Pierre-Etienne Daviet

The coming French Tech Renaissance

29th of September, 2015 - Written by

I’ve been in the French tech industry since 2009 and as far as I remember I’ve never seen 2 weeks like what we’ve just seen in France.

Blablacar raised a megaround to further speed up its growth. Deezer & Showroomprive announced their IPO. OVH laid out big expansions plans announcing $1B turnover by 2018. Leetchi got bought. Maturing startup iAdvize announced a large serie B fundraising. Newly born startups like Livementor announced their seed round (with tech entrepreneurs fund ISAI and angels like Nicolas Brusson from Blablacar & Thibaud Elzières from Fotolia).

All that in ~10 days. In France. Wow!

On startups burn rates

7th of October, 2014 - Written by

Bill Gurley gave an interview a few weeks ago in the WSJ where he sounded alarm on the very high cash burn rates of big startups these days. It triggered an immense debate as he was immediately echoed by Fred Wilson, this “Winter is coming” post from Techcrunch post along with deeper commentary from Mark Suster or Danielle Morill.

The trade-offs between profitability and growth is one of the most fundamental and (generally) misunderstood business topic in the startup ecosystem. Here I’ll explain why there is no “right” amount of burn for a company, and I’ll try to give you some frameworks you can use for thinking about this problem.

Adaptability is your main competitive advantage in Tech

25th of March, 2014 - Written by

Like everyone else, I read a few weeks ago the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report from Warren Buffet. In a passage that struck me, he tells the story of two farms he bought in 1986 and 1993. He made the purchase because he estimated what the properties would produce, deduced its intrinsic value then compared it to its price.

Here is what he says about those investments:

“Focus on the future productivity of the asset you are considering. If you don’t feel comfortable making a rough estimate of the asset’s future earnings, just forget it and move on.”

Warren Buffet is famous for not investing in Tech. And it’s no surprise given the investment philosophy above: you just can’t make any useful forecasts beyond 5 years in Tech. There’s just too much uncertainty about the future.

Why I am long on French Tech

16th of January, 2014 - Written by

Since it is the season of  predictions, I thought I’d share my own for the French technology market, not for 2014 but for the next 5 years. It is based on my short (but intense!) experience of this market where I witnessed many changes since my beginnings.

TL;DR: I’m incredibly and passionately long on French startups & tech companies for both macro & micro reasons

The Unicorn Club: where does France stand?

27th of November, 2013 - Written by

Disclaimer: the following analysis has so many caveats that it is hard to enumerate them all. I’m running it for fun so please keep in mind this is a very subjective & data undriven take.

Aileen Lee did a very good post a few weeks ago. She analyzes the creation of billion dollar tech startups since 2003 in the US.

The impact of Criteo IPO on French Tech Ecosystem

6th of November, 2013 - Written by

As I’ve already outlined, Criteo IPO may very well be the single best news for the whole French ecosystem in the last 5 years. The IPO itself was a huge success and Criteo is currently trading at roughly $1,9B market cap.

Why does it matter so badly?

Short answer: Criteo is  the 1st “unicorn style” exit in France since Iliad in 2004.

Parsing Criteo Sec Filings

30th of October, 2013 - Written by

Criteo will make its IPO later today and released its S-1 filing a few week ago. It’s the first French Tech iPO on the Nasdaq since Business Objects in 1994.

This event may be the single best news for the French tech ecosystem in the last 5 years but this topic deserves a full post on its own. I’ll just share my thoughts for now as I read the document.