Category Archives: France

France

French startups to look out for

For several years France has been trying to become one of the most important startup basins in the world. The country offers Europe’s largest tax discount for research and development. There are 71 innovative clusters combining universities, private enterprises and research centers.

France already has several success stories. Among the most spectacular ones are BlaBlaCar, a service linking drivers having free seats in their vehicles with people looking for transportation, streaming service Deezer or manufacturer of thermostats Nest, bought by Google for an impressive sum of $3.2 billion. The below list presents these small French companies which are still not well known but deserve special attention for their innovation:

Happn – An application which uses current location of your phone to find and show you persons with whom your paths have crossed and potentially liked us. Of course, to be in the timeline presenting the people we passed, both persons have to use Happn. This is to be the solution for situations when our attention is drawn to the person sitting opposite us on the bus, but before we get the courage to speak to her, she gets off. Or when we liked someone we passed on the street. The idea appealed to the investors – in December 2014 the company managed to raise $8 million in the first round of financing.

Cookening – An American Airbnb-like platform which connects residents of a given city with tourists who would like to taste real local food. These “host” users create their own profiles on the site, where they publish photos of meals they have prepared to encourage potential visitors. Importantly, Cookening offers not only unique culinary experiences but also the possibility to engage in social interaction.

StarOfService – The platform connects local service providers with customers and allows them to adapt to their needs – price range, location or preferred time. After submitting an inquiry, the customer gets an email and he chooses which offer he wants to use. The service is available to users looking for local services tailored to their specific needs – from wedding photographers, plumbers, language teachers, DJs, to Pokemon Go trainers to hire. Last year, the startup raised $10 million from investors for further development.

Mention – The image of our company is built, among others, by the type of relationships we have with our clients. The faster we are able to react to consumer feedback, the better. The tool created by Mention startup not only informs users in real time about their company being mentioned on the internet, but also allows an immediate response to an article or post in social media. This ultra-fast media monitoring is already used by companies such as: Microsoft, Spotify and GitHub.

New video subscription services introduced to Africa

Usually, Africa absorbs all the innovations with at least a few years delay and most of the local startups is a copy or a modified form of that, which is already known to us in Europe, Asia, USA, and the Middle East.

Similarly, it is with startup Afrostream. This portal’s business model is SVOD – subscription video on demand. Afrostream gives access to video resources (films, comedies, documentaries, TV series) to people from all over the world, who are fascinated by the culture of Africa. On the African continent there are over one billion people, out of which 300 million have access to the Internet. This is a huge market which is ready for this type of solution, that is a clone of Netfilx – the largest Internet SVOD service in the world. In October 2015, Afrostream acquired an undisclosed amount of money from Orange. Due to the lack of adequate resources in Africa, the project was developed in France. It is based in Paris. The startup is focused primarily on the African market, whose potential is estimated at 10 million of regular customers per month. This is 3% of Internet users. For € 6.99 per month, Afrostream offers access to all its resources. In contrast, Netflix’s lowest subscription fee is 7.99 €.

In contrast to Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, which offers you hundreds of thousands of videos, Afrostream puts quality over quantity (or at least their PR states so). The American e-commerce giant, Amazon, has launched Prime Video in 51 African countries, including Nigeria, South Africa and South Sudan. It offers access to digital movies and TV shows with a monthly membership. It has introductory price €2.99 for the first six months, starting with a free 7-day trial. Viewers can watch videos anytime, anywhere thanks to the Prime Video app for Android/iOS, Fire Tablets, LG /Samsung Smart TVs or online at the website. It is also possible to download all videos and watch them offline at no extra payment.  Prime Video is available in: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt and Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Deloitte published the Technology Fast 500 rank

Already for 16 years Deloitte has been conducting the Fast 500 EMEA ranks, which bring together the fastest growing technology companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The ranking is prepared based on the percentage increase in operating income from sales over the last 4 years (2012 vs. 2015). The average revenue growth rate of all companies included in the newest rank amounted to 967%. For comparison, in last year’s edition it was 1 012%  and 1 711% in 2014. This result indicates the growing maturity of the technology industry in the EMEA region.

For the third time in the history of the rank, a Central European company is on the podium. The last time was in 2012, when Romanian company Vola.ro with the increase of 17 323% took the third place. This year’s leader is Swedish company Fingerprints Cards, specializing in biometric technologies. Over the last four years, the company recorded an increase in revenue of more than 28,000%.

Companies from Central Europe are becoming more apparent among the fastest growing technology companies operating in global markets. Gaining importance are especially those operating in the field of nanotechnology, biotechnology and energy. An example might be HiProMine, which developed the technology of industrial breeding and insects processing. Deloitte strongly supports ambitious technology companies by its platform for cooperation and exchange of experience, for example: the Alumni Fast 50 Program or strategy workshops for the winners.

The largest category of companies, which have been included in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA, are software developers. They constitute up to 50% of the entire list. Another large group are companies operating in the media – there are 14% of them. Third place was taken by entities of the communications industry – 10%.

As in previous years, the most strongly represented country is France. There are 94 French companies on the list. The second place belongs to Great Britain, and the third to the Netherlands.

STATION F, the world’s largest startup campus, will be opened in April 2017

The world’s largest startup campus, STATION F, will be soon opened in April 2017 in central Paris. The campus will own an area of 34,000m2 and it is dedicated for over 1,000 startups. In the startup zone there will be over 3,000 desks, private offices, meeting rooms, various event spaces, an auditorium for 360 attendees, an on-site fablab, a post office, a pop-up shop, a café, a 4-kitchen restaurant and a bar. In 2018 there will also be built a housing facility for 600 entrepreneurs to live in nearby apartments.

STATION F has just opened startup applications. You can apply to a variety of startup programs run by partners. Or you can apply to STATION F’s Founders Program from December 5th to February 5th online at www.stationf.co. The pricing is €195/desk/month.

STATION F revealed its first members: Facebook, TechShop, vente-privee, and more. Some of the first campus members will include various top-tier players from the international startup ecosystem: the incubator of top French business school HEC Paris; top VC funds (including Daphni, Ventech and Kima Ventures) which will have their offices on-site, the US-based TechShop Ateliers Leroy Merlin which will operate the on-campus prototyping lab.

Startup bank N26 expands into 9 European countries

The company, formerly known as Number26, now offers accounts in 17 European countries. Bank-based mobile application extends its services to Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Slovenia.

Like the Atom Bank in the UK and GoBank in the United States, N26 is a fully mobile bank. Opening an account takes only eight minutes and this can be done by downloading the application on your device running iOS or Android. Customer identification is performed by a video call and requires to show your passport. After verification, the customer can transfer money to a free bank account and receive a MasterCard card.

The Bank currently operates in Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland and Slovakia. In France, the use of bank services is currently limited, but probably will be again fully open in February.

N26 has received a banking license in July and has acquired over 200 000 customers in eight markets. The Bank says that its goal is to provide services to all Europeans over the next few years.