While Snips was founded in January of 2013, their first product, Tranquilien – an app which optimizes your public transportation experience – was born out of an open data hackathon organized in June 2012. The 6,000€ prize money resulted in the product being launched one year later – SNCF has since come under fire around an amendment added into the “Loi Macron” Bill, which would allow enterprises to charge for access to data that had previously been deemed ‘open.’
Paris-based A.I. startup Snips has raised €3 Million from investors, the company announced this week. In complement, they have added € 2.4 Million in government grant money, and have added Eventbrite co-founder & CTO Renaud Visage to their board, as well as Appsfire CTO & Co-Founder Yann Lechelle as their Director of Operations.
Three years after that SNCF Hackathon, Snips is a 15-person team, many PhDs and others that have the equivalent technical ‘street cred’, and a product set to come out in beta starting next month.
Having watched Snips evolve from hackathon winner to what it is today, I can only say that the bar has been set very high. Beyond the launch of Tranquilien two years ago, the company has been building up an arsenal of buzz and talent, with nothing to show for it until now; that being said, recruitment of people like Yann Lechelle, an iPhone veteran if there ever was one, definitely makes me think that whatever is cooking in the oven is something worth keeping two eyes on.
Snips has got enough awards, trophies & prizes to line the walls of their offices, they’ve got enough cash to pay for the server space, and they’ve got a team with enough combined IQ to code their way out of a vault – all that’s lacking in this IT factory is a product.
While I wait for something I can touch, my assessment remains: good vaulting over the high bar you’ve set for yourself.