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Criteo shows entrepreneurs how it’s done

Criteo shows entrepreneurs how it s done Pascal Emmanuel Gobry The Kernel


Criteo is a story that should not happen. It’s an ad-tech company that started in Paris, competes with industry giants such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, and yet has kept winning at the game and growing every year. When it got started, the company had to pivot several times and ended up executing on a different idea than the one it raised money on.


A few years ago, Criteo raised a big round of money from international VCs, and its management team moved from Paris to Silicon Valley to build up the company’s American and international business. For most outside observers, this was the prelude to the inevitable acquisition by Google or Yahoo.

But then Criteo did something strange. Not only did the management move back to Paris, but it rented an office block, turning it into the kind of luxurious headquarters that Silicon Valley companies have, and announced that it would also be the site of an R&D lab to work on future products and services for the company.

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Well said:

Criteo proves that it’s not just the Zuckerbergs of this world who can build a big, sustainable, independent company. Criteo today is worth around $2 billion, or 2% of what Facebook was worth on its own IPO day. But $2 billion is a lot of money, and please raise your hand if you’ve helped create that much amount of market cap over your lifetime (I certainly haven’t, though I’m still holding on to the dream).

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