In recent years, various mechanisms have been developed to support the development of creative industries, particularly the audiovisual sector.
More specifically, the BPI (French public investment bank) organized a Cinema & Audiovisual accelerator since 2015 and launched in 2020 the « Plan Touch » to favor the financing of the creative sector, including audiovisual sector, and to allow a better connexion between companies and financiers.
This program brings together groups of about twenty French companies from the audiovisual sector to work on their market positioning and business model.
It is open widely to cinematographic and audiovisual companies: exhibitors, distributors and producers, independent media on demands or technical industries (VFX, studios, rental companies), with a turnover higher than €2M and with at least 3 years of existence.
The program aims to enable beneficiaries to establish a marketing strategy and structure their businesses, particularly in terms of innovation and financing.
Participants benefit from 16 or 39 days of individual advice depending on the size of the company, 6 days of collective training with a reputed school: and 4 days of sectors meeting with various stakeholders involved in the sector. The program lasts 18 months, and one session runs from April 18, 2023, to July 4, 2024.
The accelerator also connects participants from the various BPI accelerators with all previous promotions, including Les films du cygne (independent production company), Miyu Productions (animated films) or Charades (producer and distributor).
In order to support audiovisual companies, the cost of the program is partly covered by the BPI and the French national center for cinema, based on their turnover, the remainder being still high at €17,000 excluding VAT for companies with a turnover of between €2 and €10 million and €33,000 excluding VAT beyond.
The Touch 3 loan is dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises and small mid-sized enterprises in operation for more than 3 years and financially healthy, belonging to the Creative and Cultural Industries: culture, music, performing arts, publishing, cinema, audiovisual, video games and design.
It allows the beneficiary companies to finance: intangible investments (such as the creation of a show, a prototype, training costs, communication and marketing expenses, etc.), tangible investments with a low pledge value, an increase in working capital or external growth operations provided that the target meets the above criteria.
The amount of the loan can range from 50,000 to 2M euros, within the limits of the equity and quasi-equity of the beneficiary company.
It should be noted, however, that this loan is primarily associated with external financing such as capital contributions from shareholders and/or private equity companies and/or quasi-equity contributions (participating loans, bonds convertible into shares), bank loans with a minimum of at least 5 years or crowdfunding.
The repayment period is flexible from 2 to 10 years and may include a period of capital amortization up to 24 months.
It can be noted that no security on the assets of the company, nor on the assets of the manager is required by the BPI. However, death and disability insurance on the manager’s head may be requested.
The Tech and Touch program is an investment tool for French companies whose model is based both on a creative dimension but also on a technological innovation, use or economic model.
It aims to connect independent unlisted start-ups, whose activity is in the creative and cultural industries, with capital investors.
This program supports the cultural sector ranging from « Game changers »: young innovative and creative companies that invent the ICCs of tomorrow, to « Challengers »: mature companies with high growth potential and up to « Leaders »: champions in their market with international development or transmission challenges.
It can result in direct minority investments in startups or indirect investments in cultural and creative industries (funds of funds).
In this context, single tickets range from €300,000 to €10 million.
Among the beneficiaries of these investments, we can mention Playtime (Independent leader in the export of auteur cinema 120 bpm, Son of Saul, Thanks to God), Gédéon Programmes (Producer of creative documentaries and immersive experiences), Federation (European leader in the production and distribution of series).
In addition, production companies that invest in new technologies and research and development can benefit from many research and innovation schemes.
This can include research or innovation tax credits, but also scholarships (French Tech, French tech emergence etc.) and many regional aids (innov’up, start’oc …). Some competitions such as I-nov can also be targeted by companies active in the immersive sector.
In view of the numerous possibilities, it is interesting for a producer to be accompanied by a specialized lawyer to find the most appropriate financing and development solutions and to verify and implement the required eligibility criteria.
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