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avril 2012


Paris, 16 April 2012Truffle Capital, a leading European private equity firm, published the eighth edition of its Truffle 100 France ranking of France’s top 100 software companies. The « Truffle 100 » has been compiled with support from Eric Besson, the French Minister for Industry, Energy and the Digital Economy, and in partnership with analysts at the CXP Centre for Software Evaluation, who conducted the survey used in the index’s publication.

« In 2011, the top 100 French software companie’s turnover grew by 10%. Software vendors keep on investing massively in R&D and creating skilled jobs, even though total headcounts in research and development did not increase as much as the revenues. The French software industry relies on innovation to maintain its momentum in the context of formidable international competition, » emphasises Truffle Capital’s co-founder and its Managing Partner for Information Technologies, Bernard-Louis Roques. “Software companies are still the bright performers in innovation, creating jobs and added value, while remaining significant taxpayers. However, they are not yet an industrial priority. Again this year, implementing a French version of the Small Business Act1 is still acclaimed as the key measure that would promote the development of innovative software SMEs. Easing access to financing is critical, whether through R&D tax credits (“CIR”) or venture capital (“FCPI”)” he says.

The « Truffle 100 France » (created in 2005 by TRUFFLE CAPITAL and Bernard-Louis Roques and conducted by CXP) has become the benchmark ranking for measuring the state of the French software industry. A « Truffle 100 Europe » followed in 2006 and has won similar levels of credibility as a guide to the software industry across Europe. Lastly, a « Truffle 100 European Clusters » report was initiated in 2009.

A sector that creates jobs and drives innovation: The total companies and R&D headcounts continue to grow, up from 57,490 in 2010, to 63,070 in 2011, and from 11,460 to 11,600, respectively. Despite the global financial crisis, the number of researchers has remained relatively steady since 2006, with a slight drop this year (18% of total staff numbers compared to 20% in 2010). It is noteworthy that 79% of software companies are generally still unwilling to relocate their R&D.

Unequal distribution of turnover – The sector’s dynamic trend continues but at a slower pace (83% of companies increased their year-on-year turnover, vs. 82% in 2010) and greater total turnover (€7.7 billion in 2011 vs. €6.6 billion in 2010 and €5.2 billion in 2011 vs. €4.7 billion in 2010 for the Truffle 100’s total turnover). There was a very uneven distribution of the companies’ relative weights: the leading company, Dassault Systèmes, accounted for 34.2% of total turnover (33.6% in 2010); 20% for the 2nd to 5th-ranked companies (21.7% in 2010); 20.4% for companies ranked 6th to 20th (19% in 2010); 14.5% for companies ranked 21st to 50th (14.7% in 2010); and only 10.9% (same figure in 2010) for all the firms in the lower half of the ranking.

In comparison with 2010, 28 software companies moved up the ranking (16 in 2010), 12 held their positions (15 in 2010), 49 slipped down at least one notch (54 in 2010) and five fell out of the ranking (12 in 2010) due to the lack of sufficient turnover in the software sector. Dassault Systèmes maintains its top spot; Murex in second place (3rd in 2010), switching with Sopra Group which slips to 3rd place; Cegid holds at 4th place and Axway takes the number 5 spot from Linedata Services (after the spin-off from Sopra). Among the Top 10, Linedata Services falls to 6, Avanquest Software stays at 7; GFI Informatique falls from 6th to 8th position; ESI Group from 8th to 9th and Isagri, which entered the Top 10 in 2010, falls to 10th place (9th in 2010).

Nine companies entered the ranking: Axway, Emailvision, Sidetrade, Eve, Talentsoft, NP6, Mismo Informatique, Winpharma and Infotel. Sopra Group and Axway parted ways in the subsidiary’s spin-off in June 2011 and Axway now appears in the ranking at number 5. Sopra Group’s turnover takes into account the buyouts of British subsidiaries Business & Decision and Tieto, completed in early 2012.

Nine companies fell out of the ranking:
Two were acquired by companies with total turnover accounting for €40 million compared to €45.3 million in 2010 for two companies purchased – Delta Informatique (no. 22 in 2010), bought by Sopra Group (ranked 3rd), and Fimasys (no. 76 in 2010), bought by Linedata Services (ranked 6th). The other companies falling out of the ranking are: Group Sab, Business Document, Ivalua, Sydel, Wedia, Temis and Euroweb.

The two best-represented regions of France in the Truffle 100 were again the Paris Ile de France region, accounting for 80% of total turnover, 85% of overall staff numbers (81% in 2010) and 81% of R&D staff (vs. 76% in 2010); and the Rhône-Alpes region, with 10% of total turnover in the software sector, 7.8% of overall staff numbers (8% in 2010) and 9.5% of R&D staff compared to 9% in 2010. These are the only two French software clusters that can claim to have Europe-wide prominence.

Trends for 2012
The software industry’s main drivers for 2012: cloud computing is still number one for 67% of companies (59% in 2010), followed by mobile applications for 62% vs. 39% in 2010, management of sector-specific processes for 30% vs. 25% last year, collaborative working for 26% vs. 24% in 2010, the paper-free office for 22% (same as last year), Web 2.0 developments for 15% (14% in 2010), virtualisation for 14% (new trend) and decision support for 13% vs. 12% last year.

The « Truffle 100 » is based on a survey questionnaire through which participating companies declare their compliance with the ranking criteria. The ranking is generated on the basis of the data submitted by each participating company and (in some cases) additional, externally sourced data. Certain confidential data are only processed in an aggregate manner. The Truffle 100 questionnaire is available on the web at Candidate companies can register at any time.

About Truffle Capital
Founded in 2001 in Paris, Truffle Capital is a leading independent European private equity firm. It is dedicated to investing in and building technology leaders in the IT, life sciences and energy sectors. With over €500 million under management, Truffle Capital is led by a team of four partners (Jean-François Fourt, Henri Moulard, Philippe Pouletty and Bernard-Louis Roques) with decades of successful investment and entrepreneurial experience in both Europe and North America. Truffle Capital aims to achieve superior financial returns by leveraging its industry knowledge, extensive network, operational experience and focus on spin-offs to identify business opportunities that match latent market needs. Since its incorporation, Truffle Capital has invested in 47 companies (80% of which are based in France). For further information, please visit and

About CXP
CXP is a European analysis and consulting firm, specialising in application software. CXP offers its clients product benchmarking studies on more than 50 application building blocks (BI, HRIS, content management, IT management, finance, ERP, CRM, etc.), customised services (information system audits, drafting specifications, consultation with software publishers, project management assistance, etc.), and market studies. Each year the CXP group provides its expertise to more than 1,500 CIOs and operational management departments for major accounts and mid-market companies. Based in Paris, CXP is currently present in Germany and England through its subsidiary, BARC (Business Application Research Centre) –

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Caroline Carmagnol
Tel.: +33 664 189 959 / +33 142 688 643
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