France Newsletter

Tempow raises $4 million to improve Bluetooth

Posted by | France Newsletter, Gadgets, Startups, Tempow | No Comments

French startup Tempow has raised a $4 million funding round. Balderton Capital led the round, with C4 Ventures also participating. The company has been working on improving the Bluetooth protocol to make it more versatile.

Smartphones, speakers and connected devices all use Bluetooth in one way or another. There are only a handful of Bluetooth chipset manufacturers in the world, such as Qualcomm and Broadcom. While Bluetooth chips have become incredibly efficient as they use much less power than they used to, it’s been stagnant on the software front.

Tempow is a software company that wants to rewrite the Bluetooth stack from scratch. The company started with an audio profile.

Thanks to Tempow’s technology, you can connect a phone to multiple Bluetooth speakers at once. This is just a software improvement — it works with standard Bluetooth chipsets and all Bluetooth audio devices out there.

Lenovo liked this idea and licensed the technology for its Moto X4 handset. More than 5 million devices with Tempow’s Bluetooth stack have been sold.

With today’s funding round, the startup wants to tackle more use cases. For instance, Tempow wants to optimize the pairing process, enhance the security of the protocol and work on battery consumption. “Maybe you could pay using Bluetooth instead of NFC,” co-founder and CEO Vincent Nallatamby told me.

At the same time, the startup is negotiating with multiple manufacturers. You can expect to see Tempow’s technology in more devices in the future.

The company currently has 7 patents pending and just got its first patent last week. Eventually, Tempow thinks it can build a team of Bluetooth experts who push the protocol forward.

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Canal+ gives up on its cable box, switches to Apple TV

Posted by | Apps, canal+, Entertainment, France Newsletter, Gadgets | No Comments

French premium cable television company Canal+ is slowly moving away from building its own set top boxes. As Next INpact spotted, you can now subscribe to Canal+ and get an Apple TV 4K with Canal+’s myCanal app already preloaded.

Canal+ has been around for decades and was the first premium TV channel in France. Over the years, the company started distributing all sorts of premium channels through satellite, cable and partnerships with internet service providers.

While you had to get your own Canal+ set top box to receive Canal+ 15 years ago, the company’s own box has slowly become irrelevant. As all the main French internet service providers give you a set top box, Canal+ has partnered with them to offer multiple add-ons to receive Canal+’s content.

When Canal+ announced its most recent device, Canal+ already said that you’d get a better experience with the myCanal app on the Apple TV.

That’s why Canal+ is betting everything on over-the-top distribution. If you don’t subscribe to Canal+ through your ISP, you can get an Apple TV 4K for €6 per month in addition to your TV package. If your internet connection isn’t fast enough or you’d rather use satellite TV, you can still get a Canal+ set top box.

But the writing is on the wall. Most people will soon watch Canal+ through myCanal on Android TV, tvOS, iOS, Android, a Samsung TV and desktop computers.

In France, Molotov and myCanal have been some of the top performing apps for tvOS and Android TV. This partnership could boost the Apple TV in France.

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Devialet is getting a new CEO

Posted by | Devialet, Europe, France Newsletter, Gadgets, Speaker, Startups, TC | No Comments

 Employees of French startup Devialet just learned this morning that they would get a new CEO. Co-founder and (former) CEO Quentin Sannié is going to focus on the long-term vision, while Franck Lebouchard is joining the company to become CEO.
While the board of the company elected Lebouchard as CEO on Friday, this change has been in the works for months. Lebouchard has worked at McKinsey… Read More

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Shadow launches its cloud computer for gamers in the UK

Posted by | BLADE, cloud gaming, Europe, France Newsletter, Gadgets, Gaming, shadow, Startups, TC | No Comments

 French startup Blade, the company behind Shadow, is launching its cloud gaming service in the U.K. Just like in the U.S., the company is starting with a pre-sale before accepting all customers. For a flat monthly fee, you can rent a gaming PC in a data center near you. You can then access this beefy computer using desktop and mobile apps as well as the company’s own little box. Read More

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Shadow launches its cloud computer for gamers in California

Posted by | BLADE, cloud gaming, Europe, France Newsletter, Gaming, shadow, Startups, TC | No Comments

 French startup Blade, the company behind Shadow, is about to expand its cloud gaming service to the U.S. Customers who live in California can pre-order starting today, and they’ll be able to access the service on February 15th. The rest of the U.S. will be able to subscribe later this summer. Shadow is currently live in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg. For a flat monthly… Read More

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Devialet built a car audio system for Renault’s Symbioz concept car

Posted by | Devialet, Europe, France Newsletter, Gadgets, Renault, Renault Symbioz, Startups, Symbioz, TC | No Comments

 High-end speaker maker Devialet is branching out of home speakers. The company announced a partnership with Renault for its first ever car audio system. You can’t buy a Renault car with Devialet speakers just yet, but there’s a Renault concept car with those speakers. Devialet has always said that it wasn’t just a speaker manufacturer. The French startup has worked on its… Read More

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Snips lets you build your own voice assistant to embed into your devices

Posted by | artificial intelligence, Europe, France Newsletter, Gadgets, Snips, Startups, TC, voice assistant | No Comments

 French startup Snips is now helping you build a custom voice assistant for your device. Snips doesn’t use Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service or Google Assistant SDK — the company is building its own voice assistant so that you can embed it on your devices. And the best part is that it doesn’t send anything to the cloud as it works offline. If you want to understand how a… Read More

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Shadow upgrades its cloud computer for gamers and opens signups to everyone

Posted by | BLADE, cloud gaming, Europe, France Newsletter, Gadgets, Gaming, shadow, Startups, TC | No Comments

 French startup Blade, the company behind Shadow, announced at a press conference that it is launching new offers, updating specifications and the ability to become a client and buy a subscription without any waiting list. Shadow is a gaming PC in the cloud for a monthly fee. The company has been running thousands of computers with an Intel Xeon processor and an Nvidia GTX 1070 in a data… Read More

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Apple quietly acquired computer vision startup Regaind

Posted by | Apple, Europe, France Newsletter, Gadgets, Regaind, Startups, TC | No Comments

 TechCrunch has learned that Apple has acquired a small French startup called Regaind, according to multiple sources. As always, Apple is very quiet when it comes to acquisitions, but it’s always interesting to learn more about Apple’s interests. We’ve reached out to Apple and the company sent us the following statement: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time… Read More

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Shadow raises $57 million for its cloud computing service for gamers

Posted by | BLADE, Europe, France Newsletter, Gaming, shadow, Startups, TC | No Comments

 French startup Shadow, also known as Blade, just raised a Series A round of $57.1 million (€51 million). Shadow thinks your next computer is going to be in a data center. Your existing phones, laptops and Shadow’s own device (pictured above) act as a thin client, a window into your virtual machine running on a beefy server in a data center near you. Shadow had already raised $14.6… Read More

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