France got off to a slower start then some of its European neighbors when it comes to the development of a fintech industry, but that's starting to change. Spurred in part by the potential opportunity offered by Brexit, the country has launched a campaign to promote itself as a future European fintech leader. It's begun tackling its reputation as a heavily bureaucratic country by introducing fintech-friendly regulation, as well as offering foreign fintechs an expedited licensing process. We expect France's fintech scene to develop over the next couple of years, though it will struggle to reach the scale of either the UK or Germany in this period. That's not necessarily a bad thing — a market with fewer competitors could mean more funding to go round, while increasing the likelihood of employees staying in roles longer.
Much like in the UK, France's fintech industry is currently centered on one major city.
Paris. The French capital is home to around 200 fintechs, according to lobbying group Europlace, and serves as the country's financial center. It's also the location of several fintech accelerators and organizations, including BNP Paribas' accelerator created in partnership with US accelerator operator Plug and Play; Finance Innovation, the city's fintech network; and France Fintech, a fintech membership organization with over 60 members. Additionally, Paris is the center of the French government's efforts to promote technology more broadly, and boasts a new 34,000 square meter "startup campus" called Station F, which will offer 3,000 desks, as well as event space and accommodation when it launches in June 2017. Céline Lazorthes, founder and CEO of French fintech Leetchi Group, says Paris offers two major attractions for fintechs: the accessibility of tech talent from nearby French [...]