The French startup scene is getting hotter by the minute. TheFamily, French non-accelerator program is growing and add two new investors to their roster.
TheFamily’s family of VC investors is growing – after Index announced it had entered into TheFamily’s capital in August of 2013, Paris’ largest non-accelerator, which counts 200+ startup members, has added two more hardhitting VCs to its list of investors: IDInvest & WhiteStar.
In a blog post announcing the investment, TheFamily CEO & Co-founder said of the news:
“Being surrounded by international and powerful investors is key for us if we want to level up the entrepreneurial ecosystem. By investing, they become part of our close network of godfathers (what we call our syndicate of investors), they add their knowledge to our infrastructure, they are part of our family.” – Alice Zagury
While it’s already quite clear why VCs would want to invest in TheFamily – namely, deal flow – not much has changed in terms of TheFamily’s growth strategy. They’ve announced that they’ll spin off Koudetat, their Startup University that they have been running for over a year, adding a purely online element (read: MooC). They’ve also announced a strategic partnership with Facebook to provide Facebook tools to TheFamily startups. Oussama Ammar announced back at #PFE in October that he would be opening a London office to help TheFamily startups raise funds.
TheFamily needs to balance its communication strategy of “detoxifying” the French Tech Ecosystem, and “Blablacar … is one example of the French startup boom” (note: Blablacar CEO & Co-founder Frederic Mazzella is an investor in TheFamily) – the Paris tech ecosystem is beginning to buck against the two-year-old, saying it has stolen attention away from another initiatives.
I, however, argue that TheFamily has set the benchmark for communication, marketing, and, in some senses, transparency in the ecosystem. They uphold values that are good for the ecosystem – defending entrepreneurs in the fundraising process, being the #1 Fan of their investments (TheFamily takes equity, so its members are investments), and leveraging failure and using it as a way to recycle ambitious young talent into new projects (the number of employee change-ups in between TheFamily companies is near eFounder-levels).
As they enter year three, TheFamily has the attention of the ecosystem (local and international) – thanks largely to Alice Zagury’s Beyonce-esque personality – they have enough startups and enough perspective (read:time) to have some tangible progress, and they will need to begin rounding the edges of their ‘entrepreneurship club.’