Yesterday, LeWeb kicked off in Paris. Plenty of stuff going on, parties and of course plenty of networking and gossip.
LeWeb is the yearly conference founded by Seesmic’s Loic Le Meur and his wife Geraldine, and it’s the biggest international technology conference (and maybe the world’s biggest technology conference period).
Here’s a quick rundown of what happened yesterday, both on the stage — and off the stage.
Jason Goldman, Twitter's VP of Product, was on stage when he announced that he's quitting Twitter. He's been at the company for years, and he will remain in the company in an advisory role. It would make sense that he would leave given that founder Evan Williams stepped down from the CEO role to focus on product -- there can't be just one product leader.
More about this here.
And Rovio, the makers of the huge hit iPhone game, announced that they're doing a million dollars in revenue a month, are coming out with an Android version of the game, as well as plenty of merchandise and licensed products to capitalise on the brand as much as possible.
Marissa Mayer unveiled the latest Google phone, the Nexus S, made by Samsung. It's going to be available in the US and the UK to start. The biggest new feature is Google Maps in 3D.
Mayer also played coy on questions about Google's attempts to acquire Groupon, saying that deals this size take time -- so Google isn't out of the running yet?
The company hit 2 million check-ins, is adding 25,000 new users a day, and went from 25 to 40 employees in a very short amount of time -- a year ago it was just four people.
And, of course, no comment on Facebook Places.
The Paris City Hall is a gaudily beautiful place, and there was a cocktail party there. Champagne on tap and delicious petits fours, in particular petits fours made by Hervé This, the pioneer of 'molecular cuisine', which uses chemistry and science to build new flavours and textures. (We're fans.)
Here's a few things we heard:
- The only venture capital firm in Europe that makes any money for its investors is Index Ventures. Most of the other European VCs live off European Union and government funds.
- European VCs say they don't want to invest in copycats, but entrepreneurs told us the first question out of their mouths after a pitch is: 'Do you have an American benchmark?'
- Speaking of which, plenty of VCs are scared and even hostile to the new wave of new super angels, particularly in France, where they have deep pockets and can be very active.
- That being said, everyone we spoke to agreed that European startups are getting more and more impressive every year.
- (To be sure, we mostly spoke to entrepreneurs, so that explains the bullishness on entrepreneurs and bearishness on VCs.)
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