Category Archives: France

Human rights activist Amira Yahyaoui is battling the US college financial aid system

Tunisian human rights activist Amira Yahyaoui couldn’t go to college. Not because she couldn’t afford it; where she comes from, college is virtually free. She lost the opportunity to pursue higher education, to finish high school, even, when she was exiled from Tunisia at age 17, under the repressive regime of the country’s former President, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. As part of the Tunisian human rights diaspora, she was inspired to build Al Bawsala, a globally renowned NGO that fights for government accountability, transparency and access […]

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Snap is channeling Asia’s messaging giants with its move into gaming

Snap is taking a leaf out of the Asian messaging app playbook as its social messaging service enters a new era. The company unveiled a series of new strategies that are aimed at breathing fresh life into the service that has been ruthlessly cloned by Facebook across Instagram, WhatsApp and even its primary social network. The result? Snap has consistently lost users since going public in 2017. It managed to stop the rot with a flat Q4, but resting on its laurels isn’t going to bring back […]

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How France’s new digital minister plans to regulate tech

What happens when you’re working behind the scene with French President Emmanuel Macron and you suddenly become a minister? This is what’s happening to Cédric O this week who was appointed Minister for the Digital Economy on Sunday. I was the first journalist to interview him after his appointment. While Cédric O has been talking with the French tech ecosystem for years, he usually stays away from cameras and microphones. At the Elysée, he was in charge of France’s stakes in companies and tech in general. I […]

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Startups Weekly: Squad’s screen-shares and Slack’s swastika

We’re three weeks into January. We’ve recovered from our CES hangover and, hopefully, from the CES flu. We’ve started writing the correct year, 2019, not 2018. Venture capitalists have gone full steam ahead with fundraising efforts, several startups have closed multi-hundred million dollar rounds, a virtual influencer raised equity funding and yet, all anyone wants to talk about is Slack’s new logo… As part of its public listing prep, Slack announced some changes to its branding this week, including a vaguely different looking logo. Considering the flack the $7 […]

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Celebrity funds from Jay Z, Will Smith and Robert Downey Jr. are backing a life insurance startup

Ethos, the company that bills itself as making life insurance accessible, affordable and simple, has officially come out of stealth with an $11.5 million investment led by one of the world’s top venture firms, Sequoia Capital, and additional participation from the family offices of Hollywood’s biggest stars and an NBA all-star. Jay Z’s Roc Nation, and the family funds of Kevin Durant, Robert Downey Jr. and Will Smith, all participated in the new round for Ethos, and Sequoia Partner Roelof Botha is taking a seat on the […]

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