion

Dailymotion CEO Cédric Tournay.

Dailymotion is a video-sharing website that works in a similar way to YouTube. It's localised for different locations, with 35 different local versions.

The French government invested in Dailymotion back in October 2009, and Orange completed an acquisition of the company in 2013. Since then. Dailymotion has expanded to offices in London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo as well as its head office in Paris.

It was reported in 2014 that Microsoft was interested in Dailymotion, potentially even acquiring a minority stake in the company. That came after the French government blocked an attempt by Yahoo to buy a majority stake in the company.

Founders: Olivier Poitrey and Benjamin Bejbaum

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