French Startup Scales Up is Groupon for bootstrappers

Every now and then, European entrepreneurs love to complain about how investors. The typical complaint goes something like this: European VCs are risk-averse, there’s no money on this side of the Atlantic and no European equivalent of Sand Hill Road. But every now and then, entrepreneurs love to innovate their way out of this potential problem.

Je veux boostrapper.

You know that oh-so-embarassing Bush quote, that one where he says that the French have no word for “entrepreneur”? Well, had he used the word “bootstrap” he would have been right. Well, kinda. Just because the French don’t have a word for “bootstrapping” doesn’t mean that they can’t use the English word and Frenchify it. And that is exactly what they do with the concept as well.

(Yes, sometimes I need to know how to say things in Hungarian, what?)

From Regioneo to Friendsclear.

In 2010, I wrote about 2 French startups that were innovating their way to funding: Lyon-based Regioneo and Paris-based Friendsclear. Regioneo actually reminds me a bit of Kickstarter. The company essentially crowd funded but sans crowd-funding platform. Friendsclear’s platform sought to bring P2P lending to entrepreneurs.

Scales Up.

Both Regioneo and Friendsclear’s solutions sought to find a way to get the missing cash – which naturally all startups need to survive. However, Scales Up is taking a different approach to solving the same problem.  Essentially a Groupon for business solutions, Scales Up allows startups and companies to purchase a lot of their tech equipment, software, etc. for less by leveraging the infamous daily deal model.

Startups, save a centime.

Anyone want €80 of Google Adwords?

Launched in March, the company is essentially the French equivalent of American GroupPrice or British HuddleBuy. In the same way that Groupon offers deals on sushi, massages, spas and whatnot, Scales Up offers tons of great deals for companies – including discounted office space, translation services, business cards, legal services, Google Adwords and more. Users can subscribe for free or can pay a monthly fee depending on the size of their business to receive better discounts.

Even though they likely save a lot on servers, computers and more, the team says they’ll be looking to raise a round of funding later this year. In the meantime, if any French startups have been able to benefit from Scales Up offers, be sure to let me know in the comments.

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