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Venture Capital in France

Venture Capital is an activity consisting of financing equity or quasi-equity financing of newly created companies. This activity is generally different from private equity, which involves buying out more mature industrial companies. Capital is often provided by wealthy investors or investment banks, even if venture capital does not always go through financial assistance (technological, managerial support, etc.). The risk is therefore greater in this segment, which may explain why this sector is more developed in the United States than in Europe, where risk aversion is greater, but this is necessary to find the rare pearl whose success will be immense. Unlike the private equity sector, where a long-term vision predominates, venture capital investors (VC) expect funds to exit after 4 or 5 years. Another notable difference is that VC funds generally do not take control of the target company but are content with a smaller, minority stake, while of course bringing their expertise to the start-up. Let’s start with a round-up of venture capital in France: in 2017, start-ups raised 2.7 billion euros, and more than 3 billion in 2018. This makes France the main player in the VC in Europe, ahead of Great Britain (2.3 billion) and Germany (1.1 billion). The amount invested in the sector is growing rapidly, by about 500 million per year over the last few years. These figures are much less impressive than on the private equity side, but this makes sense since the companies involved are smaller. How does a Venture Capital transaction go? A start-up with innovative ideas necessarily needs financial resources to begin its development process. It must therefore raise capital from different entities and through financing stages that we will dissect. Here they are: The “seed” phase, the image of the tree being quite adapted: during this phase, the tickets are rather low, usually between 100,000 and 700,000 euros. The aim is to give the start-up the opportunity to realize its business plan, build its team, cover its expenses… potentially attract VC funds in the next stages of funding. The capital bringers during this stage can be relatives, friends, but especially business angels always looking for the rare pearl. In France, Xavier Niel’s Kima Ventures fund is the most active seed fund in the world and invests tickets of around 150,000 euros in 100 start-ups each year (Zenly, PayFit, Ledger, TransferWise, etc.). The “A-Series”: during this phase, the company must have an established business plan and is thinking about developing the scope of its business (which must be “scalable”), it affects more and more customers and may even think about internationalizing. A long-term vision begins to emerge, and future profits become identifiable. The aim is therefore to realize, monetize the ideas of the company that is to say to make the project a real source of revenue. For this, more funding is required, usually between $800,000 and $3 million, although these limits are constantly increasing due to the rapid growth of the sector and the rapid growth of the number of unicorns, these tech start-ups mainly valued at more than a billion dollars and which upset the amounts involved More broadly, apart from these unique cases, the valuation of companies at this stage regularly reaches $10 million or $15 million. At this stage of the adventure, VC funds are starting to come into play, such as Benchmark or Sequoia, which are world-renowned. The “B-series”: at this stage, the company must be well established in its market, and generally wants to project itself internationally but needs significant financing for this. Similarly, absorption of a few competitors can be envisaged, and again a certain amount of capital is required. We must now build a strong and stable team and ensure sustainable growth. The stakes of this stage are crucial and to master them, tickets become more and more generous, usually between 3 and 7 million dollars, but these thresholds can sometimes explode. Specialized VC funds on this “mid game” or “late game” are starting to come into play to make a contribution to the building. As companies in this segment are relatively strong, their value is increasing and it is not uncommon for it to reach between 30 and 60 million. The “C-Series”: companies that are reaching this stage are already experiencing some success. Their goal is to raise more funds to launch new products, conquer new markets (especially abroad). Growth dynamics need to be accelerated as much as possible in order to achieve a high return on investment and on a short-term horizon. Risks are starting to become less, so larger entities are involved in financing, such as private equity funds… The value of the companies during this phase easily reaches $100 million, possibly much more. In most cases, The C Series marks the end of the process before a sale of the company or before an IPO. But some companies go much further: Softbank’s Vision Fund, in partnership with Saudi Arabia, raised $93 billion in 2017 and manages more than $100 billion today. The goal is to invest billions in innovative startups, especially in the United States: executives have announced to President Trump that they will inject more than $50 billion into “established companies that require substantial financing of growth” and that this would create 50,000 jobs. For the largest startups, whose valuations exceed ten billion dollars, the IPO is not as systematic as before: if Amazon or Google have become public with a valuation (here confused with market capitalization) of less than a billion dollars, Uber will be valued more than 70 billion dollars at its IPO (Initial Offering Public). To do this, the company used E, F, G… It should be noted that its G-Series saw the Saudi sovereign wealth fund’s entry into the capital in 2016, to the tune of $3.5 billion. What are the most attractive areas in France?Unsurprisingly, the software and IT services sector dominates, with 756 million in 2017, such as the iAdivize (online marketing platform, to foster and facilitate business-customer interaction) that raised $32 million. More recently (April 2019), the French fund Partech Ventures has invested 17.7 million euros in the British care booking platform Schedule and takes the lead, ahead of American and German funds in particular. Next comes the e-commerce sector with about 700 million raised, despite an 18% drop in deals. On the outstay side, there are strong capital gains, including the sale of Zenly (online services sector) for $300 million to Snapchat after raising $30 million the previous year. However, new segments are emerging and are beginning to take on a certain magnitude, for example that of biotech’s (generally very advanced medical technologies). We can quantify this good growth: 1400 start-ups per year between 2015 and 2017. Venture Capital: a sector that attracts! An argument often comes up: it is still more comfortable to be in the shoes of the investor than in that of the entrepreneur. One can diversify its investments and eventually suffer a setback; the other, if it fails, loses everything. As Bartosz Jabukowski (EQT Ventures) argues, venture capital is “a way to be part of the start-up ecosystem without taking the risk of putting all your eggs in one basket.” Finally, the venture capitalist is a proxy entrepreneur! In addition, working in venture capital involves touching on all facets of the company, to get in touch with each of them (HR, logistics…); this versatility is sought after and appreciated by start-ups. Venture Capital’s largest funds in France and Europe Behemoths are breaking their head, such as Alven Capital, which closed the 250 million euro raising for its fifth fund at the start of 2017. Similarly, Partech Ventures has increasingly established itself as a giant in the sector by raising 400 million euros (nearly one billion raised between the beginning of 2016 and mid-2017). Omnes Capital has also completed some good operations. Ardian, through its specialist fund Ardian Croissance, is also very active in this segment and focuses on companies valued between 2 and 10 million euros that have a strong development potential. The map below highlights the most dynamic funds in each European country, in terms of the number of companies helped. In France, Alven Capital is taking the lion’s share, with 100 companies helped in 17 years: this is still lower than in the German neighbour High-Tech Grunderfunds, a European leader according to this criterion with more than 150 start-ups accompanied, but ahead of the British funds. Biggest fundraisers in 2018 in France Some French start-ups have completed major fundraisers in 2018. Here are the first six: 6. Quantum Surgical, which raised 42.8 million euros (series A) to develop and democratize its treatment for mini-invasive liver cancer. 5. Dynacure, with 47 million euros raised (series A also) with the aim of developing new treatments to treat children with serious illnesses. Bpifrance in particular contributed. 4. OpenClassRooms, with 51 million euros raised in May, largely from the American investor General Atlantic. It is an online learning platform. 3. Ledger, with 61 million euros raised in Series C from investors such as Cathay Capital, an extremely active VC fund resulting from a Franco-Chinese merger, to continue its business of securing bitcoin portfolios. 2. Dataiku, 88.5 million euros in series C. The goal is to continue to develop its machine-learning data analysis software. Alven Capital has taken a stake in the startup, which is considering an IPO in the coming years. 1. Voodoo, a specialist in video games on smartphones, with 172 million euros raised from Goldman Sachs, which now controls between a quarter and a third of the capital. The company had raised only 1.5 million euros since its inception in 2013.

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New OnePlus 9RT: Specs, launch date, colors revealed

OnePlus hasn’t said how much RAM the 9 RT will feature, however Geekbench has shown that it will sport 12GB of RAM. However, an 8GB variant will almost certainly be available.

Shenzhen [China]: The OnePlus 9 RT’s launch date and specifications have been revealed by OnePlus ahead of its official announcement.

According to GSM Arena, the OnePlus 9 RT will go on sale in China on October 13, or next week.
Although the new OnePlus smartphone will be unveiled in China first, it is expected to make its way to India as well. In India, the OnePlus 9 RT has yet to be announced.

The Snapdragon 888 SoC will power the OnePlus 9 RT, which will be paired with LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. It will have a 120Hz E4 screen and a 4,500mAh battery that will charge at 65W. The primary camera on the 9 RT will be 50 megapixels.

OnePlus hasn’t said how much RAM the 9 RT will feature, however Geekbench has shown that it will sport 12GB of RAM. However, an 8GB variant will almost certainly be available.

The phone maker also revealed that the 9 RT will be available in two colour options: black and grey, and that pre-orders will begin on October 13 in China, with the first sale on October 19.

We’re still four days away from the launch, so expect more information regarding the OnePlus 9 RT in the days leading up to it.

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Meaning of CEO, COO, CFO, CIO, CTO and CMO: Calling each executive by name

The adoption of business terms and technicalities from English-speaking organizations is increasingly widespread, and acronyms that describe executive positions are often favorites when used by those responsible for the areas of the company. The use of acronyms such as CEO, COO, CIO, CTO and CMO has become widespread, both in more traditional organizations such as startups and other technology-based companies.

But what is the meaning of these acronyms?

If we pay careful attention to its definition, we will see that the meaning of CEO and the rest of the management figures of companies are much simpler than you thought.

What is the CEO of a company?

The CEO of a company is the acronym corresponding to the acronym for Chief Executive Officer, which in Spain we usually know as CEO or Executive Director. He is the head of administrative management and direction in the company.

Who is the COO?

It comes from the Chief Operating Officer and can be translated as Director of Operations or Chief of Operations, responsible for the daily operations of the company such as production, logistics, etc.

What does CFO stand for in English?

CFO is the abbreviation for Ch IEF Financial Officer. In our business culture it corresponds to the Chief Financial Officer and his responsibility is the economic and financial planning of the company based on the objectives established by the board of directors, generally made up of those responsible for each area that we are analyzing in this post.

What is the CIO of a company?

It comes from the acronym for Chief Information Officer. Their role is attributed to the person responsible for the company’s information technology systems and usually falls into different professional profiles depending on the organization’s structure. Thus, the position of CIO may be the counterpart of the systems manager, although there is ambiguity in its implementation and it is often confused with the CTO, which we explain below.

What does the acronym CTO stand for?

It is the abbreviation of Chief Technology Officer and it is usual to give it the same treatment as the system manager in an erroneous way by many companies. The main difference is that while the CIO is responsible for the company’s information services at the process level and from the planning point of view, the CTO is the technical person in charge of the development and correct operation of the information systems from the point of view of execution.

What is a CMO in a company?

It corresponds to the acronym of Chief Marketing Officer and its translation in our business language is that of Marketing Director as the head of sales and product development, among other functions.

Its application in practice is different according to the structure of each organization, and there may be various combinations in the hierarchy of these executive positions. In general, the meaning of CEO of the company falls on the highest part of the organization and has as subordinates the executives responsible for each area, who report directly to this CEO to make his decisions. However, in other organizational models, the position of CEO held by its president as the visible image in communication and public relations of the company, delegating the highest decision-making authority to the COO.

The meaning of CEO extends

This definition nomenclature of executive positions in companies does not end here. Many of these terms did not exist a few years ago, and the increasing specialization of departments in large organizations gives rise to new positions, which after the meaning of CEO and the other positions that we have seen evolve into new figures such as the CSO (Chief Science Officer), CCO (Chief Commercial Officer), CLO (Chief Legal Officer) among many other definitions of executive positions.

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Coworking: Need or Opportunity?

Many times when it comes to undertaking we see that there are a great multitude of impediments that stop our initiative.

One of the most obvious, especially in times of crisis, is financing. That is why a work modality called coworking has proliferated in Spain for a few years. But what is coworking?

The foundation of coworking is to bring together professionals from different fields in the same space where they can develop their activity, which means significant cost savings. In other words, it’s like having roommates with whom you share expenses.

Surely, you have heard a friend talk about a coworking space, collaborative work, cost savings, … So far great, but the philosophy that underlies this type of work is even broader. The work tends to be increasingly multidisciplinary and many times, as entrepreneurs , we cannot cover the requests of a potential client.

We are going to put an example. Let’s imagine that we are a freelance professional specialized in Online Marketing and we have several accounts as a Community Manager.

As you are self-employed, but you are not motivated either by being in your pajamas all day locked at home listening to music, or worse, some gossip program that they give in the morning on TV – not to mention going to work in a library where the WIFI is slower than on your first Smartphone – you decide to try a coworking space where you have all the comforts for a small price and from which you can always “run away” if things don’t go well for you.

One fine day comes the opportunity to create a Social Media plan for a company. Within this Plan the creation of a corporate blog, the creation of videos,… to which you obviously answer: “no problem!” Is contemplated, since it is an opportunity that you cannot miss.

Once you dismiss the client, you sit in your chair and a cold sweat starts to run down your forehead thinking “now how do I do all this?”

From its programming, database creation, corporate identity creation … to the creation of promotional videos and a long etcetera.

Suddenly you raise your head like a meerkat in the African savannah and you see Nika, that nice girl who is a web designer and a little further on you see Alfon, that “compi” with whom you go out for beer on Fridays when you finish ” currar ”and it turns out that in addition to working as an illustrator, he has a hobby which is making videos, especially for his friends, and on top of that, it’s really good!

Et voilá! You already have a fully qualified team to carry out your project… and who knows if a future company. This idea is what underlies the coworking philosophy : Being able to create flexible collaborative environments that adapt to the needs of projects or clients.

Obviously, cooperative work has its advantages and disadvantages. Creating a multidisciplinary team for a project can be complicated, since managing the team is not an easy task when the participants do not share a mutual philosophy or common goals. Therefore, it is important to create a team that complements each other both on a human and professional level, and above all that wants to move the project forward.

From my own experience, if you want to develop your own project and do not have funding , it is better to make it very clear to the participants the delivery times and what their role in the team is. Otherwise, you will end up spending more time trying to coordinate people than working directly on your project.
“Luck is what happens when preparation and opportunity meet and merge.” Voltaire

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