Néolithe should achieve this year the largest fundraising ever carried out in Anjou – Le Journal des Entreprises – Maine-et-Loire
After a fundraising of 20 million euros in 2022, Néolithe is accelerating with this time a funding round of 100 million euros envisaged before the end of next June, which would then be the largest fundraising ever carried out in Maine-et-Loire. Created in 2019, the Angers industrial start-up, at the initiative of a process for transforming waste into aggregates by fossilizationcurrently employs 130 people and should recruit almost as many this year to reach 250 employees by the end of 2023. “The first difficult point for an industrial start-up is fundraising, testifies Nicolas Cruaud, president of Neolith. These are sectors that require a lot of money, and there are fewer specialized investors in our areas. Investment generalists often prefer simpler models for them, even if the profitability is the same.” Faced with a lower availability of money, the Angevin start-up turns to slightly different investors, managers fortunes or family office: “They are less bothered by the necessarily longer time of the industrial start-up, adds Nicolas Cruaud. They also quite often have the culture of the industry.”
The question of land
The temporality of the industrial start-up is also an aspect that the Angevin leader points out. It is often not that of the tech start-up and requires even more time if it chooses to internalize production, as Néolithe does. The young company will indeed manufacture its fossilizers, in an 11-hectare industrial site in Beaulieu-sur-Layon, not far from Angers. An investment of 9.2 million euros made by the departmental planning agency Alter Eco. “Land-related constraints are very specific to industrial start-ups, adds Nicolas Cruaud. Choosing to insource is expensive, forced us to recruit a lot, but it allowed us to save time and maintain our independence. With our own laboratory, we move faster. One of the first drivers of an industrial start-up is indeed the timing and you have to make choices accordingly.” Choices that the three founders of Néolithe made by continuing to structure the company and which, for example, enabled them to continue their research to process more and more types of waste. With a trump card up their sleeve, that of the environment, a key driver for investors and young talents in search of meaning in their professional careers. Beyond recruitment in research and engineering or in technical professions, they have strongly staffed the company. The year 2023 now promises to be crucial for the company, with the planned record fundraising and the installation in its industrial site.