Have you thought about

checking our FAQ ?

Who can benefit from the NFI services?

4 specific cases:
  • Foreign companies in all sectors looking to expand in Hauts-de-France
  • French companies with no site in Hauts-de-France
  • Hauts-de-France companies with a succession plan
  • Foreign-owned companies in Hauts-de-France with a development project
Our services are not intended for :
  • French or international self-employed entrepreneurs
  • French companies wishing to export
  • International companies seeking distribution networks only

Why as the help of Nord France Invest?

Nord France Invest provides you with completely tailored, free of charge and confidential support. We centralize all the information you need to analyze your project. We facilitate your process to find a site, partners or land. We organize site visits. We accelerate your networking with future regional partners. Find out more about the agency's services on this page.

What type of project can support you in?

The agency supports job-creating investment projects. The nature of projects varies according to 3 main categories:
  • Start-up projects
  • Expansion of existing sites in the region
  • takeovers of regional businesses by international companies.
Nord France Invest's services are not aimed at capital investments.
Check the FAQ
Contact

Do you have an expansion project?

Leave us your contact details and we’ll get back to you by e-mail.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Top !
Homesuccess storiesAlma, the Parisian fintech, launches a customer relations centre in Lille

Alma, the Parisian fintech,

launches a customer relations centre in Lille

The Parisian fintech Alma expands its customer support and relationship center in Lille, with the aim of achieving its ambition of becoming a leading European player in the fractional payments market.
Nord France Invest

Alma is surfing the wave created by the booming split payments market as it experiences unprecedented growth. The French scale-up’s growth strategy has driven it to extend its customer relations and support centre in Lille. François Solignac, Operations director, gives us his take on Alma’s development.

Who is Alma, the Parisian Fintech?

Alma is a Parisian scale-up that considers itself as much a fintech as a retailtech. Launched in 2018, it’s the brainchild of Louis Chatriot, former CEO of Stripe in Italy, and Guillaume Desloges. The company develops split payment solutions. In just three years, more than 6,000 retailers are using its services daily. The buy now pay later (BNPL) market is nothing new, but until now it’s been dominated by big retailers’ captive banks. Alma finances retailers and manages any non-payment risk. This way, customers can pay later, but the retailer is paid for the whole transaction immediately.

« We’re investing significantly in our product. We want it to be a seamless experience and for it to be as easy to split payment as it is to pay in one go. »

François Solignac, Operations Director at Alma

Development challenges for Alma

Favourable external conditions: the rise of split payments

The global split payment market quadrupled between 2018 and 2020, reaching $80 billion, according to Kaleido Intelligence. It could triple again by 2025 to hit $250 billion. In 2021, around 31% of French people sought to defer payment, compared to 25% the previous year, according to the OpinionWay-Floa Barometer on how payment methods are evolving.

Favourable internal conditions: Alma’s exponential growth

In 2019, Alma employed 10 people. Three years later, the scale-up employs a staff of more than 200, is present in five countries – France, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Italy – and has a clear ambition: become the leading European player. With 3 successive funding rounds in 3 years, the latest amounting to €210 million, the company is leaving nothing to chance in its quest for success. Alma’s targets for 2025 are to reach €300 million in turnover, 10 billion in payment volumes and 1,000 employees.

« We’re investing heavily in offering the best possible customer relationship. We have an aggressive growth strategy in France and internationally. We are currently opening in one country per month. Our Customer Care teams will be substantial which is why we quickly decided to create a satellite with a dedicated Customer Care team.»

 

Choosing Lille for Alma’s customer relations centre

In 2021, Alma launched a location study to identify the ideal site for its customer relations centre. Paris was ruled out immediately. For the equivalent salary, the regions offer a far better quality of life than the capital. Employee recruitment, development and retention is a major challenge. The company shortlisted major cities in key regions – Brittany, Pays de la Loire, Grand Est and Hauts-de-France.

2 key criteria

To harness its growth, Alma is uncompromising when it comes to 2 fundamental issues. First, the depth of the labour pool. The potential to recruit French and multi-lingual customer service professionals is crucial. The scale-up has big ambitions to ramp up development. The region must be able to meet the company’s growing recruitment needs. Second, Alma needs a flexible real estate solution to meet its rapid growth. The classic office space route was swiftly discarded.

Lille’s advantages

Following a rigorous evaluation strategy, Alma honed in on Lille. The city meets all the conditions to harness the company’s development.

  • Lille’s proven track record in e-commerce, and as a distance selling pioneer
  • Confirmed recruitment potential of target profiles
  • Scalable solution within a tech and commercial ecosystem: Euratechnologies
  • Easy access to Paris by train – 1 hour by TGV with 20 trains per day

Alma’s customer relations and support centre aims to employ around 100 by year end 2023.

“What really tipped the balance for us and confirmed our selection, on top of proximity to Paris and the extensive labour pool, is that Lille has a long retail history. La Redoute, Auchan, Décathlon – these major retailers have created an exceptional employment area, offering huge opportunities to a retailtech company. We had a real sense of Lille’s retail heritage. There are companies training fabulous talents who have the ideal profiles for our project. We have also discovered schools and training courses that are extremely relevant. That’s why we chose Lille.”

Alma is currently recruiting customer relations advisors and anti-fraud experts for France and abroad. Check out the jobs available

Alma’s support package from Hello Lille, Nord France Invest and Euratechnologies

Moving to a new region is never simple for any company. Support from experienced organisations is key to an investment project’s success. Alma reaped the benefits of Hello Lille, Nord France Invest and Euratechnologies’ services.

Key support services

  • Identifying the ideal premises
  • Implementing site visits
  • Integrating into the local ecosystem
  • Introducing to retail groups
  • Recruitment support with the French employment services, Pôle Emploi, the Maison de l’emploi and the Regional Council’s Proch’Emploi.
  • Harnessing relocation subsidies

 

« If we want a clear and objective overview, it is essential for a company like Alma, and any company for that matter, to be accompanied by these kinds of organisations for an investment project. The support we received was invaluable. It enabled us to meet key people, particularly in the Fintech sector. We got to know the Lille ecosystem in depth – the labour market, infrastructures and culture. Hello Lille and Nord France Invest really opened doors for us. Our criteria were precise and we received quick, clear answers. We had immense help from Pôle Emploi at project launch, organising the initial recruitment. Euratechnologies’ flexible office solutions reassured us that it could keep pace with our development. In short, we were hand held and guided from the start. »

Discover other
success-stories about

Dutch company VDL Bus&Coach has chosen Lille to set up its French headquarters
Automotive Electric vehicles

Dutch company VDL Bus&Coach has chosen Lille to set up its French headquarters

Currently located in the Paris region, VDL Bus&Coach plans to transfer its headquarters to the Hauts-de-France region. In this article, discover the reasons for this decision and the support provided by Nord France Invest and Hello Lille.
03-2024
Read more
ProLogium is setting up its solid state battery factory in Hauts-de-France
Automotive Electric vehicles
Interview

ProLogium is setting up its solid state battery factory in Hauts-de-France

This announcement did not go unnoticed. It’s finally official: ProLogium has chosen Hauts-de-France as the location for its European solid state battery factory. But what do you really know about this project? Nord France Invest will give you a behind-the-scenes look at this colossal investment.
03-2024
Read more
Usleep

Usleep

“Location was still the number one factor. It’s a logical choice for British companies. When you leave England, you have to go through France anyway to get to elsewhere in Europe. Fabienne Labbe, General Manager, Usleep
02-2024
Read more
Galloo invests €28M in Hauts-de-France
Business Case

Galloo invests €28M in Hauts-de-France

This Belgian company, specializing in recycling, chooses the Hauts-de-France region for its location, reinforcing its commitment to the circular economy and local employment . 🌱🌍
08-2023
Read more
Envision AESC
Battery Industry
Video Video

Envision AESC

“From the logistics and supply-chain viewpoint, Northern France is very interesting because there’s a big port: Dunkirk. Today we need a steady supply of materials, since all of the components are from Asia. That’s critical to supply our future plan. ” Ayumi Kurose, Project Director France Battery Manufacturing Plant for Envision AESC
12-2022
Read more
SKF expansion in hauts de france
aerospace
Interview

SKF expansion in hauts de france

“The local authorities here have always been very supportive. They consistently help us with all our projects, with paperwork and sometimes funding.” Gilles Ofcard, Factory manager of SKF’s plant in Valenciennes.
03-2018
Read more