This week Loic & Geraldine LeMeur announced the program for LeWeb London (June 5th & 6th), which includes marketplace giants Etsy, Airbnb, ZipCar & TaskRabbit. This will be the 2nd LeWeb London, and the first LeWeb event since Leweb was acquired by Reed MIDEM at the end of last year, so there are definitely concerns as to how LeWeb will be influenced by the giant conference entity.
When the event’s theme was first announced, I had a the same feeling I had for LeWeb Paris’ 2012 theme “Internet of Things” – this is a great topic that French companies excel at. As a culture, the French have picked up on P2P/C2C tools at an alarming rate (*insert some comment about socialism here*). For example, Paris has long been a top city for Airbnb in terms of number of available rentals, even before their international launch. The city of Paris itself, like many other European cities, has implemented its own P2P electric car rental service, blocking off thousands of parking spaces all around the city just for these vehicles – the same has been done for bikes, though they are admittedly more clunky, to deter theft.
This June, P2P ride-sharing marketplace Blablacar will speak at LeWeb London – I recently spoke with COO Nicolas Brusson at the Startup Career LaunchPad, who will be joined by CEO Frédéric Mazzella on stage. Available in 10 countries, covering essentially all of Western Europe, Blablacar is easily among the 10 P2P services used in Europe today. In addition to Blablacar, Cedric Giorgi, CEO of Cookening, a young service allowing users to turn their kitchen into a restaurant, will also speak on stage at LeWeb London.
While not every P2P startup gets the opportunity to speak on stage at an event like LeWeb London, there are certainly plenty of other French startups that could be recognized at this event:
- Drivy: a P2P marketplace for Car Rental, this P2P version of ZipCar raised $2 Million from Index Ventures last year to take its marketplace international. The service currently allows users to rent their car out by the day, though I have heard of plans to allow hourly rental as well.
- Sculpteo: a marketplace for 3D Printing graphics, which also lets users 3D-print out said files, Sculpteo raised €2 Million from Xange last December, and has since been featured at CES among other events.
- Unishared: a collaborative note-taking application for university students and online learners, the Unishared team, currently part of the prestigious Silicon Valley EduTech accelerator Imagine K12launched VideoNotes, recently , a Google Drive App which allows you to take notes while watching online seminars/course videos on the web.
I’m looking forward to attending LeWeb London – I opted out of attending last year, choosing to sit back and see what initial reviews were (my impression was that they were mixed) – however, given the recent change in ownership in LeWeb, I’m curious to see how the event culture remains the same, and if they attract the same high-level of attendees as they have in the past.