This week GoPro announced two acquisitions in the video software space, one of Paris-based Replay-maker Stupeflix, which was featured on stage at Apple’s most recent keynote, and the other, Vemory, a video-stitching software, for a combined $105 Million (or roughly 20% of their cash on-hand, according to TechCrunch). The news comes on the back of dipping performance by the action camera maker turned media mogul GoPro, which the founder hopes will reassure Wall Street of the company’s long-term positioning in the video space.
This is the first major exit of 2016 for the Paris Startup Scene, and, more specifically, it is the first major exit of the Exalead Mafia, which I first wrote about at the end of 2013. Acquired in 2011 by Dassault Systemes, Exalead was a power-house for big data & search talent in the mid 2000’s – specifically, out of Exalead Labs, their internal ‘playground’ – and the former employees (most of the engineering team left in the years following the acquisition) have gone on to start great startups: Algolia, Dataiku, OpenDataSoft – even Disclose, our own product, is built by our CTO Guillaume Esquevin, an Exalead alumnus – and, of course, Stupeflix. Cofounders Nicolas Steegman & Francois Lagunas met during their time at Exalead.
In addition to a great exit for Stupeflix (and a great acquisition for GoPro), for Paris, this underscores the depth of software talent in the ecosystem. In the video space, rising stars like Giroptic are coveted not only for their 360° Cam, which raised $1M+ on Kickstarter, but for the next-to-none video-stitching software that has gotten the attention of Facebook, Samsung & others – while the company is currently well known for their hardware product, the core of their success remains their software prowess, and, with an acquisition of Stuepflix and Vemory by GoPro, it is clear that the most important part of hardware is software, and vice versa (shameless plug for Connected Conference).
For the rest of the Exalead Mafia, I’ll be keeping an eye out. Another round for Dataiku may be in the works – the startup just moved into some luxurious offices overlooking the Rex theater in the heart of Paris’ startup neighborhood. Algolia’s post-YC growth has been incredible, releasing feature after feature and woo-ing clients. Most recently they launched Super Bowl Search site where you can search all the ads that have ever aired during the Super Bowl. Expect more great things from the Exalead Mafia.