France’s top corporate finance chiefs are getting lessons on the specifics of acquiring startups in a push by a state-backed investment fund to triple tech deals in the country within three years.
Chief financial officers from France’s biggest companies, from banks to industrial conglomerates, are learning to pin a price tag to a startup, spot when a company is ripe to be snatched up, and calibrate how many acquisitions it takes to land a technology gold nugget. Their teachers are venture capitalists or other entrepreneurs, called in by Bpifrance, an investment fund supported by the government that has spent years pumping money into the country’s startup ecosystem and investing alongside other funds to provide reassurance.
“What France’s tech scene needs now is more exits,” Paul-Francois Fournier, Bpifrance’s head of innovation, said in an interview in Paris ahead of a conference Wednesday detailing its investment strategy. “Bigger companies are learning to manage their startup investments, and VCs can teach them a lot.”
Bpifrance invests in companies to help boost financing for startups in France as well as in…