Across from the Theatre de Paris, Criteo’s Paris headquarters sits just blocks from Google & Facebook, as well as fellow French successes Deezer & Dailymotion. After their successful IPO in October, the company has a wealth of cash that will likely be spent on M&A – the question on everybody’s mind, of course, is who they will acquire, when it will happen, and whether they can maintain the monstrous growth they’ve seen in the 8 years since their founding.
With an unencumbered view of both the Sacré Coeur and the Eiffel Tower, Criteo’s rooftop-terrace has come to embody the company’s position in the Paris tech scene. The office building, originally used as a warehouse for the Galerie Lafayette (France’s largest department store chain, similar to Macy’s), but the location in the center of the city became impractical, and so the warehouse was abandoned for another location, leaving the giant warehouse for the taking. Criteo’s Alexandra Pelissero told me during our tour of the building that the company switched offices 4 times in 4 years during Criteo’s growth, and CEO JB Rudelle decided to invest in a space that the company could grow in, renting out the entire 7 story building, of which only a few floors are currently occupied.
Despite growing to more than 800 employees worldwide, of which more than
600 350 are based in Paris, the team has still managed to keep a warm, fun atmosphere in the office.
Starting in 2014, one floor of Criteo’s office will be rented out by Blablacar, who has outgrown its old office. This may be just the beginning of Criteo’s involvement in the Paris tech ecosystem for year’s to come.
Google’s search ads have built a monumental empire around which the Silicon Valley has flourished. If Criteo is the French Google, I can wait to see what’s coming next.