Coronavirus: “I am struck by the violence of the shock in the United States”


Posted on Apr. 13, 2020, 6 p.m.

Now that the rain has fallen and we have gotten used to driving in these conditions, it is important to preserve clairvoyance. The start-ups in our portfolio have all implemented their action plans and they may be tempted to release the pressure during execution. We have just suffered a shock which seems behind us. Yet it is crucial to remain vigilant. We will not come out of confinement at once, but gradually, we should not be caught like the frog of a pan of hot water: if we immerse it in boiling water, its reflex will be get out immediately. On the other hand, if the water is cold and then gradually heats up, it will fail to react and die.

During the past week, I was also able to measure even more how resilient entrepreneurs are. As long as they are in action, they manage to preserve their morale, it is a matter of survival. And when they falter, they are called to go up to them. Entrepreneurs in times of crisis are like precision mechanical watches, they have to be wound up so that they can function properly.

Three of our companies left their mark on me this week: PayFit with its very young founders, who did not experience any crisis and who nevertheless deployed a very clear-sighted plan; iBanfirst which knew how to adapt so quickly that in March, it beat its objectives while being profitable; Dice who completely adapted his strategy and execution to anticipate the movement of live streaming in music.

What has struck me also in recent days is the violence of the shock in the United States. The level of “cash burn” is such that the waves of layoffs are unheard of and incommensurate with what we experience in our ecosystem. Everything is possible there, but we understand how much you can get for nothing. For an Uber valued at a time $ 90 billion, you end up with a lot of people who are suffering today. We will have to learn to do without the Americans and I hope that this time we will have the resources to restart before them.

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