Yesterday was the second day of LeWeb in Paris.
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.
DST is the fund who shook up late stage funding for startups by taking big stakes in companies like Facebook, Zynga and Groupon. On stage at Le Web, DST Partner Alexander Tamas revealed that they invested $500 million in Facebook since their first investment in 2009, at valuations ranging from $6 to $8 billion, much lower than the $50 billion valuation Facebook gets in secondary markets.
Tamas also said that even though they've mostly invested in American companies so far, they're open to investing everywhere in the world, and are talking to companies in India and China. Tamas also said they looked at Twitter, but wouldn't comment further.
Evernote is the incredibly useful note-taking app, to which you can upload anything you want to remember later and syncs it to the cloud and between your devices. Evernote is also an example of the freemium business model as such, as the company is profitable on its paid version even though most users (including us) are big users.
Here's Evernote's three rules of making freemium work:
- Get plenty of free users;
- Have a product whose value to the user increases over time;
- Have a low cost structure.
Libin gave us an overview of the business, and it's doing very well. They are expecting 6 million users by the end of the year and booked $280,000 in revenue in July of this year, and revenue is also growing.
Fun tidbit: the older a user is, the more likely they are to convert to free.
Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic, the company behind the popular open source blogging platform WordPress, said that the company now has 74 employees and $10 million in revenues, which seems really low considering that the company also has 300 million monthly visitors.
This is due to the fact that WordPress is open source, and that Mullenweg doesn't want to advertise against this audience for some reason, so Automattic is reduced to selling add-on services.
This was the first ever live public demo of this device, which is really small and sticks to your head, detects your brain waves live, and can detect states like stress, concentration, etc.
The judges at the final of the startup competition, who were all of France's top entrepreneurs, decided to give out awards to all the companies. They were:
- Paper.li makes personalised newspapers from who you follow on Twitter or Twitter lists and Twitter hashtags, and now even Facebook;
- Waze is a really cool driving/GPS app which gives the most accurate driving information by crowdsourcing it from everyone else who is using the app at the same time;
- SuperMarmite wants to allow you to pay random people to come to your house and cook for you; and
- Deways, a French car-sharing site, got the audience's choice award.
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