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Venture Capital in France

Venture Capital (venture capital in French) is an activity consisting in financing with equity or quasi equity capital of newly created companies. This activity is generally different from private equity, which consists in buying more mature industrial companies. Capital is often provided by wealthy investors or merchant banks, even if venture capital does not always involve 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 (VC) investors rather expect funds to be out after 4 or 5 years. Another notable difference is that VC funds generally do not take control of the target company but are satisfied with a smaller, minority stake, while of course bringing their expertise to the start-up. Let’s start with an overview 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 sector. VC in Europe, ahead of Great Britain (2.3 billion) and Germany (1.1 billion). The amount invested in the sector is growing rapidly, to around 500 million per year over the past few years. These figures are, however, much less impressive than for Private Equity, but this is logical since the companies concerned are smaller.
How does a Venture Capital transaction work?
A young company with innovative ideas necessarily needs financial resources to start its development process. It must therefore raise capital from different entities and during the financing stages that we are going to dissect. Here they are : The “seed” phase, the image of the tree being quite appropriate: during this phase, tickets are rather low, generally between 100,000 and 700,000 euros. The goal is to give the start-up the opportunity to realize its business plan, build its team, cover its expenses … in order to potentially attract funds from VC in the following stages of the financing. The contributors of capital during this stage can be relatives, friends, but above all business angels always in search of that 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 thinks of developing the scope of its activity (which must be “scalable”), it touches more and more customers and can even think about going international. A long-term vision begins to emerge, and future profits become identifiable. The objective is therefore to materialize, monetize the ideas of the company, that is to say to make the project a real source of income. For this, greater funding is required, generally between 800,000 and 3 million dollars, although these terminals are constantly increasing due to the rapid growth of the sector and the rapid increase in the number of unicorns, these start-ups technology mainly valued at more than a billion dollars and which disrupts the amounts involved. More generally, apart from these unique cases, the valuation of companies at this stage regularly reaches 10 or 15 million dollars. At this stage of the adventure, VC funds are therefore starting to come into play, such as Benchmark or Sequoia, which are renowned worldwide.
The “B series”: At this stage, the company must be well established in its market, and generally wishes to project internationally but needs significant funding for this. Likewise, an absorption of a few competitors can be envisaged, and here again a certain mass of capital is required. We now need to build a solid and stable team and ensure sustainable growth. The stakes of this stage are crucial and to control them, the tickets become more and more generous, most often between 3 and 7 million dollars, but these thresholds can sometimes explode. VC funds specializing in this “mid game” or even “late game” are starting to come into play to make their contribution. As companies in this segment are relatively strong, their value is growing and it is not uncommon for them to reach sums between 30 and 60 million. The “C Series”: Companies that reach this stage are already experiencing some success. Their goal is to raise more funds in order to launch new products, conquer new markets (especially abroad). The growth dynamic must be accelerated as much as possible in order to obtain a high return on investment over a short-term horizon. The risks are starting to decrease, so larger entities are involved in the financing, such as private equity funds … The value of companies during this phase easily reaches $ 100 million, possibly much more. In most cases, Series C marks the end of the process before a business divestment or before an IPO. But some companies are going much further: SoftBank’s Vision Fund, in partnership with Saudi Arabia, raised $ 93 billion in 2017 and manages over $ 100 billion today. The objective is to invest several billion in innovative startups, in particular located in the United States: the leaders indeed announced to President Trump that they would inject more than 50 billion in “established companies which require substantial financing of the growth ”and that this would create 50,000 jobs. For the largest startups, whose valuations exceed ten billion dollars, the IPO is no longer as systematic as before: if Amazon or Google have gone public with a valuation (here confused with market capitalization) of less than a billion dollars, Uber will be valued more than 70 billion dollars during its IPO (Initial Public Offering). To do this, the company used series E, F, G… It should be noted that its series G saw the entry into the capital of the Saudi sovereign fund in 2016, to the tune of 3.5 billion dollars .
What are the most attractive areas in France?
Unsurprisingly, it is the software and IT services sector that dominates, with 756 million in 2017, such as the operation of iAdivize (online marketing platform, in order to promote and facilitate interactions between companies and customers) which raised 32 million. More recently (April 2019), the French fund Partech Ventures invested 17.7 million euros in the British treatment booking platform Schedul and took the lead in the round, ahead of American and German funds in particular. Then comes the field of e-commerce with around 700 million raised, despite an 18% drop in deals. On the output side, we can cite some great capital gains, notably the sale of Zenly (online services sector) for 300 million to Snapchat after having raised 30 million the previous year. However, new segments are emerging and are starting to gain a certain size, for example that of biotechs (generally very advanced medical technologies). We can quantify this great growth: 1,400 business creations per year between 2015 and 2017! Venture Capital: a sector that attracts!
One argument often comes up: it is still more comfortable to be in the shoes of the investor than that of the entrepreneur. One can diversify their investments and potentially experience a setback; the other, in case of failure, loses everything. As Bartosz Jabukowski (EQT Ventures) argues, venture capital is “a way of being part of the start-up ecosystem without taking the risk of putting all your eggs in one basket”. Ultimately, the venture capitalist is an entrepreneur by proxy! In addition, working in venture capital involves touching all facets of the business, making contact with each of them (HR, logistics, etc.); this versatility is sought after and appreciated by young shoots. The largest Venture Capital funds in France and Europe
Behemoths stand out, such as Alven Capital, which in early 2017 completed the raising of 250 million euros for its fifth fund. Likewise, Partech Ventures has increasingly asserted itself as a giant in the sector, raising 400 million euros (nearly one billion raised between early 2016 and mid-2017). Omnes Capital has also carried out successful transactions. Ardian, through its specialized fund Ardian Croissance, is also very active in this segment and focuses on companies valued between 2 and 10 million euros which have strong development potential. The map below highlights the most dynamic funds in each European country, in the number of businesses assisted. In France, it is Alven Capital which takes the lion’s share, with 100 companies helped in 17 years: this remains however lower than at the German neighbor High-Tech Gründerfunds, European leader according to this criterion with more than 150 start-ups. accompanied ups, but ahead of English funds.

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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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