and Bouygues Telecom, a doubly profitable sponsorship


By creating investment funds to support innovative projects, large groups can form fruitful partnerships. This is the case of Bouygues Telecom which supports the startup , for the greater benefit of both parties.

€ 2.3 million turnover in 2012, valuation exceeding € 10 million, 100% growth per year, 11 million unique visits per month, 70 employees, subsidiaries in Italy and Spain , a site that makes money less than four years after its creation.

These giddy figures sum up the success of , the first French online media group aimed at young people between 12 and 30 years old. At the heart of this success story, SHAPE, an in-house algorithm, continuously identifies “hot” topics that interest readers. “We have designed this sort of” keyword and trend market “to assess the audience of a keyword on the Internet, its potential” virality “, the comments it can generate, specifies Alexandre Malsch, director. general and co-founder of in 2008.

Then, our team of 24 editors produce real-time content based on the results provided and distribute it to readers. ” From the start, was supported by Bouygues Telecom Initiatives (BTI), Bouygues Telecom’s investment fund. For six to nine months, in 2009, this incubator helped her formalize her business plan, and provided her with the internal expertise she needed in marketing, human resources, knowledge of distribution networks, legal monitoring, etc.

“We must be able to qualify the project, to position it in relation to a market,” explains Pierre Marfaing, president of BTI , which has accompanied the adventure since its beginnings. For this we appoint a sponsor who helps to consolidate the business component of the projects. “ BTI also reserves the possibility of participating in the first round of table with other investment funds. But exchanges between the two partners are not one-sided, and synergies are increasing. Content produced by feeds the Bouygues Telecom network, whose teams are inspired by the startup’s marketing and technological innovations to reach young people. is probably one of the companies that knows best how to speak to young people, an audience that is very difficult to retain, adds Pierre Marfaing. However, telephone operators must know how to address this population, and maintain a long-term digital relationship with them. ” Since its creation, has established relationships with more than a hundred partners, but BTI remains a historical shareholder, and as such, continues to support the startup’s developments. It is not lacking in ambitions: it aims for a turnover of 36 million euros in 2016, including 21 outside France, thanks to the opening of other subsidiaries in Brazil and Germany, and by increasing the number of partnerships with television channels and media groups to develop its editorial, technological and commercial offer.

Dominique Pialot & Pascal de Rauglaudre

Photo: Alexandre Malsch