Why this French startup moved its headquarters to NYC — and hasn't looked back

by Taylor Majewski
July 14, 2017

The allure of headquartering one’s startup in New York City is limitless.

With close access to top talent, a huge investor community and a myriad of industries on the cusp of disruption, it’s no wonder we’ve seen international startups move to New York time and time again.

ContentSquare, an experience optimization platform for online and mobile businesses, is one such company. Last year, the company relocated its headquarters from Paris to New York City on the heels of a $20 million round — and hasn’t looked back.

So, in an ode to French entrepreneurship (Happy Bastille Day!), we decided to check in with founder and CEO Jonathan Cherki to talk ContentSquare’s move to the states, the recent surge of French startups impacting NYC’s tech ecosystem and what trends he sees in the community’s future.

When did ContentSquare decide to move its HQ from France to NY and why?

I founded ContentSquare in 2012, and since 2016 we have grown organically from one to 200 customers and from one to 150 employees. In October 2016 we raised $20M in funding from Highland Capital Partners to continue our global expansion and bring the new generation of digital experience analytics and optimization across the ocean. It was clear that New York was going to be the new home for ContentSquare, as well as for myself and my family. In January we moved from Paris and started this new adventure.

What has been a challenge ContentSquare faced in moving its HQ and how did it overcome it?

Being a new company in NYC has had its challenges, but from them have stemmed great things. We participate in many events and meet new people, and I love learning about who is innovating in what ways and how we can contribute. Building a new team has also been challenging but very exciting and now, six months into it, I can say that we have built a loud and hyperactive family. We have people from all over the world, speaking many different languages, all addicted to the New York rhythm and pace.

What are the major ways French entrepreneurship is impacting the tech ecosystem in NYC?

The French scene in the last couple of years has been booming with talent and ideas, and yet we are, for the most part, old-fashioned in the way we connect with partners. What I mean is that I will always prefer a face to face meeting, and a real handshake, and I believe this style is starting to pop up more and more in New York’s tech ecosystem. In terms of tech, we value lasting quality and set ourselves to the highest standards, and I see that having a positive impact around us.

What have been the pros and cons of moving the company here?

New York is a city of dreamers, and I myself am one of them. Every time I come to our office in Midtown, I look up at the huge buildings and I am reminded that the sky is not the limit — there is no limit. So the pro is that there is endless inspiration that the city provides, that allows you to continue moving forward with passion and professionalism surrounded by the best in all industries. With that pro, who can think of a con?

What major trends will we see in NYC tech over the next five years? The next ten years?

The biggest change I foresee is through artificial intelligence, and how it will slowly make its way into our lives — through tech and otherwise — and transform them to the core. We have been working with AI, analyzing digital experiences and offering specific insights, and the next trend will be not only having AI tell you what to focus on and how to prioritize your work, but to do it for you. And when that happens, and we free ourselves from certain tech dependencies, we will be able to open our minds without constraints to a new era of technology that now only exists in our imaginations.


Image via ContentSquare. 

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