The Paris Business Angels association now has 180 individual investors from the Paris region. It is one of the most important networks in the Île-de-France. It is part of the France Angels federation. Within this association, the principle is as follows: each member invests the amount he wishes in the to boot who wants. Currently, Paris Business Angels members have a portfolio of 150 to boot, mainly present in Île-de-France. In 2021, they have made over 3 million euros of investments, including an operation of almost 1 million euros in a to boot Parisian in the field of health. This is an example of an established trend within this association: investors seek to boot which will have an impact on society. Élisabeth Lécuyer, president of the Paris Business Angels, takes stock of these two years of health crisis.
Actu-Juridique: How do members of the Paris Business Angels feel about the current economic climate?
Elizabeth Lecuyer : Our members invested significantly more than last year. We recorded over 3 million euros of investments in 2021. Double that of 2020. They are quite confident and positive about the future, after a period of uncertainty. With the health crisis, since March 2020, all the processes of the Paris Business Angels have been modified, in a digital version. Previously, all sessions took place in the gym. We have been working by videoconferencing throughout the crisis and are now continuing the momentum.
We have experienced a period of adjustment and appreciation of this crisis by investors. In the face of the health crisis, the government has implemented aid to support the cash flow of to boot such as the State Guaranteed Loan (PGE). This type of device is allowed to boot have a relay, visibility and hold on. In 2021, our investors believed in the rebound. They are confident, they believe in the technologies they have and will emerge and the ability to to boot rotate. There is a willingness to participate and support to bootdespite the difficult times. The economic life of A to boot it is made up of high, low and bounce. He is also subject to macroeconomic events beyond his control. The mission of business angel is to be part of the continuity, making use of its experience and expertise, particularly in the crisis management part. Today we see that our members are more mobilized than before with to boot to support them in the economic recovery.
AJ: What were the favorite investments of Paris Business Angels members in 2021?
AND. L. : First, we are a generalist network. We don’t have a favorite sector. But in 2020 and 2021, the healthcare sector was dominant in our members’ investments. The health crisis has brought out solutions and innovations in the field of health. We find in particular digital health e medtech. The sectors of greentech such as technological agriculture, Food technology intelligent building management is also interesting.
“Our network has been able to develop its investment capacity to best support start-ups”
Investors appreciate projects that provide solutions to a real, sensitive and visible problem at the moment. But we have a diversified portfolio. Companies in need of financing, who come to us, want to grow. The amounts requested by to boot they are increasingly important. Before it was between €300,000 and €500,000. Today they have almost doubled. Our network has been able to develop its investment capacity to best support start-ups.
AJ: Like business angel of your association manages its own investments?
EL : We are seeing a very sensitive underlying trend. Today our business angels want to make sense of their investments. Through their involvement in the health sectors,agritechof the Food technology, investors take into account social issues. The idea is to create a better and more responsible world. Social and environmental responsibility is a completely transversal theme and we take it into account when analyzing the cases presented to us. Some of our members have specific expertise on these topics. They will thus bring their knowledge to the members in charge of examining the case. Then we have a lot of to boot who in their intonation indicate criteria for saving water, energy or other resources and social issues such as diversity. Almost everything to boot we take this dimension of CSR into consideration and our investors are sensitive to it.
AJ: How have your members been paying attention to the various industry funds that have fueled the economic recovery?
AND. L. : We are always attentive to the fact that the to boot have different sources of funding. During the crisis, our investors advised to boot on the aid schemes from which they could benefit and in particular on the PGE. Raising funds in a crisis context has always been complicated. The to boot he may find it difficult to promote his business or profession, especially when in slow motion or even at a standstill. So it’s about being smart by looking for funding in the right places, such as the Investment Program for the Future (PIA). These measures allowed them to finance themselves during this period, before organizing new fundraisers to finance their growth.
AJ: What’s your assessment of 2020?
AND. L. : In 2020 our investments had decreased. They had reached 1.5 million euros in 2020, while in 2019 our shareholders had invested 1.8 million euros. This year, with over 3 million euros, we are doing better than 2019 and 2020 and also 2018 since we were at 2 million euros. Despite the health crisis, there have therefore been investments. For example, right at the start of the confinement, we managed to finalize a fundraiser for a to boot. We have held video conference meetings in connection with this operation. Another example with to boot The Parisian company Yelda specialized in artificial intelligence dedicated to speech processing. It raised €400,000 from our members in the midst of a health crisis. During 2020, our business angel they also largely supported entrepreneurs: moral support, help in making decisions, support even to benefit from government aid in the face of the health crisis. We also haven’t had any start-ups fail during that time.
AJ: How does the Paris Business Angels system work from identifying start-ups to introducing them to your members?
EL : The Finding of the to boot is carried out by the permanent team of Paris Business Angels. She is accompanied by some of our members who are part of our selection committee. The contractors of to boot selected come intonation in front of our entire network. So, the members decide to investigate the del file to boot or they decline. The realization of the investment takes between two and three months from intonation of the to boot.
AJ: What criteria do your members use to make an investment?
AND. L. : We invest very early in the development phase of a to boot, from six to thirty-six months. At Paris Business Angels, we have three investment criteria. First, the team to boot which must show real ambition and complementarity. This is our criterion no. 1 and its weight is dominant in the decision. Then there’s the market, which must be large and growing. Finally, we must perceive a degree of technological or service innovation. But it is necessary to respond differently to what is being done today, with a proposal of real added value.
AJ: How do start-ups use the funds invested by your members?
AND. L. : Today, there is fierce competition between to boot. It is therefore necessary to quickly develop and optimize all channels to achieve this goal. About to boot engaged in a technology with research and development, funding is needed for the technology. The value proposition put forward must be effective as quickly as possible. Hence, the funding is also used to recruit key skills. Then the to boot they have to finance communication and marketing to make themselves known to partners, suppliers and customers. The ambition is to anticipate the national market and also to see bigger through the European or even global market depending on the situation.
“Today there is stiff competition among start-ups”
In summary, when a to boot presents its financing need to us, often it concerns technological development, recruitment and communication because these are the main levers of rapid growth.
AJ: How you work with other investment players to best support to boot ?
AND. L. : We have recently created an association called Paris Region Angels which brings together all the main networks of Ile-de-France. It was launched in early November 2021 at BpiFrance. The founding members with us are Val’Angels, Health Angels, Business Angels of the Grandes Ecoles, Arts et Métiers Business Angels and Women Business Angels. More networks will join us soon. The goal is to increase co-investment capabilities and work better together. And we are developing a very constructive partnership with the Île-de-France region.