Sep 18, 2019

France's power play for foreign investment

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the annual French ambassadors conference. Photo: Yoan Valat/AFP/Getty Images

French asset managers and insurers pledged €5 billion for investment in local tech companies, as announced by President Macron before a dinner in Paris for VC and sovereign wealth fund managers.

Why it matters: This is France making a power play for foreign investment, at a time when leading European tech hub London is potentially vulnerable due to the Brexit chaos.

The bottom line: "France has directed billions in tax breaks and subsidies to domestic startups. But many have struggled to grow because they lack the financing Silicon Valley firms receive from VC funds and other investors, which often push them to scale up before going public. Successful French startups, by contrast, typically find a foreign buyer or relocate to the U.S. to list on Nasdaq," writes the Wall Street Journal's Noemie Bisserbe.

Go deeper: Trump administration probes French tax plan on Big Tech

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The fall of unicorns

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public market investors are turning a more critical eye toward "unicorn" startups, particularly those with lax governance and big losses.

Why it matters: This comes after years of laser focus on top-line growth, and is challenging for older startups that had geared their business models to the old normal.

Go deeperArrowOct 5, 2019

Venture capitalists on track for $100 billion in startup investments


Venture capitalists are on pace to invest over $100 billion in U.S. startups for the second straight year, including a record number of rounds more than $50 million. This might be the industry's high-volume mark.

The big picture: The dizzying numbers have been driven by an influx of new money that has helped companies stay private longer. But much of that new money comes from what I've previously referred to as "VC tourists" — or investors for whom startups aren't their core competency.

Go deeperArrowOct 10, 2019

A push to let mom and pop invest in startups

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

There is a revived push to allow mom-and-pop investors to buy shares in private companies, something from which they have been generally prohibited.

The state of play: At issue is how a lot of startup value creation has become over-weighted to the private markets, with fewer gains being generated post-IPO.

Go deeperArrowSep 18, 2019