Roxanne Varza currently runs some of the startup-related initiatives at Microsoft in Europe.
Prior to Microsoft she worked for several European startups and was the former Editor of TechCrunch France (2010-2011). She has also contributed to other publications, including The Telegraph, The Kernel, Betakit and Business Insider.
She also co-founded the French and British chapters of Girls in Tech and is the co-organizer of the Failcon Paris conference.
Prior to TechCrunch, Roxanne worked for the French government’s foreign direct investment agency helping fast-growing startups develop their activities in France.
She has spoken, moderated, mentored and judged numerous startup events and programs throughout Europe and also helps European startups with content and communications.
In April 2013, Business Insider listed her as one of the top 30 women under 30 in tech.
Roxanne has an Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and Master’s degrees from Sciences Po Paris and the London School of Economics.
The first name that comes to mind when we talk about social games in Europe is probably Wooga. But the German-based social games publisher has a number of local competitors dispersed throughout the continent. In France, one of the names that has gotten a lot of attention is Kobojo, who is behind PyramidVille and Goobox.
I have no idea if Lady Gaga, Jessica Alba or Cameron Diaz have good taste. But whoever is designing their fashion accessories is also selling pieces on Boticca.com. The London-based startup that launched it’s high-end designer marketplace in October 2010 has been getting quite a bit of attention from investors over the last few months. Finally, the team is announcing that it has closed a £1.5… → Read More
“a friend in the US just told me that #DSK was arrested by the police in a NYC hotel one hour ago.”
It was the middle of the night in Paris when the news broke that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Chief of the IMF, had been pulled off an Air France flight and arrested for sexual assault. Coincidentally, he was also set to announce his candidacy for the 2012 French presidential elections next month … → Read More
Facebook may have over 600 million users but there’s still one problem: all the info is online! How on earth are you supposed to know if that cutie you just met is single or married without access to his or her profile?! Ok, yes, you could just ask – but that’s not very tactful now, is it? So, rather than having to muster up any courage and attack the subject head on, we could all just wear our… → Read More
Whoa, so Alven Capital has been a pretty busy bee this year – especially for a French fund. This is something like the 5th investment that the fund has announced since January, totalling over €8.5 million ($12.25 million) invested in companies like Entropysoft, HappyView, MobPartner and QuelleEnergie. Today’s investment of €1 million ($1.4 million) goes to custom travel site, Planetveo. → Read More
Oh yes, France does indeed have a tech scene. And today, TechCrunch France is hosting the first edition of #TCFRecipes in Paris, an event that will cover all the ins and outs of what’s happening in the French startup world – in English – with some of France’s hottest entrepreneurs and investors. → Read More
Hey, remember those Italian guys who spent 2 years trying to get their startup funded in Italy and raised $101K in 19 days when they arrived in the States? There’s a tendency on this side of the Atlantic to criticize European investors but it turns out they may not be so different from their American counterparts after all. The proof? It has just surfaced that Jimmy Fairly – a brand new “buy one… → Read More
Social networking is definitely no longer targeting just the young adult demographic – and Kima Ventures wants a piece of the larger social networking pie. Xavier Niel and Jérémie Berrebi’s seed fund has just announced a $150K investment in YellowBrck, a Foursquare-like social network for parents. → Read More
Recently, Paris-based Tigerlily seemed like it was slipping under the radar. It’d been a while since we’d heard anything from the company that we suggested Nestlé take a look at when the brand came under fire on social media platforms last year. Tigerlily had also caught a bit of attention before, as it was a finalist for LeWeb in 2009 and the Europas last year. But the startup that specializes… → Read More
In January, MediaStay became the first French ad network to be approved by Facebook. Then, in the beginning of April, the company announced that it had raised €15 million ($21.5 million) to take its Tap-joy like game monetization solutions international – mainly in the US.
Alright, who is up for a round of Lily Allen Tetris? Yes, that’s right, now you challenge your friends to various games on Facebook and select the music as well. But this is about more than just background music. MXP4‘s new social music gaming app – called Bopler Games – uses the company’s “automated level design” technology to automatically synchronize the game with the song, based on its… → Read More
If you’re one of those people that thinks that horoscopes are a load of nonsense – simply vague statements that could essentially fit anyone – you’re definitely not alone. But Astrolome is seeking to change that. The Israeli startup has just closed a seed round of $300K with Kima Ventures and some additional business angels in order to develop a real-time personalized horoscope platform.
The… → Read More
Mediastay is a French company that kind of stands out from the rest – and not just because it was founded by a group of teenagers back in 2000 (co-founder Eric Bennepthali started back when he was 16). The 60-person company specializing in online gaming payment solutions has just announced that it has closed a €15 million ($21.5 million) round of funding for further international development. → Read More
With gas at roughly $4/gallon, French carpooling site Covoiturage.fr has just announced some 1 million carpoolers on its site. Now, its competitor Tickengo has just scored a seed round with Kima Ventures. Coincidence?
Yeah, this round of funding is huger than huge. Well, at least for Europe. And while it may be nowhere near Groupon’s, like, billion-dollar-round, it is definitely amongst the bigger deals on this side of the Atlantic.
Rumors have been flying around for the last week about a possible acquisition of DailyMotion, the French-born equivalent of YouTube. And the first half of the 2-part transaction has just been confirmed; Orange will acquire roughly 49% of the company for approximately €59 million (€58.8 million) with the rest to follow shortly. → Read More
I’m pretty sure I know what you’re thinking: Huh? Wtf ? Why would any Americans in their right mind want to leave the happiest business place on earth to launch anything in France?! Maybe the wine?
Ok, maybe you’re not thinking that. But it doesn’t change the fact that 25-year-old American entrepreneurs Anton Bernstein and Joshua David hopped the Atlantic to launch Groupon clone Lookingo in… → Read More
Is it just me, or is everyone and their mother talking about startup accelerators these days? I seriously feel like we’re in some kind of Paul Graham era. Y Combinator-made startups like Dropbox, Xobni, Loopt, AirBnB, WePay, etc. have gotten all kinds of attention and similar programs seem to be popping up all over the place, even in London.
When I asked Graham, he didn’t seem necessarily sure if… → Read More
One year ago, French startup Eyeka announced that it had raised €3 million ($4 million) to take its online alternative to the traditional focus group international. The company had raised €8 million to date and had already opened offices in Singapore. Last year, the 40-person company set-up shop in the UK and now it’s officially launching in the US, with offices in San Francisco and New… → Read More
In France, it seems January is always full of surprises. This time last year, new seed funds Kima Ventures and Jaina Capital were announcing their plans to fill a gaping void in the French investment landscape. And now the same French internet titans (more or less) are announcing the launch of the Ecole Européenne des Métiers de l’Internet (EEMI), a European internet startup school set to… → Read More
Italian entrepreneur Marco Palladino is currently 22 years old – but he was only 19 when he first started looking for funding for his startup. For roughly 2 years, he and his cofounders met with every last investor on the Italian Peninsula and without any success. But despite their empty pockets, they weren’t ready to throw in the towel on their startup, an API marketplace for cloud-based services… → Read More
Perhaps now that Groupon is happily being valued at $4.75 billion, investors all over the world are getting all the more interested in the local group daily deal platforms. Brand new Moroccan clone MyDeal is rumored to be raising a round and France’s Dealissime closed its first round of funding back in July. And now another French Groupon clone, Bon-Privé, is announcing that it has raised €1.5… → Read More
Oh man, it’s going to be hard not to let my feminist side shine through writing about this topic, but I’ll try my best! Ladieshoesme is a brand new French dating site, launched officially on December 13th, where ladies pick a man as if he were a pair of shoes…literally.
Members essentially have to identify themselves as a pair of shoes on the platform. That means, when you create your profile… → Read More
It’s December 14th. The holidays are getting closer…and closer…And with only 10 days until Christmas, I am sure there are tons of parents still frantically searching for something for their kids. Hoping to avoid crowded malls, many are perhaps buying gifts online. So what better time to announce a €2 million ($2.6 million) investment in an online store with over 150 of the hottest clothing… → Read More
If Pablo Picasso or Belgian surrealist, René Magritte, were alive and on Facebook, their profiles would probably be a terrific work of art. Yes, that’s right, Magritte is the one who did this painting. With a little inspiration from the Treachery of Images, I bet he’d also write something along the lines of “This is not a Facebook profile” or “Ceci n’est pas un profil Facebook” somewhere on his… → Read More
The French entrepreneurs’ fund, ISAI, has just announced that its investing in Commerce Guys, a Franco-American company that develops open source Drupal e-commerce solutions. This is the third investment for the fund run by some 70 French entrepreneurs from these companies, which previously invested in carpooling platform Covoiturage and the high-class online marketplace, InstantLuxe. And while… → Read More