France Newsletter

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  • France To Head Open Government Partnership Only One Year After Joining It

    France To Head Open Government Partnership Only One Year After Joining It

    Over the past two years, France has been a leading country when it comes to open data and open government — and it is paying off. Only one year after joining the Open Government Partnership, France has just been elected to head the Partnership starting in October 2016. I’ve been regularly covering France’s effort in this area as I think it’s an interesting take on… Read More

  • With Lydia, Pay For Your Online Purchases Using Your Apple Watch

    With Lydia, Pay For Your Online Purchases Using Your Apple Watch

    Step by step, Lydia is unveiling its product strategy to handle all your payments. When I last covered the French startup, it was still mostly focused on growing its user base by providing a Venmo alternative for French users. But now, Lydia also lets you pay on e-commerce websites, starting with PriceMinister. The app is now also available on the Apple Watch so that you can just tap on your… Read More

  • Community-Based Car Rental Service Drivy Grabs Another $8.6 Million, Acquires Buzzcar

    Community-Based Car Rental Service Drivy Grabs Another $8.6 Million, Acquires Buzzcar

    French startup Drivy raised $8.6 million (€8 million) from Bpifrance, Via-ID as well as existing investors Index Ventures and Alven Capital. The company is also acquiring its smaller competitor Buzzcar for an undisclosed amount. As a reminder, Drivy lets you rent a car from anyone, usually for less than what it would cost you in a brick-and-mortar car rental agency. In addition to spending… Read More

  • Partech Doubles Down On Seed With New $65 Million Seed Fund

    Partech Doubles Down On Seed With New $65 Million Seed Fund

    It feels like Partech Ventures announced its first seed fund (Partech Entrepreneur I) just yesterday — the Paris-based venture capital firm is already announcing a new $65 million (€60 million) seed fund called Partech Entrepreneur II. “This is the biggest dedicated seed fund in Europe focused on digital startups,” Partech General Partner Romain Lavault told me. “We… Read More

  • Service Marketplace StarOfService Takes On Thumbtack

    Service Marketplace StarOfService Takes On Thumbtack

    French startup StarOfService plans to provide a solid Thumbtack alternative for the rest of the world. To achieve this goal, StarOfService is opening its marketplace in 80 countries and just raised $1.2 million (€1.1 million) from Point Nine Capital, Kima Ventures, Oleg Tscheltzoff and other business angels. When I talked with co-founder and CEO Lucas Lambertini, he doesn’t even hide… Read More

  • Infinit’s New Mobile Apps Might Be The Best Way To Transfer Those Pesky HD Videos

    Infinit’s New Mobile Apps Might Be The Best Way To Transfer Those Pesky HD Videos

    French startup Infinit just released its mobile app for both iOS and Android. In addition to providing a simple way to send files to your friends and colleagues, it is now a full-fledged AirDrop replacement as well. As a reminder, Infinit is a file-sharing service that differs from WeTransfer or CloudApp as it uses peer-to-peer technology to boost file sharing between two users. And there… Read More

  • Miguel de Fontenay Joins TheFamily As Partner

    Miguel de Fontenay Joins TheFamily As Partner

    Former Global Consulting Managing Partner at Mazars Miguel de Fontenay is joining Paris-based accelerator TheFamily as a full-time partner. He will be in charge of handling relationships between TheFamily’s startups and France’s biggest public companies. These big French companies present two opportunities for TheFamily. First, when it comes to finding investors, TheFamily is… Read More

  • Uber Faces Legal Challenges In France, South Korea And Germany

    Uber Faces Legal Challenges In France, South Korea And Germany

    Urban transportation company Uber is having a rough week. The company is encountering legal struggles in a few of its international markets. On Monday, around 25 armed police officers searched the company’s office in Paris. In Germany, a court ordered a nationwide ban on Uber’s cheaper ride-sharing service UberPOP. In South Korea, executives and employees were charged with… Read More

  • With Jellynote, Learning To Play An Instrument Is Like Playing Guitar Hero

    With Jellynote, Learning To Play An Instrument Is Like Playing Guitar Hero

    Meet Jellynote, a French startup that provides a new yet familiar experience for learning music. With Jellynote, you can find scores and see YouTube covers at the same time, create a songbook and suggest different versions. But the killer feature is a Guitar Hero-like mode that takes advantage of your microphone. It’s like playing the video game, but with a real guitar — you can see… Read More

  • Cisco Will Invest $100 Million In French Startups

    Cisco Will Invest $100 Million In French Startups

    France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced yesterday a thorough partnership with Cisco for the coming years. Among other things, Cisco CEO John Chambers said that the company is taking tiny steps to ramp up its investments in French startups, starting by investing $100 million in multiple French startups over the coming years. There are two interesting tidbits behind today’s news. Read More

  • Managing Your Restaurant Deliveries With Trackin Is Like Playing SimCity

    Managing Your Restaurant Deliveries With Trackin Is Like Playing SimCity

    Meet Trackin, a complete software solution for restaurant managers to control your fleet of delivery persons in real time and easily accept online orders. Trackin provides a dashboard for your restaurants, a mobile app for your drivers and an online order widget for your customers. Thanks to this startup attending Y Combinator’s current batch, you will know when your driver is back and… Read More

  • Bunkr Is Now The Definitive PowerPoint Alternative Designed For The Web

    Bunkr Is Now The Definitive PowerPoint Alternative Designed For The Web

    Bunkr is a French startup that keeps reinventing itself. After making a big splash by promising the PowerPoint killer we’ve all been waiting for and struggling to raise a seed round, it is now starting from scratch again and rethinking from the ground up its presentation service. Bunkr now takes advantage of everything that the web has to offer to provide features that don’t even… Read More

  • Ilan Abehassera Teases Insensi, A Device For Long-Distance Families

    Ilan Abehassera Teases Insensi, A Device For Long-Distance Families

    There is not much to say about Insensi just yet. I met the company’s founder Ilan Abehassera in Paris two weeks ago, and he gave me a few hints about his very secretive startup. First, it’s a hardware startup based in New York. Second, he hired a team of all-star engineers. Third, he raised $2.4 million already. Read More

  • Partech’s New $240 Million Growth Fund Will Close France’s Funding Gap

    Partech’s New $240 Million Growth Fund Will Close France’s Funding Gap

    2014 was the year of seed funding, 2015 will be the year of late stage funding for Partech Ventures. The French venture capital firm just raised $240 million to launch the Partech Growth fund. This new fund will back late stage startups in Partech’s traditional industries and areas. But this time, the firm will invest between $12 million and $50 million per round. Three new general… Read More

  • BlaBlaCar Expands Beyond Europe

    BlaBlaCar Expands Beyond Europe

    After raising a massive $100 million round last summer, BlaBlaCar is opening its first market outside of Europe with India — if you count Turkey and Russia as part of Europe at large. This country marks the 14th market for the company. Read More

  • European Video Ad Platform Teads Raises Further $30M As It Eyes Up Future IPO

    European Video Ad Platform Teads Raises Further $30M As It Eyes Up Future IPO

    Video advertising platform Teads, which specialises in those now familiar video ads that reside outside of video content — such as placed in an article between two paragraphs of text — has raised a further £20 million (~$30m) in funding as it continues to talk up a potential IPO. Read More

  • Lima Showcases Its Mobile App For Its Dropbox Alternative

    Lima Showcases Its Mobile App For Its Dropbox Alternative

    French startup Lima is presenting another piece of its offering at CES, the mobile app. And it is a very promising app for those who backed Lima to seamlessly access their photos, music library and movies from their phones and tablets. While the team still needs to polish the app interface, it goes beyond Dropbox and Carousel when it comes to features. As a reminder, Lima is a small device… Read More

  • Happn Attracts $8 Million To Roll Out Its Tinder-Like App Globally

    Happn Attracts $8 Million To Roll Out Its Tinder-Like App Globally

    French dating app Happn just raised an $8 million Series A round from Alven Capital and DN Capital, as well as business angels, such as Fabrice Grinda. As a reminder, Happn uses your phone’s location to show you potential matches. Every time you cross someone’s path, this person’s profile will be added to the top of your feed. Then, you can like people and potentially… Read More

  • French Uber Competitor SnapCar Grabs $2.5 Million And Pivots To B2B

    French Uber Competitor SnapCar Grabs $2.5 Million And Pivots To B2B

    French Uber competitor SnapCar just raised $2.5 million (€2 million) from business angels, such as former global CEO of American Express Travel Charles Petruccelli and Bertrand Mabille. While the company already has more than 200 corporate clients, it is focusing on B2B for good. SnapCar works more or less the same way as competitiors, such as Chauffeur-Privé, LeCab and Uber, but… Read More

  • Vidcoin Solves Buffering Issues For Mobile Video Ads

    Vidcoin Solves Buffering Issues For Mobile Video Ads

    Vidcoin is an advertising technology startup focused on video ads for smartphones. The French startup makes watching video ads less painful by providing an SDK that will buffer videos before playing them so that they will instantly play. “Mobile video continues to be a challenge for one simple reason: mobile connectivity can be spotty so the type of streaming videos [companies like… Read More

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