September 2023

2023 Startups Barometer - Economic and Social Performance


Like every year, France Digitale collaborates with EY to publish an annual barometer on the economic and social performance of startups. Conducted by surveying over 500 French startups in the summer of 2023, these figures are especially crucial in a period of economic uncertainty to objectively assess and make visible the performances and resilience of French startups.

Resilient Startups in the Face of Crises

Despite a challenging international economic environment, the 13,000 startups in France continue to thrive, with a revenue growth of +32% between 2021 and 2022, driven by a strong domestic market and unabated international expansion. This represents an increase of 10 points compared to the previous period, during which the average revenue had already grown by 23%. For 60% of startups, these performances are notably propelled by large corporations, which account for over half of their orders.

In 2022, French startups managed to maintain a high level of fundraising (€13.6 billion, up by +15% compared to 2021). However, 2023 poses more complex challenges. With only €4.2 billion raised in H1 2023 (-49% compared to H1 2022), startups face greater difficulties in fundraising, particularly for Series A rounds. As a result, half of the startups that successfully raised funds reported encountering difficulties in convincing their investors and explored alternative solutions such as bank debt or self-financing. It is worth noting that 7% of startups abandoned their fundraising plans.

Nevertheless, in response to this context, startups have shown agility and adapted their strategies. 90% of them have adjusted their strategies to the more complex global economic environment, with a focus on accelerating their development to achieve profitability. The 2023 barometer also highlights that 30% of startups are already profitable, and 55% plan to achieve profitability within the next 3 years. This pursuit of profitability has limited impact on workforce reduction projections in startups: 92% of startups plan to recruit, while 8% consider layoffs in the next 12 months. In the same period last year, 98% of startups reported plans for recruitment. Nonetheless, as evidence of the ecosystem’s growing weight each year, startups account for nearly 1.1 million internal, direct, and indirect jobs according to a study by France Digitale and Actual Group (June 2023).

Another notable development for startups is the pivot towards greater awareness and improvement of their social and environmental impact. For the first time, the barometer highlights that one-third of startups have already measured their social or environmental impact. Two-thirds of those that have done so believe it is an asset for fundraising, with 10% considering it indispensable. »

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An Overview of the 2023 Edition