Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has decided to join several other companies and venture capital firms from Europe in what has become the world’s largest start-up campus. The campus is located in one of the most historic Parisian train stations. It is a 34,000 square meter former freight station, Halle Freyssinet, which was operational during the 1920s. Xavier Niel, the billionaire, is backing this initiative.
Refurbished, Halle Freyssinet is now called Station F and has 365,000 sq ft. It was learned that Facebook was one of the first businesses and funds to join.
Station F to Increase Available Office Space in Paris
When complete it is going to be the largest startup campus in the world, according to its developers. Station F will then house 1,000 tech companies, VC firms, accelerators, and established businesses such as Facebook.
Expected to open in April 2017, it will improve the office space available to tech firms in the city. According to CBRE Research, a property consultant, presently there is 144,000 sq meter space in Paris. Supply increase, presence of venture capitalists, and established businesses like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is sure to be good news for the start-up businesses.
There is going to be more than 3,000 desks in Station F, meeting rooms, and an auditorium for events with a seating capacity of 360. There will be a restaurant as well that can sit 1000 people. It will be open round the clock. Start-ups will have to pay 195 Euros for each desk every month. But first, they have to apply to join, which will then be reviewed by a team. The team will basically look at the concept behind the product. They will also assess whether the business is already funded.
Top angel investors such as Ventech, Kima Ventures, and Daphni have decided to have their offices here. Online retailer Vente-Privee will also be operating their start-up program here.
Other Big Start-Up Campuses Elsewhere in the World
The world’s other major start-up campuses include the RocketSpace area of San Francisco that has been housing about 750 businesses since 2011. There is also an upcoming hub in Hyderabad in India where the aim is to provide space to 5,000 start-ups within the next five years, when it becomes operational in 2018.
France, particularly Paris, is emerging as an important technology hub in Europe. This year, French start-ups have already raised $2.74 billion, which is substantially more than the $1.68 billion of last year.