France Newsletter

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  • Facebook Opens New AI Research Center In Paris

    Facebook Opens New AI Research Center In Paris

    France has many hidden gems, and Facebook is well-aware of that. The company is building a new artificial intelligence research team in Paris in order to work on ambitious futuristic projects. The new team will work closely with existing Facebook AI Research (FAIR) teams in Menlo Park and New York on image recognition, natural language processing, speech recognition, machine learning, live… Read More

  • Aircall Is The Easiest Way To Create And Manage Your Phone Customer Service

    Aircall Is The Easiest Way To Create And Manage Your Phone Customer Service

    Meet Aircall, a French startup specializing in creating a modern platform for your phone support needs. The company started as an easy way to create a virtual number that would ring your support team’s phones one by one until someone picked up the phone. It is now a complete yet easy-to-use phone solution for support teams that you manage from your computer. “We launched a desktop… Read More

  • Glose Brings Its Social Ebook Reader To Android, Adds Free Excerpts

    Glose Brings Its Social Ebook Reader To Android, Adds Free Excerpts

    Glose is a brand new take on ebook reading for phones and tablets. Yet, until today, one thing was crucially missing — Android support. Today, the company is launching its app on Android phones and tablets. It is also adding free book excerpts for its entire catalog. “Things are going well,” co-founder and CEO Nicolas Princen told me. “We basically doubled our catalog… Read More

  • Izberg Marketplace Turns Any Website Into An E-Commerce Marketplace

    Izberg Marketplace Turns Any Website Into An E-Commerce Marketplace

    Meet Izberg Marketplace, a French startup that has been flying under the radar for a while. The company recently grabbed $1.7 million from Alven Capital (€1.5 million) — and it’s already profitable. Izberg provides one of the most flexible e-commerce solutions available, and it finds the right balance between customizability and complexity. “We can add an e-commerce… Read More

  • Algolia Grabs $18.3 Million From Accel For Its Search API On Steroids

    Algolia Grabs $18.3 Million From Accel For Its Search API On Steroids

    Real-time search-as-a-service provider Algolia just raised $18.3 million with Accel Partners leading the round — Philippe Botteri will join the board. This represents some serious funding following Algolia’s $1.2 million second seed round. As a reminder, Algolia makes your website’s search box suck less. It feels like using OS X’s Spotlight feature on the… Read More

  • France Is One Step Closer To Adopting Extensive Surveillance Law

    France Is One Step Closer To Adopting Extensive Surveillance Law

    Following Charlie Hebdo’s attacks, the French Government has been tirelessly working to draft and vote a new intelligence law that goes way too far. Today, the lower house of the French Parliament overwhelmingly voted for this new law, making it highly likely to be definitely implemented in a couple of months. In many ways, this law is even broader than the Patriot Act, and many… Read More

  • 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

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