Prior to the election of French President François Hollande on May 6th, successful French serial entrepreneur and investor, Marc Simoncini, threatened to leave France. Citing various issues primarily with France’s wealth tax (not to be confused with the 75% tax), the founder of Meetic said France could become the last place any entrepreneur would want to be. And guess what – the US press went wild.
“France Entrepreneurs Flee.”
I love some of the sensational headlines the journalists pick. “France entrepreneurs flee from Hollande wealth rejection” says BusinessWeek. Really? I don’t know a single French entrepreneur who has made plans to leave yet. Other publications like Business Insider chimed in with “3 reasons why you should expect France’s wealthy elite to move to London.” Even though the article states that certain real estate agents are seeing an increase in French inquiries about London properties, it also happens to coincide with the Euro’s instability. Not just François Hollande coming into office.
Simoncini’s startup raises €17 million.
What’s hilarious is that right around the time that the international press was going a bit crazy about Marc Simoncini’s statements about leaving France, he happened to announce that he had secured €17 million ($21 million) in funding for his new venture, Sensee. Not only is this the startup of one of the most prominent entrepreneurs in France but the round led by French VC funds Partech International, IDInvest Parters and Orkos Capital happens to also be much larger than most early stage deals (Sensee was launched in private beta in October 2011). But to my knowledge, not a single US or international tech blog published the news. Not TechCrunch, not VentureBeat – no one. Could it be that the international press just prefers ignoring the good news that comes out of France?