Le Wagon raises 17 million euros from Cathay Capital and AfricInvest to become the world reference in tech bootcamps

May 4, 2020

Founded in 2013 and self-financed until now, the French start-up concludes its first fundraising to consolidate its offer and expand internationally

Paris, March 3, 2020 – With campuses in 38 cities on 5 continents and a community of more than 7,000 alumni, Le Wagon has quickly established itself as a global reference in intensive coding bootcamps. The school announces its first fund raising of 17 million euros, from the lead investor, the international investment fund Cathay Capital, and the AfricInvest fund.

Founded upon a tried-and-tested learning method focused on practical exercises, Le Wagon offers high quality training with a high degree of operationality and employability allowing students to quickly integrate into tech companies or launch their project.

Ranked the best coding bootcamp in the world 4 years in a row (Switchup ranking), Le Wagon is a global reference in digital upskilling, vocational reskilling and in the digital transformation of individuals as well as companies.

Consolidating international presence and expanding offering

After an initial phase of strong, self-financed growth, its three founders decided to open Le Wagon’s capital in order to accelerate the company’s development with three major objectives:

  • Consolidating its international footprint in Europe, Asia, Latin America, North America and Africa, by continuing to open newcampuses and investing in the international network of franchisees.
  • Expanding the training offering. The Group is committed to meeting training needs and business evolution as closely as possible, as well as providing the necessary operational support to all its current and future campuses and to developing its training programs.

A few days ago, Le Wagon launched its new data science bootcamp enabling individuals and companies to master the fundamentals of data science and machine learning. Currently available in Paris, Berlin and Shanghai, this new 9-week training course will be deployed on all campuses and offer full-time and part-time formats.

  • Developing its BtoB offering, Le Wagon Executive, which is aimed at companies of all sizes to train their teams involved in digital functions as part of their digital transformation projects. With its tailor-made acculturation, upskilling and reskilling offers, Le Wagon Executive has already trained more than 1,000 employees.

This fundraising marks a new milestone in our development. Ever since Le Wagon’s foundation, we have concentrated our efforts on iterating on our teaching methods, building an international network of campuses, as well as a network of partner companies that recruit from among our students. Our model is now proven, and this funding will enable us to deploy it more effectively on a global scale and to broaden our training offerings, while preserving our DNA: teaching new skills and training for tomorrow’s professions. Cathay Capital has quickly established itself as a natural partner, thanks to its presence in Europe, Asia and the United States, and a dual expertise in the digital and education spaces. We are also delighted that AfricInvest is accompanying us in the implementation of our ambitious strategy on the African continent” explain Boris and Romain Paillard, co-founders of Le Wagon.

In just a few years, the Wagon has developed a unique, high-impact model that has already enabled thousands of people to acquire new skills and trained them for the future of work. Today, Le Wagon is well-positioned to become the world reference in tech training and we are delighted that Boris, Romain and Sébastien and the entire team has chosen us to support them in their next major step. With our international footprint and our expertise in education and the digital sector, we will do our utmost to accelerate the team’s growth in B2C and B2B in Europe, Asia, the United States, as well as in Africa with the AfricInvest teams“, explains Fabien Wesse, Partner at Cathay Capital.

About Le Wagon

Le Wagon is a coding school open to all and which offers short and intensive training (bootcamp) in web development and data science. Le Wagon’s mission is to enable the greatest number of people to learn technical skills in order to update their skills, to promote their retraining or to provide them with the tools they need to launch their project. The school offers a web development program, recognized as the best short training in the world as well as than a program in data science. Launched in 2013, Le Wagon today boasts an international presence in 38 cities around the world, the training of 7,000 people from all walks of life, a proven teaching method, a vast community of alumni, an offer accessible to individuals but also to companies to train their employees.

Le Wagon is co-founded by the Boris brothers (former financial analyst) and Romain Paillard (former lawyer), as well as Sébastien Saunier (ex-Google). https://www.lewagon.com

About Cathay Capital Group

Cathay Capital Group is a global investment platform specialized in cross-border development with a focus on Northern America, Asia and Europe. The group identifies investment opportunities with the potential to impact the world and accompanies portfolio companies in their international expansion through its ecosystem of partners and the local expertise of its close to 90 employees based in Paris, Shanghai, Beijing, New York, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Munich and Singapore. Founded in 2007, the Group has completed over 130 buyouts, growth and venture capital investments and manages €3.5 billion in assets (as of 31/12/2019), distributed in a range of investment strategies and vehicles.

For more information, please visit www.cathay.fr

About AfricInvest

Founded in 1994, the AfricInvest Group (www.africinvest.com) is a pioneer and a leader in Private Equity in Africa. With close to EUR 1.5 billion in assets under management, AfricInvest has so far carried out more than 160 investments in close to 30 African countries – and in France – thanks to its 70 people strong team representing 13 nationalities and a broad range of complementary skills. They operate from 9 offices in Abidjan, Algiers, Casablanca, Lagos, Cairo, Nairobi, Paris, Port Louis and Tunis. Since January 2017, AfricInvest’s European team in Paris invests in the Franco-African Fund (FFA) a professional private equity fund dedicated to French SMEs which are stakeholders or with a footprint in Africa. Since its foundation, the FFA has completed 8 operations in a diversity of sectors (health, education, environment, tourism, industry, …). The Group’s mission is to accompany participations in their development in Africa through its unique continental network.