NUMA x Partech Ventures: Insights on International Scale

NUMA Scale Hub is NUMA’s program dedicated to international startups looking to scale in France, in partnership with SNCF and Google, at Station F.

It’s been already 3 months that NUMA has settled in Station F, managing the Scale Hub Program, a business launchpad dedicated to international startups that aim to launch their startup in France and in Europe. To celebrate, NUMA recently invited Reza Malekzadeh at Station F for a special event on international scale. General partner at Partech Ventures, Reza Malekzadeh has built his career and reputation by joining early stage ventures and leading them to a successful exit, but also by working in large groups to help them transition to new business models. Based in San Francisco, Reza is also leading the vibrant French Tech community there.

This event was a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to have a discussion with Reza Malekzadeh and Damien Roch Managing Director of the NUMA Scale Hub on the startup and VC scene in France and in the Silicon Valley. Here are some useful insights on scaling abroad.

Scale internationally: pros and cons

There are different reasons that may push an entrepreneur to decide to launch its business abroad. For early stage startups, the main driver is primarily revenue growth. Going abroad means entering a new market acquiring new customers increasing sales and filling up the piggy bank at the end of the day. Internationalization is also a good way to sustain a competitive advantage upon some competitors (eg. by creating international alliances to get access to complementary assets). Finally, entering a new market may be a great opportunity to increase a company’s capacity to innovate (eg. by adapting the technology to local markets, or hiring new talents locally).

But some costs and risks have to be taken into account when going abroad, especially for early stage startups. Before making such a decision, it is worth analyzing carefully that 1) the startup owns the required resources to go there (eg. a lot of startups crash when settling in San Francisco because they didn’t take into account the high cost of living there), and 2) that it is a good investment opportunity, and not just a business one (eg. having an office in Morocco does not mean that it is logical to make business there, maybe the market is not adapted for the product at all).

Silicon Valley: a dream for French startups?

There are a lot of advantages to settle a business in the US, not only regarding the size of the market (4 time zones, 320 million people), but also regarding practical business aspects (one currency, one language). Also, it is worth mentioning that being in the US is not only a great opportunity, but also often a prerequisite for success. Indeed, it is very rare for IT startups to succeed in the US without having a local presence in the country. For example, French founders from Criteo or Talend went to the US before achieving such a high level of success. When it comes to the Silicon Valley, one cannot deny the incredible opportunities the ecosystem offers, having a concentration of the main tech players in one and unique spot (Facebook, Google, Apple…). It is then very easy to do business with them, as the teams are already there.

Yet, of course it does not always make sense for a startup to settle in the Silicon Valley – nor in the US. Having an addressable market there is fundamental. Also, one could think that the Silicon Valley is the-place-to-be when deciding to settle in the US, but once again, it depends on each business. For example, OVH decided not to go in the Silicon Valley but rather to Virginia because it was a better opportunity for them to settle there.

Timing is everything

When is the right time to scale abroad?” is a recurring question from entrepreneurs. The majority of startups that show up in the Silicon Valley are not ready for it, and they eventually leave the next year back to their home country. This is very unfortunate, because they could have avoided this situation if they had done their proper “homework” upstream (ie. considering all the necessary resources). On the other hand, taking its time can be a wise decision. For example Intuit waited for more than a decade before rolling out to France as it was a complicated market to tackle from a regulatory standpoint. Finally in hyper growth market, waiting could be  damaging as Uber that arrived too late on the Chinese market to compete with well-established and local Didi.  So, what is the good strategy? As building a house, the first step is to create solid foundations. First, it is important for any startup to concentrate on its home market to validate its product-market fit and gain experience in its own country. Once done that, it is also crucial to have references that can be leveraged hereafter. This is particularly true in the US, where having a good technology is not enough, the storytelling is the key: people buy stories, not products. Any reference, use case and proof of concept will be valuable assets when raising funds.

In the end, the main advice when scaling internationally (once prepared for it), is to focus on one market and then expand little by little, because it is very hard to be everywhere at the same time (eg. multiple law regulations). Regarding France, the country is currently offering a very positive ecosystem for international entrepreneurs to settle in, and for investors to come and acquire local companies (even American VCs are investing in French startups, which is very rare!). The Silicon Valley is now looking at this promising transformation with great attention (Station F, new Presidency, French Tech initiative…), so let’s surf the wave!

You have a question about startup internationalisation? You want to meet us? Send us an email at [email protected] or come to us anytime at the NUMA Scale Hub at Station F (CREATE zone, block 7, 2nd floor).

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Achieving Global Growth: NUMA x the Google Growth Accelerator

NUMA recently invited its long-time partner Google at Station F to share scaling methods and digital tools with entrepreneurs who want to scale their business. This was the first event of a long list organized by NUMA at Station F, and there is more to come soon!  

Guest speaker was Remy Bendayan, working in Dublin at Google Growth Accelerator for French startups that have reached market fit. Google Growth Accelerator is part of the Start-Grow-Scale initiative launched by Google to help start-up at various stages. It is a special team at Google dedicated to startups which are looking for a rapid growth on Google AdWords, Analytics, YouTube and other Google products.

NUMA’s Scale Hub program at Station F is a business launchpad for international startups to launch their startup in France and Europe. NUMA has been partnering with Google for years in order to offer the best expertise to early tech startups. Here are some useful tips to grow and export your business!

Think BIG!

The first thing to do when exporting and growing your business abroad is to think about all the opportunities of growth and gather as much information as possible. There are plenty of tools to help you identify your business potential, here we give you some.

When entering a new market, you have to take into account lots of elements that may differ from one country to another. For example, regarding consumer behaviour towards payment methods, consumers in France will have radically different attitudes compared to their German neighbours. Besides local demand, you also have to carefully target your audience and analyse local competition. And never forget about optimizing your UX, localizing your website/app and providing global customer care!

Once you have validated your product/market fit, you can also consider Paid Acquisition as part of your growth strategy, but be careful: it requires a lot of cash! So be sure to be ready before implementing it.

Useful tools: Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, Similar Web, SEMrush, Adwords, Test My Speed, Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics.

Be patient!

You can’t buy a product you don’t know, and turning your audience into potential customers is a process that takes time – lots of time. Before all, you need to understand and define your audience and build an adequate conversion funnel. First, you have to connect with your audience and raise awareness about your product/service. Then you have to make potential customer think about your product/service, and finally make them interact with you and care about your product/service before becoming loyal customers.

As you won’t display the same message to someone who has never heard about your product/service, and to someone who has already subscribed to your newsletter, it is very important that you segment your audience and target each group differently. And because today’s customer journey is very complex and fragmented (mailing, video platform, display, SEA, retargeting…), it is crucial for you to adapt your message and use different channels available and different strategies (eg. by using growth hacking) to have the best impact on your customer: target the right person, at the right moment, with the right message. All those strategies have to be carefully designed in order to acquire new customers. It is also very important that you allocate the right resources here (financial, human, technical…) if you want to be successful.

Building a smart conversion funnel is a crucial step to prepare first activation and reach new customers so do not rush in, take your time!

Be smart!

It’s now time for optimization! Tracking is the key for growing your business efficiently. Work on your CPA (Cost Per Acquisition), define KPIs for each stage of the conversion funnel, pick up the good channels and tools for you to use. It is also very important to define a good attribution model, meaning which percentage you attribute for each step of the customer’s journey when acquiring a new client. There is not one ideal attribution model but plenty, so pick up the best one for your business and then stick to it (eg. the last channel before purchase).

When deciding to export your business abroad, some tools can be particularly useful to give you insights about markets per vertical, growth or behaviours such as Google Consumer Barometer and Google Market Finder.

Part of a global strategy to help entrepreneurs build successful companies, Google has recently launched a platform listing all of their “products, insights, and community programs, to support those who move things forward”:

You have a question about startup internationalisation? You want to meet us? Send us an email at [email protected] or come to us anytime at the NUMA space (CREATE zone, block 7, 2nd floor).

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“The key to internationalize: test, observe, and act fast” Alexandre Fitussi – Country Manager of Glovo

NUMA Paris Scale Hub is NUMA’s new program to help non-French companies scale in the French market, in partnership with Station F.
This is the first of a series of articles about non-French startups who’ve decided to launch their products or services in France.

“Anything you want. Delivered in minutes” Glovo ’s slogan doesn’t need much explanation, does it?

This Spanish startup was founded in March 2015 by Oscar Pierre and Sacha Michaud in Barcelona. Since then, they’ve raised $7,8M in 3 rounds, and have managed to keep a double-digit growth for the past 24 months. After a hyper-growth in Spain, the Barcelona-based startup decided to scale internationally in Italy and France.

Alexandre Fitussi is Glovo’s Country Manager in France. Graduate from HEC business school, he joined the startup in August 2016 after a few years working in investment banking and Uber in London.

Why France?

France was an obvious choice, as Paris is one of the largest cities in Europe, with a population that has a strong purchasing power. The on-demand delivery market is growing so rapidly here. Besides, Paris and Barcelona are very close and it is extremely convenient to move from one city to the other.

At the same time, we launched in Italy. This was interesting for us because it allowed us to make crucial observations and test different strategies in these new markets.

What was the first step when you arrived in France?

The most important thing when internationalizing is: test, observe and act fast. These steps are extremely important as they will be necessary to make the right decisions for further developments.

We know that every country has its specificities, and we needed to know what were French users’ behaviors, habits, etc.

So, what is specific about the French market?

Well, first of all, we observed that French users were ordering a lot of stuff from supermarkets. This was not the case in other markets. We decided to focus on this segment and signed a partnership with Franprix. This has helped us a lot in our growth.

We were also surprised to see that French users don’t make reviews. When they do it, it’s usually a bad review because something went wrong. But they rarely make good reviews when all went well.

Funnily, we also discovered new use cases that we hadn’t imagined. In Paris, there are many fancy restaurants which have huge queues to get in, because you can’t make bookings in advance. The most famous example is Big Mamma [which, by the way, will be opening a HUGE restaurant in Station F in a few months]: you queue, they put your name on a list and you come back one or two hours later. So, one day, someone asked a Glovo courier to queue for him. And then the guy just showed up without queuing. Now, we have Glovo couriers making queues instead of people all over Paris.

What were your biggest challenges in France?

Surely, it was recruitment. When you have such a small team, every person you recruit is extremely important. And making the bad decision can cost you a lot of time and money.

My first advice is to take your time. It’s better to take time during the recruitment to make sure you have the best person than to make a quick decision and regret it.

Having a network is also hugely important. It’s much easier to find a person fit for the job in your network because it’s usually people you can trust.

Another big concern was how to find couriers for the deliveries? On the one hand, if you have orders, but no one to make the deliveries, your startup will crash immediately. On the other hand, if you have plenty of couriers but no orders, they will let you down quickly.

So we decided to guarantee payments for the couriers during the first six months. Then, when the orders became more regular, we switched to a pay-per-delivery model.

What is a good team to start with?

Obviously, this will be specific to each industry and startup. But for us, in the delivery market, we needed an Operations Manager and a Fleet Manager. These were essential. Then , I recruited a Marketing Manager and Sales. We’re currently seven people and we’re looking for two other persons: in sales and in marketing.

What was the key moment for Glovo’s development in France?

We were contacted by the TV show Capital in December. They were making a film about delivery startups in France. When the show aired, mid-December 2016, the figures went crazy. It was a great opportunity for us.

What were the metrics when you started and what are they now?

When we launched in June 2016, it started slowly with a few friends’ orders. Word of mouth worked well and by September we had 20 deliveries per day. Now, we have 70,000 clients in Paris and we receive 1000 daily orders, so it’s growing really fast.

What is your goal for the upcoming months?

Today, the French market represents 5% of our total revenue. We want to make it 50% by next year! Ambition is the key to success.

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#StartupOfNUMA – KinTribe, l’expertise du recrutement

Anciens recruteurs IT, Chloé et Louis ont fondé KinTribe pour permettre aux recruteurs proactifs d'identifier et d'entrer en contact avec les meilleurs talents sur les réseaux sociaux.

Le problème

Une grande partie du métier d’un recruteur consiste aujourd’hui à accomplir des tâches identiques et souvent fastidieuses : parcourir LinkedIn pour identifier les meilleurs profils, étudier leur activité sur les réseaux sociaux, contacter ces profils, les relancer, rapporter les interactions qui ont lieu… Co-fondatrice et CEO de KinTribe, Chloé raconte :

“Louis et moi étions passionnés par notre métier, mais on finissait par le détester à cause de ces tâches répétitives qui n’ont pas de valeur ajoutée. L’idée de KinTribe est d’automatiser les tâches répétitives des recruteurs pour leur permettre de mettre en avant leur expertise : trouver les meilleurs profils et les engager, c’est-à-dire créer le contact afin d’entrer dans un process de recrutement.”

KinTribe (V1)

Partis de ce constat, Chloé et Louis remportent un concours d’intrapreneuriat en octobre 2015 dans le cadre de leur ancienne société. Ils commencent à développer le produit dans ce cadre en janvier 2016, avec une équipe technique complète dès le départ. Leur MVP est une application qui permet aux recruteurs d’alimenter et d’entretenir leur vivier de talents.

Après validation du marché, ils développent la V1 de KinTribe avec six sociétés pilotes (des cabinets de chasse et des ESN). Cette V1 automatise la plupart des tâches de sourcing des recruteurs pour leur permettre de gagner en efficacité tout en se recentrant sur la partie relationnelle de leur métier. L’équipe intègre alors le programme d’Accélération de NUMA, en avril 2017.

KinTribe, une startup de NUMA

La période d’accélération

Dans le cadre de la saison 11 du programme d’accélération de NUMA Paris, KinTribe a travaillé sur la structuration de son CRM. En trois mois, l’équipe a réduit son cycle de vente par 4 et a doublé sa base clients.

“En arrivant chez NUMA, notre produit était déjà très performant et innovant en termes de technos, mais le business ne suivait pas. On avait passé plus de temps à concevoir son UX et à le développer qu’à prospecter des clients. L’objectif était de lancer pleinement notre activité commerciale et de la structurer” nous raconte Louis, co-fondateur et COO.

Avec les équipes du programme, les entrepreneurs ont beaucoup appris sur leur marché et souhaitent travailler sur des dispositifs répondant aussi à de nouveaux segments marchés, comme l’expliquait Chloé :

“Avant de nous lancer dans de nouveaux développements, nous avons décidé de réaliser des POCs (Proofs Of Concept) pour valider que nos nouvelles fonctionnalités répondent à de vrais “pain points”. Nous travaillons actuellement avec des startups parisiennes pour tester celles-ci, tout en continuant à développer commercialement KinTribe.”

Vers un enrichissement de KinTribe ?

L’équipe de KinTribe a conclu une première levée auprès de Business Angels en juillet 2017. Elle s’apprête à intégrer l’incubateur de Télécom Paris Tech en septembre 2017 pour continuer d’innover techniquement sur le produit tout en élargissant son marché. Interrogée sur ces nouvelles perspectives, Chloé nous répondait le 27 juin dernier :

“Notre mission avec Louis est toujours la même : “empowering recruiters”. C’est en analysant les données provenant des réseaux sociaux et avec l’optique de rendre les recruteurs toujours plus experts de leur métier et maîtres de leur activité que nous travaillons sur deux potentielles features : la cooptation et la veille sociale automatisée. Nous sommes très enthousiastes à l’idée de profiter de toutes nos nouvelles connaissances, expériences et rencontres dans le développement de ces idées. Rendez-vous à la rentrée en septembre 2017 pour en savoir davantage !”

Pour suivre l’évolution de KinTribe, suivez les sur Twitter : @KinTribeHQ ou rendez-vous sur leur site : – ou n’hésitez pas à les contacter et leur rendre visite : [email protected]

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Thinking about internationalization? From Joint Venture to Strategic Partnerships

NUMA Scale Hub - Internationalization

Internationalization is key when scaling your business. Even though there are numerous options to grow internationally, it is very complex to determine the right one.

To make your way to an international roll out you should mainly consider three options:

  • Joint Venture,
  • Commercial partnership,
  • Strategic partnership.

These options are ranked from to the most legally binding option, to the most strategic one.

In a nutshell, choosing which option is more suitable for your business will eventually depend on your revenue, your execution roadmap and your local knowledge of the market you are targeting.


A joint venture is, in legal terms, a general partnership formed by a group of entities or individuals committed to a specific business purpose for a fixed period of time. The aim of a joint venture is promptly achieving strategic growth while lowering production costs. While creating a joint venture you will be able to create a new economy of scale and market power.

At NUMA we believe that joint ventures are a real asset to help mature startups and corporations to connect their resources efficiently. Most of our foreign partnerships are made in the form of a joint venture with existing partners with local knowledge and resources, seeking to create an acceleration program. For this specific business purpose we provide them with our global network, our experts, our expertise and communication tools.

Example of one of NUMA’s successful Joint Ventures:            

Likewise, we have been contacted by a Series A startup that connects with local partners through joint ventures, and has the specific business purpose of advertising books online. The most strategic way to leverage power on local authors is for them to identify people with sufficient local resources and network to attract them without having to enter the market themself. In that particular example, the joint venture is a strategic way securing production capacity and lower cost production.

In a nutshell, You should consider a joint venture if:

  • Revenue : You believe your business purpose could generate a significant source of revenue abroad but you need a partner to achieve strategic growth.
  • Execution roadmap : Your local execution roadmap is linked to your global OKRs.
  • Local knowledge : You already know which trusted strategic local partner you want to consider, you will each be able to bring a specific set of resources and adapt them together to the local market.


Internationalization has many definitions, ranging  from expanding a supply chain abroad to simply shipping your products or delivering your services abroad. For each of these internationalization processes, you will have to choose a peculiar business and legal form.

Why would you choose to have a commercial partnership with a partner abroad? Many of the startups we analyzed while building our internationalization program at Station F, were already established in France but were looking for foreign partners to help them grow and scale their sales pipeline in France.

Likewise, successful french companies have chosen this internationalization channel to optimize their sales abroad. The most relevant example is the company “Docker”, an open platform for developers and sysadmins to build, ship, and run distributed applications, whether on laptops, data center VMs, or cloud. Docker announced last year their partnership with China’s biggest cloud company, Alibaba. In their press release, they declared that this partnership was made to ensure optimal access and performance to the thousands of Dockerized images that will serve as the foundation of a new generation of distributed applications in China”.

This commercial agreement is a great success for Docker in terms of sales revenue in China, as well as their exposure in the media, proving once more that internationalization is a very efficient way to grow your sales pipeline.

Docker & Alibaba Cloud alliance:            &       

In a nutshell, connect with a local partner if :

  • Revenue: You already have revenues from foreign sales but you need a local partner to grow your sales pipeline.
  • Execution roadmap: Your sales need to scale, this is one of your OKR.
  • Local Knowledge: You have knowledge but few executive and efficient resources abroad.


If you have validated your product fits in your home country, have stable business metrics and you have done a due diligence identifying a fitting foreign market, you are ready to launch your business abroad.

There is no real partnership that could be valuable when you have no resources to share locally and very little local knowledge aside from the due diligence you have conducted. Even though you have raised a Series A or you are about to, you still need support in building a solid execution and scaling plan. Therefore new offers of specific partnership within ecosystemic program offer cross-border expertise in acceleration.

NUMA acknowledged that more “later stage” startups lacked specific program to help them bridge their next round of financing. This is what we understood as the pain point in internationalization. Even more in times when Europe and more specifically France, have become a new driving market for mature startup businesses providing easier access to capital from influent VC. As shown below, European Scalers are now numerous showing that scaling in Europe offers great perspectives:

 : French company, Raised$160 million

  : French company, Raised $53 million                             

In recently being named most influential country in the world, it might be that France could also be the most interesting country to launch your business right now. In this regard, almost a month ago, Station F opened in Paris and became the biggest startup campus in the world.


That’s why NUMA, as a leader in the French entrepreneurial ecosystem, decided to help mature foreign companies in fundraising, scaling and growth hacking strategies to establish and grow rapidly their business in France. This program, NUMA Scale Hub, in partnership with Station F, is ready to help startups rock their internationalization in France!

Are you thinking about scaling your venture? Book a call with Damien Roch, NUMA Scale Hub’s Managing Director and expert in internationalization. Write to: [email protected]

In a nutshell you should consider a strategic local partnership if:

  • Revenue: You believe there could be a solid revenue opportunity in expanding your business abroad but you are not sure yet as you didn’t have a market validation in this foreign country.
  • Execution roadmap: You want to enter a market, you need it to scale your business.
  • Local Knowledge: The strategic partner will bring this added value, adapting your business to the local currencies and customs.


The structure you will choose to internationalize is significant as it will help you be successful in this important journey. It is however your role as founder to be as pro-active as you can, since each and every opportunity you have to go abroad will give you a chance to meet strategic partners and clients!


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#StartUpOfNUMA – Izifret, l’affrètement 2.0

Fondée par deux anciens cadres du transport, Izifret est une marketplace qui met en relation des commanditaires et des transporteurs de marchandises dans le secteur de l’industrie lourde. À l'issue de la Saison 11 du programme d'Accélération de NUMA Paris, la startup cherche aujourd'hui à lever 1,5 millions d’euros.

Les débuts

Fondateur et CEO d’Izifret, Stéphane Raynal a d’abord été exploitant et commercial chez un commissionnaire pendant cinq ans, entre 2011 et 2016.

“Le métier d’exploitant consiste précisément à mettre en relation des commanditaires et des transporteurs pour assurer la livraison de marchandises. En général, tout avait lieu par téléphone, par fax ou par e-mail.”

Déjà en relation avec plusieurs centaines de transporteurs, Stéphane a rejoint Chronotruck en 2016 en tant que cadre commercial transport, pour aider la startup à se développer auprès des transporteurs, assurer la relation client et trouver des solutions pour les expéditeurs

Dans ce cadre, il inscrit 1.500 transporteurs sur la plateforme et gère les 3.000 premières opérations de transport – avant de décider de démarrer sa propre entreprise, dans le même secteur mais sur un autre segment : celui de l’industrie lourde (aluminium, acier inoxydable, câbles électriques…). Cette spécialisation permet un panier moyen de 600 à 700 euros, contre une fourchette de 120 à 350 euros pour les principaux acteurs du marché du transport de marchandises à ce jour (Chronotruck, Convargo, Fretlink).

Le constat

Le secteur du transport de marchandises est aujourd’hui caractérisé par une sous-traitance en cascade. Celle-ci est doublement à l’origine d’une baisse des revenus pour les transporteurs (du fait des commissions accumulées) et d’une multiplication des retards de paiement.

“Du côté des industriels, l’essentiel des commandes sont passées par téléphone, par mail ou sur Google Drive, quand il ne s’agit pas de feuilles volantes.”

La mission

Izifret facilite la prise et le suivi des commandes pour les industriels. En connectant les différents intermédiaires, l’équipe veut aussi permettre aux transporteurs d’être payés plus rapidement. Izifret garantit ainsi le paiement des transporteurs dans un délai 7 jours, contre une moyenne de 60 jours dans un contexte où tous les intermédiaires retardent les paiements pour garantir leur trésorerie.


Active depuis le 5 mai, Izifret a déjà transporté près de 800 tonnes, 1200 palettes et a réalisé 50.000 euros de volume d’affaires, avec une marge commerciale de 14 à 16%. L’équipe cherche aujourd’hui à lever 1,5M€ d’euros et elle recrute de nouveaux talents ! Pour plus d’infos, contactez Stéphane : [email protected].

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#StartUpOfNUMA – ProfenPoche invente une nouvelle façon d’apprendre

Fondée par deux frères, l'application ProfenPoche réinvente le soutien scolaire sous la forme d'un Chat qui permet aux élèves d'être accompagnés dès qu’ils en ont besoin. L'équipe développe depuis trois mois une intelligence artificielle éducative qui propose instantanément, à partir de la photo prise par l’élève, le contenu pédagogique adapté qui lui permettra de résoudre son exercice.

Les origines du projet

Paul et Vincent Escudé sont issus d’une famille qui gère depuis plus de 30 ans l’établissement Pieber, une école de soutien scolaire située dans le Sud-Ouest de la France. L’idée de ProfenPoche leur est venue dans ce contexte. Co-fondateur et CEO, Vincent témoigne :

“On a d’abord répondu à la demande d’une famille qui s’était installée à Londres et qui ne trouvait pas de professeur particulier pour ses enfants. On a accepté de donner des cours par Skype, et on a vite reçu beaucoup d’autres demande.”

Alors que l’existence de ces cours se répand par bouche à oreille, Vincent et Paul créent une première plateforme web EdTech : PlaneteProfs, qui met en relation des professeurs et des élèves par Skype.

De Planeteprofs à ProfenPoche

Alors que PlaneteProfs rencontre une traction de plus en plus forte, ses co-fondateurs, les frères Escudé, enquêtent auprès de leurs élèves :

“On s’est vite rendu compte que les élèves, notamment les collégiens, étaient demandeurs d’une solution sur smartphone. On a développé ProfenPoche pour répondre à ce besoin.”

La promesse (pour les élèves)

La promesse de ProfenPoche est simple : permettre aux élèves d’accéder à un professeur particulier dès qu’ils en ont besoin, directement par Chat et avec la possibilité d’envoyer les photos des exercices qui posent problème. L’application fait ainsi graviter, autour de chaque élève, plusieurs professeurs disponibles pour fournir un accompagnement scolaire qualifié quand cela est utile.

Nous permettons aux élèves d’accéder à des professeurs particuliers directement sur leur smartphone. Pour les parents, c’est une façon de s’assurer du suivi scolaire des enfants, de se donner du temps et donc de passer des moments plus sereins avec eux.

Où en sont-ils ?

À ce jour et depuis ses débuts, ProfenPoche a permis à plus de 6000 élèves de bénéficier d’une assistance scolaire personnalisée.

“Notre objectif à trois ans est d’atteindre un million d’utilisateurs. Nous voulons démocratiser le soutien scolaire tout en l’adaptant aux attentes des nouvelles générations.”

Le futur de ProfenPoche

À l’heure actuelle, la majorité des interactions sur ProfenPoche met en relation des professeurs particuliers avec les élèves. Face à une demande croissante, l’équipe développe depuis six mois une intelligence artificielle qui propose instantanément des contenus pédagogiques adaptés aux besoins des élèves.

“A court terme, l’essentiel des indications dans la résolution des exercices sera assuré par cette Intelligence Artificielle. Nous entraînons chaque jour notre robot à répondre à plus de questions. L’accompagnement impliquera toujours des professeurs particuliers, qui interviendront à la demande des élèves pour répondre aux questions les plus compliquées.”

D’ici trois ans, l’objectif est que plus de 60% des questions des élèves ne nécessitent pas d’intervention humaine. L’équipe est aujourd’hui en cours de levée et recrute de nouveaux talents.

N’hésitez pas à les contacter ! Leur numéro : 09 67 50 71 00


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How an early-stage startup can leverage mentors at NUMA?

As a two-times entrepreneur, and as an Alumni from both NUMA and Techstars, I know how critical great mentors can be for a startup. At NUMA, one of our job for the accelerated startups is to help them build game-changing mentors relationships. Here is an exemple of the mentors who have helped the last batch, and the tips we gave to the founders to make the most of this network.

1/ Focus on people who want to help

Engaging mentors requires strategy. Like you set a user acquisition strategy, you have to prepare your mentor acquisition strategy: What skills are you missing in your company? What are you looking for? Start by an auto-diagnosis and define how and why you need help. Engaging a mentor just because he runs a company you love is vanity. Be focused on people who 1/ want to help 2/ can really help.

2/ Open your ears and be ready to be challenged

The whole point of meeting mentors is to connect with people who will love to challenge your ideas. You need to be ready to open your ears and listen. If you think that you know everything about your business, stay at home.

Mentors are people who are hard with the facts, but kind with the founders. They need to tell founders their truth. Good mentors will speak raw, and you must not take it personally.

3/ Be strong and say “No”

If you’re not prepared or if you’re too much impressed, you will literally change 30 times your product/sales strategy/marketing plan within 2 weeks. Your job as a CEO is to keep a cool head. Do it for you, for your business and for your team. If every time you go back to your desk and say to your team “we should do that”, you will defocus your team and lose credibility.

4/ Anticipate sharply

Anticipating the goals of your session with your mentor will spare you a lot of time. The sharper you’ll be, the more relevant advice you’ll get.

When you meet a mentor, prepare your agenda: the more specific, the better. Choose 3 issues that you want to tackle, and send the Agenda to the mentor prior to the meeting.

Ex1:“I want to get 20% more leads from Adwords. Currently I have X keywords and I spend Y for results of Z. What did you do when you tried that solution….? “

Ex2: “I need to get introduced to X “

Ex3: “How do I respond in a sales negotiation when they tell me …? “

5/ Follow up

Just like any relationship, you need to keep the flame alive:

– Communicate your weekly updates (see below an example of mentors’ update).

– Send a follow up email after each meeting (with a sumup + the next steps).

– Get them interested. Never miss an opportunity to share your big progress.

6/ Map out your network

You can distinguish between three levels 

1: Lead mentors

Build a team of up to 3 people with whom you’ll be in touch almost every week. Focus on people who really want to help.

2: Ad-hoc mentors

These people are extremely valuable because they will help you on specific topics. You basically get in touch with them once a month. Gathering a pool of these ad-hoc mentors is key for the success of your startup, because your team will always lack experience and lack skills.

3: Extended network

You won’t know them directly yet keep them on the radar because they have skills/background/network that could be very valuable for your company at one point.

Mentors NUMA Paris
Lead Mentors from the current batch

Want to apply for the next batch starting mid-October?

Send us an email at: [email protected]

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NUMA will support 6 international startups to scale in France at Station F!

Station F has officially opened its doors! We’re thrilled to start this exciting new partnership with Station F and can’t wait to help companies succeed in their French expansion.

France has made it! A decade of efforts has turned the country into one of the most dynamic and uprising startup places in the world. The opening of Station F is yet another sign of a digital French Revolution.

Companies from all over the world now consider France as an startup-friendly country with a thriving VC scene (Point Nine Capital announced a $75M fund focused on France), some top-notch coworking (WeWork opened its first office in the heart of Paris recently), world-class startup events (VivaTech’s 2nd edition was a huge success), etc.

NUMA Scale Hub: a hub for international startups to grow in France

Six startups will join NUMA Scale Hub at Station F, coming from all around the world: India, Mexico, US, and UK.

We will host three startups from the French Tech Ticket, French Tech’s successful initiative to attract foreign entrepreneurs in France:

  • Bitwage: Remote Job Placement and Wage Management Solutions for Overseas Workers.
  • Sorry as a Service: Sorry As A Service platform helps companies when a customer complaints or has an issue and suggests actions to rebuild the relationship.
  • JetPack Data: JetPack Data proposes an intuitive data analytics and visualization platform geared for ‘the common man’.

Besides, we are welcoming three startups from Mexico, part of the Bridge To Paris, a France-Mexico cross-border program sponsored by the National Entrepreneur Institute, the Franco-Mexican Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Mexico France Council on Entrepreneurship and Innovation:

  • Collective Academy: Collective Academy is an academic institution rethinking higher education.
  • Totonal: a market place for responsible and tailor-made travel experiences.
  • Samaya: a SaaS company to help organization better organize their sales processes.

We will announce more startups joining soon!

Internationalization as a Service

NUMA Scale Hub will provide an intensive scaling method to selected startups, including support from Google, which has been a strong partner to NUMA Paris’ startup ecosystem since 2013. They will be supporting the initiative through access to market analysis and product expertise, and will share its extensive experience of helping startups to scale.

Besides that, the resources will include business development consulting with in-house experts and business intros to our corporate clients, growth marketing strategy, accounting and incorporation in France with LPG Group, legal advice from Alan Walter, recruitment consulting with Urban Linker, and a roadshow to French and European investors.

And now… Time to scale!

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#FounderStories – Adam D’Angelo, fondateur et CEO de Quora

Discrète, confiante dans la qualité de son produit, Quora a pour mission d'accroître et de partager le savoir disponible dans le monde. Reçu chez NUMA pour une Founder Story, son fondateur et CEO Adam D'Angelo, ancien CTO de Facebook, est revenu sur son histoire et a partagé ses réflexions sur l'importance de se donner une mission ambitieuse.

FounderStory NUMA - Adam D'Angelo, CEO de Quora

Les Q&A comme modèle d’acquisition et de diffusion du savoir

Si vous cherchez à connaître la structure chimique d’une molécule, le nombre d’habitants des Philippines, la date de naissance de Marie-Antoinette, de nombreux sites peuvent vous apporter la réponse et le faire rapidement. Le plus connu d’entre eux, Wikipedia – littéralement : du savoir (encyclopédique) rapidement accessible, wiki signifiant vite, en hawaïen – permet ainsi à plusieurs centaines de millions de personnes d’accéder gratuitement, en permanence et où qu’ils soient, à un savoir à peu près sans limite.

Qu’en est-il, pourtant, si vos questions sont plus particulières ? Faut-il garder le subjonctif dans la langue française ? Faut-il mettre de la crème fraîche dans une sauce carbonara ? Est-il plus facile d’être un homme ou une femme ? Pour ces questions et pour tant d’autres, Wikipedia demeure sans voix. Parce sa structure est celle d’une encyclopédie, qui répertorie le savoir établi sur des sujets répertoriés isolément (le subjonctif, le genre, les Philippines, Marie-Antoinette), Wikipedia ne peut répondre aux questions plus imprévisibles ou plus particulières qui forment pourtant la part prépondérante du questionnement humain.

Quora – alias Question or Answer – se donne pour mission de partager et d’accroître le savoir disponible dans le monde en s’appuyant sur le modèle, plus évolutif, plus ludique et plus propice à la construction dialogique du savoir, des Questions et Réponses. Son fondateur et CEO, Adam D’Angelo, résume ainsi la raison d’être du projet :

Unless you know someone around you with an answer to a particular question, most of the time you won’t get that answer. There is plenty of knowledge on the Internet, but there is a lot more in people’s heads. On Quora, you can ask any question you have, and someone else will try to answer it.

Comment savoir si les réponses sont bonnes ?

Le savoir disponible gratuitement sur Internet est aujourd’hui sans limite, avec une seule mais importante réserve : celle de la qualité. Les repères manquent pour évaluer sa véracité, pour distinguer le vrai du faux. Les rumeurs, théories du complot, contre-vérités peuvent ainsi se frayer de larges voies dans un univers où – et fort heureusement – aucune autorité de contrôle ne censure l’expression de centaines, de milliers et millions d’internautes.

Qu’en est-il sur Quora ? Lorsqu’une question est publiée, les Quorans qui savent, pensent savoir, veulent s’exprimer ou simplement proposer une idée sont invités à publier une réponse. En fonction des votes des utilisateurs, ces réponses sont ensuite ordonnées de la plus à la moins pertinente. Les spécialistes d’un sujet pourront ainsi apporter, de deux façons, leur pierre à l’édifice : en votant pour les réponses qui sont justes, ou bien en rédigeant eux-mêmes la réponse qu’ils estiment pertinente.

Mais l’objectivité – si elle est possible – n’est pas toujours la pierre de touche des discussions qui ont lieu sur Quora. Parmi ceux qui répondent, on trouvera savants et ignorants, sceptiques et doctrinaires, romanciers, politiciens, artistes, complotistes, scientifiques, exaltés. Ici comme ailleurs, toutes les voix peuvent s’exprimer et elles peuvent être lues. Si l’équipe de Quora a mis en place différents mécanismes de modération, elle ne cherche pas toutefois – ici encore, heureusement – à contrôler les contenus échangés. L’équipe entend laisser ainsi la part belle à la curiosité, au divertissement et aux incertitudes qui dirigent la recherche du savoir.

We’re totally fine with the idea that some answers which are not scientific can be upvoted and rank first. It is not up to us to decide the criteria which are in use.

Le décentrement de Quora par rapport à l’idéal encyclopédique, celui d’un point de vue universel, est précisément ce qui permet la discussion des questions les plus ouvertes et même parfois les plus originales. Sur la version anglaise, en ligne depuis suffisamment longtemps, on se demandera par exemple s’il est normal de parler tout seul ; si l’amour est une illusion ; ce qui rend un individu singulier ; mais aussi quels sont les points communs entre une souris et un rat, ou encore s’il est théoriquement possible de voyager dans le temps.

Adam D'Angelo chez NUMA

Invité lors d’une Founder Story pour discuter avec les entrepreneurs de NUMA, Adam D’Angelo est revenu sur son parcours.

Qui est Adam D’Angelo ?

Adam D’Angelo a fait ses études secondaires au début des années 2000 à la Phillips Exeter Academy dans le New Hampshire. L’école est l’une des boarding schools les plus élitistes et prestigieuses des Etats-Unis. Elle est surtout connue pour sa pratique d’une pédagogie développée au début du XXème siècle par le philanthrope Edward Harkness, et qui consiste à asseoir les élèves autour d’une table pour qu’ils discutent librement, en limitant autant que possible l’intervention professorale. Au cours de sa scolarité à Exeter, Adam D’Angelo rencontre Mark Zuckerberg


Adam D’Angelo rejoint alors Caltech en Californie. Il y développe notamment l’application BuddyZoo qui permet à ses utilisateurs d’uploader leurs contacts AIM (AOL Instant Messenger, l’application de messagerie instantanée la plus populaire à l’époque) et de les comparer aux contacts des autres utilisateurs. Pendant ce temps, Mark Zuckerberg a rejoint Harvard et lancé Facebook en février 2004. Adam d’Angelo est l’un des premiers ingénieurs qu’il pense à associer. Quelques mois plus tard, l’équipe est rassemblée et D’Angelo devient son CTO. Il le demeure pendant près de quatre ans avant de quitter Facebook en 2008 – et de fonder Quora.

Le modèle

Né en Californie, Quora a un luxe que peu de startups françaises peuvent se permettre : développer son produit pendant plusieurs années sans générer aucun revenu ou presque. Discrète, confiante dans la simplicité de ses interfaces, Quora vient de lever 85 millions de dollars, sa quatrième levée de fonds depuis sa création en 2009. L’équipe compte 190 collaborateurs et a développé la meilleure expérience de Q&A qui existe à ce jour.

Le modèle économique sur lequel Quora fonde ses projections est très proche de celui de Google AdWords. Les annonceurs choisissent les Q&A sur lesquelles ils voudraient promouvoir un produit, puis paient Quora pour l’affichage. L’insertion de ces publicités dans l’espace d’une question et de ses réponses permet de capter l’attention des visiteurs au moment opportun. Les annonceurs paient ainsi plus cher, tandis que les utilisateurs ne souffrent pas de publicités intrusives, sans rapport avec leur objet d’intérêt actuel.

More and more people say that business models based on advertisement are broke, but I think it’s misleading. If your product is good enough so that it gets a large audience, then advertising is a good way of making your business grow.

La contenu des annonces, adapté (qualitativement) au texte sur la page, doit détériorer aussi peu que possible l’expérience sur le site.

Quora en français

Quora compte aujourd’hui 190 millions de visiteurs uniques par mois  dans le monde et vient d’introduire une version francophone. 

Inscription iciMerci Adam !

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