Case study

How Dealroom helps Facebook to identify the most promising startups in France.

“We’re seeing more and more talent launching their own companies in France. Startups are being created every day and it’s my job to stay on top of all this activity. The only way for me to do that is to use Dealroom. The data I have on Dealroom is just incredible!”

Salomon Aiach

Head of Startup and VC Business Development, Facebook France

Home of FAIR, a leading Artificial Intelligence R&D hub for Facebook

Facebook’s Paris office manages accounts for clients such as LVMH, Carrefour and Societe Generale.

  • Challenges

    • Sourcing partner companies early enough in their growth journey
    • Parsing data sets on 500+ companies very quickly
    • Identifying the next ‘boom’ companies in France’s dynamic ecosystem
  • Solutions

    • Use Dealroom’s data to rapidly identify the trending startups in key verticals that Facebook wishes to manage
    • Identify the companies that need acquisitions support where Facebook can add tremendous value
    • Use Dealroom’s reports and research papers to start conversations with entrepreneurs from a strong foundation of knowledge
  • Results

    • Find new startups to partner with, at a much earlier stage in the funding round
    • Use Dealroom’s focused intelligence on trends to guide leadership towards France’s trendiest verticals
    • Position Facebook as a growth partner, helping clients strategically and systematically grow their acquisitions

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Challenges

Finding trending new companies in France's startup ecosystem

Facebook has dozens of millions of businesses online, that are managed by Facebook and its partner agencies. For Salomon Aiach, the Head of Startup and VC Business Development for Facebook France, the challenge is finding the right companies to partner with and support along their growth journey.

“Most startups, and especially direct-to-consumer startups that sell an actual product, have a Head of Growth whose job it is to give visibility to the brand,” explains Salomon. “That person needs a team within Facebook to help with acquisition – figuring out the strategy in terms of audience, creating actionable ads so that people can buy the items, looking at the cost of acquisition and so on.”

“All of those big existential questions that companies need to grow are being supported by our account teams here in Paris, and also in Dublin where we handle the more agile accounts.

It’s our job to find these startups and help them grow from zero to a million + customers.”

Yet staying on top of the startup market isn’t easy – VC dollars have been pouring into France and the country approached $5 billion in funding in 2019. “Numbers like this put France on the map,” Salomon says, “but finding the special companies that will explode means I need access to data, and quickly. Out of those hundreds of startups, which ones are the next big ones? Which luxury company will be the next LVMH? Which finance company will be the next Fintech or InsureTech?”

“I have to be able to look through 500 companies very rapidly, whether it’s through funding data, employee growth or who is backing them.”

Solution

Using Dealroom's data to identify growth partners much earlier in the funding round

As the head of startup and VC business development, Salomon’s job was created only recently. He was brought in when Facebook realised that it was starting to help companies much later in the funding round.

“We were waiting for companies to raise $100 million in funding or spend a certain amount of money on our platform before we were reaching out to them to help with their acquisition,” Salomon says. “At that point, you become just another media partner, trying to get your share of the media spend. Ultimately, we want to become a growth partner, which is a very different conversation.”

“As a growth partner, the conversation is, “We have $1 million from VC in the bank, we need to make acquisitions before our Series A or Series B, and our cost per acquisition needs to come down by 20 percent.

For Facebook, that’s much more interesting. And it requires us to go way earlier in the funnel and identify companies much sooner in the funding round – ones that are trending but not the popular thing in the market.”

“Out of all the platforms I’ve used, Dealroom is the one where I’m able to do my work rapidly and very efficiently, and where I can provide reports really effectively. The platform makes it much easier to identify the companies that we don’t manage yet that we should be managing out of Paris or Dublin,” Salomon says.

“It’s a bonus that all the papers I’ve read through Dealroom are great conversation topics when you speak with VCs or entrepreneurs. There’s reassurance about the depth of Dealroom’s data. Honestly, I can’t do what I’m doing without Dealroom.”

Results

Identifying the best opportunities to guide leadership strategy

Looking at the bigger picture, another part of Salomon’s job is to stay ahead of the booming startup ecosystem in Europe, spot trends and guide Facebook’s leadership towards the verticals they should be really excited about. “I have to be able to say, so we have a luxury vertical, a finance vertical and a CPG vertical but actually, B2B is really hot in France right now – here’s why. I use Dealroom’s reports to make recommendations on how the country is behaving and where we should be going next to stay ahead of the curve.”

As for the near future, the priorities Facebook has in the coming weeks are very simple: “To be there for companies,” says Salomon. “A lot of them have questions about what’s going to happen and what are the numbers are looking like right now. In times like COVID, Facebook has shown tremendous support to its customers. Facebook France is very much aligned with our global mission of helping those businesses, especially the smaller businesses that are suffering the most.”