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France Gets its 25th Tech Unicorn, Reaching Macron’s Goal Early

Warehouse robotics specialist Exotec raised funds at a $2 billion valuation, making it the 25th French startup to be valued at more than $1 billion

French President Emmanuel Macron.
By Benoit Berthelot
January 17, 2022 | 08:56 am

Bloomberg — Warehouse robotics specialist Exotec raised funds at a $2 billion valuation, making it the 25th French startup to be valued at more than $1 billion.

The Croix, France-based startup’s announcement Monday means President Emmanuel Macron has met a goal he set in September 2019 of producing 25 unicorns three years early.

In a Twitter video on the nation’s unicorns Macron set a new target of creating 10 European tech giants -- companies valued at more than 100 billion euros ($114 billion) -- by 2030. He said measures to achieve this would be announced in the coming weeks.

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The milestone comes as the government plans to announce 21 investment projects from companies including Eastman Chemical Co. Macron is traveling to North East France Monday to highlight his track record in wooing foreign investors, less than three months before the presidential election.

Exotec will use the $335 million raised to expand in North America, Europe and Asia, and to hire 500 engineers by 2025. The round was led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, with follow-on investments from 83North and Dell Technologies Capital. The company’s customers include Carrefour SA and Uniqlo.