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Spotlight Interview: France Digitale CEO Maya Noël

Noël: "The period of plentiful cash might be over for the moment, but the recent major AI, climate, energy, and mobility-focused rounds we are seeing tell us there are more inspiring success stories to come."

Maya Noël, Director General France Digitale. ©️Photo: Maxime Chermat

After the tech highs of the past two years, France’s startup scene, along with that of the rest of the world, hit a low patch. 2023 was the year when growth investment slowed to a practical halt, valuations came crashing down, and several major tech companies made sizeable layoffs.

Are things still as gloomy as all that for French startups, or is there a silver lining to the cloud that hangs over the ecosystem? 

We tracked down Maya Noël, CEO of France’s national tech association France Digitale, to get the low down on 2023 and find out what the forecast is looking like for 2024.

Q: 2023 appeared to signal the end of the French Tech boum. What was your take on the year? 

MN: In 2003, the global tech sector went through a major reassessment. Yet, if you zoom out over a decade, France's trajectory has remained decidedly positive. Despite its challenges, at France Digitale, we view 2023 as less of a harsh downturn and more as a phase of normalization following the overly optimistic valuations and funding frenzy of the past 3 years.

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