Category: France

Who’s Still Buying Fossil Fuels From Russia?


This post is by Niccolo Conte from Visual Capitalist


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Countries importing fossil fuels from russia since the start of the war

The Largest Importers of Russian Fossil Fuels Since the War

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Despite looming sanctions and import bans, Russia exported $97.7 billion worth of fossil fuels in the first 100 days since its invasion of Ukraine, at an average of $977 million per day.

So, which fossil fuels are being exported by Russia, and who is importing these fuels?

The above infographic tracks the biggest importers of Russia’s fossil fuel exports during the first 100 days of the war based on data from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).

In Demand: Russia’s Black Gold

The global energy market has seen several cyclical shocks over the last few years.

The gradual decline in upstream oil and gas investment followed by pandemic-induced production cuts led to a drop in supply, while people consumed more energy as economies reopened and winters got colder. Consequently, fossil fuel demand was rising even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which exacerbated the market shock.

Russia is the third-largest producer and second-largest exporter of crude oil. In the 100 days since the invasion, oil was by far Russia’s most valuable fossil fuel export, accounting for $48 billion or roughly half of the total export revenue.

Fossil fuelRevenue from exports (Feb 24 - June 4)% (Read more...)

Mapping Shipping Lanes: Maritime Traffic Around the World


This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist


this map visualizes maritime traffic around the world and highlights the world's shipping lanes.

Click to view a larger version of the map.

Mapping Shipping Lanes: Maritime Traffic Around the World

Each year, thousands of ships travel across the globe, transporting everything from passengers to consumer goods like wheat and oil.

But just how busy are global maritime routes, and where are the world’s major shipping lanes? This map by Adam Syminton paints a macro picture of the world’s maritime traffic by highlighting marine traffic density around the world.

It uses data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in partnership with The World Bank, as part of IMF’s World Seaborne Trade Monitoring System.

Data spans from Jan 2015 to Feb 2021 and includes five different types of ships: commercial ships, fishing ships, oil & gas, passenger ships, and leisure vessels.

An Overview of Key Maritime Shipping Lanes

If you take a look at the map, you’ll spot some distinct areas where traffic is heavily concentrated.

These high-density areas are the world’s main shipping lanes. Syminton provided some zoomed-in visuals of these waterways in detail, so let’s dive in:

Panama Canal

Map of marine traffic density along the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is a man-made waterway that connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. For ships traveling from the east to west coast of the U.S., this route avoids the far more treacherous Cape Horn at the tip of South America or the Bering Strait in the Arctic, and shaves off roughly 8,000 nautical miles—or 21 days off their journey.

In 2021, approximately 516.7 million tons of goods passed through the major (Read more...)

10 Travel Destinations for Post-Pandemic Life


This post is by Marcus Lu from Visual Capitalist


top travel destinations 2022

10 Travel Destinations for Post-Pandemic Life

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization formally classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. The resulting travel bans decimated the tourism industry, and international air travel initially fell by as much as 98%.

Almost two years later, travel is finally back on the table, though there are many restrictions to consider. Regardless, a survey conducted in September 2021 found that, as things revert to normalcy, 82% of Americans are looking forward to international travel more than anything else.

To give inspiration for your next vacation (whenever that may be), this infographic lists the 10 most visited countries in 2019, as well as three of their top attractions according to Google Maps.

Bon Voyage

Here were the 10 most popular travel destinations in 2019, measured by their number of international arrivals.

CountryNumber of international arrivals in 2019 (millions)
?? France*90.0
?? Spain83.5
?? U.S.79.3
?? China65.7
?? Italy64.5
?? Turkey51.2
?? Mexico45.0
?? Thailand39.8
?? Germany39.6
?? United Kingdom39.4

*Estimate | Source: World Bank

France was the most popular travel destination by a significant margin, and it’s easy to see why. The country is home to many of the world’s most renowned sights, including the Arc de Triomphe and Louvre Museum.

The Arc de Triomphe was built in the early 1800s, and honors those who died in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. In 1944, Allied soldiers marched through the monument after Paris was liberated from the Nazis.

The Louvre (Read more...)

Which Countries Have the Most Nuclear Weapons?


This post is by Omri Wallach from Visual Capitalist


Visualizing Countries with the Most Nuclear Weapons

Which Countries Have the Most Nuclear Weapons?

In theory, nuclear weapon stockpiles are closely held national secrets. The leading countries have rough estimates that aren’t regularly updated, newly nuclear countries keep their capabilities vague and unclear, and Israel has never officially confirmed a nuclear weapons program.

But thanks to limited disclosures, records, and leaks, we can visualize the full extent of the world’s nuclear arsenal. This graphic uses estimated nuclear warhead inventories from the Federation of American Scientists as of August 2021.

Based on these estimates, there are just nine countries with nuclear weapons in the world.

Nuclear Weapons, by Country

The nuclear arms race has always centered around the U.S. and Russia.

After the end of World War II and well into the Cold War, the world’s two superpowers raced to build more nuclear weapons (and more capable nuclear weapons) than the other.

Even while international organizations lobbied for the end of nuclear proliferation, the world’s nuclear weapon stockpile grew to a peak of 70,300 total warheads in 1986.

As arms agreements and non-proliferation treaties started to gain greater momentum, the U.S. and Russia cut back on stockpiles while new countries with nuclear weapons started to pop up.

CountryTotal Warheads (2021)% of Total
?? Russia6,25747.7%
?? U.S.5,55042.3%
?? China3502.67%
?? France2902.21%
?? UK2251.71%
?? Pakistan1651.26%
?? India1601.22%
?? Israel900.69%
?? North Korea450.34%

Despite reducing their stockpiles significantly since the end of the Cold War, Russia and the (Read more...)

Oviva grabs $80M for app-delivered healthy eating programs



UK startup Oviva, which sells a digital support offering, including for Type 2 diabetes treatment, dispensing personalized diet and lifestyle advice via apps to allow more people to be able to access support, has closed $80 million in Series C funding — bringing its total raised to date to $115M.

The raise, which Oviva says will be used to scale up after a “fantastic year” of growth for the health tech business, is co-led by Sofina and Temasek, alongside existing investors AlbionVC, Earlybird, Eight Roads Ventures, F-Prime Capital, MTIP, plus several angels.

Underpinning that growth is the fact wealthy Western nations continue to see rising rates of obesity and other health conditions like Type 2 diabetes (which can be linked to poor diet and lack of exercise). While more attention is generally being paid to the notion of preventative — rather than reactive — healthcare, to manage the rising costs of service delivery.

Lifestyle management to help control weight and linked health conditions (like diabetes) is where Oviva comes in: It’s built a blended support offering that combines personalized care (provided by healthcare professionals) with digital tools for patients that help them do things like track what they’re eating, access support and chart their progress towards individual health goals.

It can point to 23 peer-reviewed publications to back up its approach — saying key results show an average of 6.8% weight loss at 6 months for those living with obesity; while, in its specialist programs, it says 53% of (Read more...)

Search API startup Algolia raises $150 million at $2.25 billion valuation



Algolia has raised a $150 million Series D funding round at a post-money valuation of $2.25 billion. Compared to the Series C round from October 2019, the company’s valuation has more than quadrupled. It means that Algolia is now a unicorn with a valuation above $1 billion.

The company is best known for its search-as-a-service product. It lets you integrate real-time search in your app or website using a developer-friendly API. Using an Algolia-powered search feature feels like using Spotlight on a Mac. Results load with each keystroke and appear in just a few milliseconds.

The company now has over 10,000 customers, including some big names, such as Slack, Stripe, Medium, Zendesk and Lacoste. Right now, the company handles over 1.5 trillion search queries per year — that’s a 1,500,000,000,000 if you want to see all the zeros.

Lone Pine Capital is leading today’s funding round. Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, STEADFAST Capital Ventures, Glynn Capital and Twilio also participated in the round. But that’s not all, some existing investors also put more money on the table, such as Accel, Salesforce Ventures, DAG, Owl Rock and World Innovation Lab.

While the company doesn’t share revenue numbers directly, Algolia says that its annual recurring revenue has increased by 180% year over year.

“The future is API-first – a reality underscored by the growth seen by Twilio, Stripe, Algolia and others in the API economy. A huge part of our success has, and will continue to be, our relentless focus (Read more...)

Spendesk raises $118 million for its corporate spend management service



French startup Spendesk has announced earlier today that it has raised a $118 million funding round (€100 million) led by General Atlantic. Overall, the company has raised $189 million (€160 million) since its inception.

Existing investors Index Ventures and Eight Road Ventures participated once again in today’s funding round.

Spendesk, as the name suggests, focuses on all things related to spend management. Originally founded in startup studio eFounders, the startup first offered virtual and physical company cards for employees. While corporate cards are quite popular in the U.S., many small and medium companies in France can’t give a card to every single employee.

That’s why spending your company’s money can be a cumbersome process. You can borrow your boss’s card but they’ll have to trust you with it. You can pay with your own personal card but you want to be reimbursed as quickly as possible.

By combining a SaaS platform with corporate cards, it opens up a ton of possibilities. For instance, you can create an approval workflow for expensive purchases. You can set different budgets for different teams.

Over time, Spendesk has expanded beyond cards to manage expenses and invoice processing. It tries to automate some repetitive accounting tasks as well. Employees are automatically reminded that they have to attach a receipt for each transaction. You can export everything to Xero, Datev, Sage, Cegid or Netsuite.

If that pitch sounds familiar, it’s because there are a handful of European startups that are all doing well in this (Read more...)

PowerZ raises $8.3 million for its video game focused on education



French startup PowerZ has raised another $8.3 million (€7 million at today’s exchange rate) including $1.2 million (€1 million) in debt — the rest is a traditional equity round. The company is both an edtech startup and a video game studio with an ambitious goal — it wants to build a game that is as engaging as Minecraft or Fortnite, but with a focus on education.

In February, PowerZ launched the first version of its game on computers. It doesn’t have a lot of content, but the company wanted to start iterating as quickly as possible. Aimed at kids who are 6 years old and over, PowerZ teleports the player into a fantasy world with cute dragons and magic spells.

“The idea is really to build a sort of Harry Potter,” co-founder and CEO Emmanuel Freund told me. “You have this world that is super nice and very interesting. Like with Hogwarts, you want to come back regularly. And the story will progress over a very long time.”

15,000 children tried out the first chapter. On average, they spent 4 hours in the game. I asked whether Freund was satisfied with those metrics. He told me he thought his company’s vision was “completely validated.”

Bpifrance Digital Venture, RAISE Ventures and Bayard are investing in today’s round. Existing investors Educapital, Hachette Livres, Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet and Michaël Benabou are also investing once again.

Image Credits: PowerZ

Now, it’s time to add content, expand to other platforms and launch new languages. When it (Read more...)

Younited Credit raises $170 million for its data-driven credit offering



French startup Younited Credit has raised a $170 million funding round. Goldman Sachs is leading the round with existing investors Eurazeo, Bpifrance and AG2R La Mondiale also participating. The company offers several credit products to European consumers. It also has a diversified distribution strategy.

Consumer credit in Europe is completely different from consumer credit in the U.S. Many countries don’t rely on a central credit score system to assess your credit worthiness. Similarly, most people don’t have a credit card. Financial institutions that want to offer credit lines have to evaluate the potential risk behind a credit application. It can be a complicated and tedious process.

Younited Credit differentiates itself from legacy players with a data-driven, AI-based approach. Instead of sending a ton of documents to your banker, Younited Credit tries to automate request processes as much as possible.

The company takes advantage of DSP2 regulation and open banking APIs to ingest data. As the startup has facilitated a huge volume of credit offering, it can also leverage past data for machine learning risk models.

So far, Younited Credit has granted more than €2.4 billion in credit ($2.8 billion at today’s exchange rate). It operates in five European countries. France is still the company’s leading market as Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany represent 40% of Younited Credit’s revenue.

More recently, the company started embedding its product into third-party products. For instance, banks and fintech companies offer credit products in their apps thanks to partnerships with Younited Credit. Examples include N26, (Read more...)

ManoMano raises $355 million for its home improvement e-commerce platform



French startup ManoMano has raised a Series F funding round of $355 million led by Dragoneer Investment Group. The company operates an e-commerce platform focused on DIY, home improvement and gardening products. It is currently available in six European countries. Following today’s funding round, the company has reached a valuation of $2.6 billion.

In addition to Dragoneer Investment Group, Temasek, General Atlantic, Eurazeo, Bpifrance’s Large Venture fund, Aglaé Ventures, Kismet Holdings and Armat Group are also participating.

“We operate in Europe and we are the industry leader in online sales,” co-founder and co-CEO Philippe de Chanville told me. In France in particular, the company has been profitable for a couple of years already. In 2020 alone, the company’s gross merchandise volume doubled to €1.2 billion ($1.42 billion at today’s rate).

So why did the company raise given that it’s already in a strong position to replicate the same model in other European markets? Because they could and because they didn’t need to. With a high valuation, ManoMano could raise quite a bit of money without having to sell a significant chunk of its equity.

In addition to France, the startup operates in Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany and the U.K. With today’s funding round, the company wants to develop its activities in the U.K. and Germany in particular — they are Europe’s two biggest markets for home improvement and gardening.

ManoMano sells products to hobbyists and also targets the B2B market with ManoManoPro. It’s already working well in France with (Read more...)