Displaying items by tag: Paris

An Estonian taxi startup company has announced its bold ambition to take on global ride-hailing colossus Uber in both London and Paris. Taxify announced that it will initially launch its services in London after it signed up 3,000 private hire taxi drivers following an intensive recruitment process which was needed to meet UK licensing and regulatory requirements.

Its expansion into the UK serves to indicate that Taxify is confident it can replicate the success it has enjoyed in other markets. The Estonian company have already benefited from the uncertainty and scandal that has plagued Uber in the last six months - by stealing a march on them in Eastern Europe and Africa.

London is a saturated market when it comes to taxi services. The English capital is home to the world-famous black cabs and private hire firm Addison Lee, who compete with other ride-hailing apps such as GETT and HAILO, which is now incorporated in Daimler’s MyTaxi.

Uber has a large slice of the market share in London, it boasts over 40,000 drivers and has 3 million London users, with the Silicon Valley based company claiming that users make over 1 million trips a week.

Taxify operates in 25 countries which is in stark contrast to that of Uber, who rollout its services in 600 cities across the world. However, its USP is that it allows passengers to pay marked-down fares which in turn lets drivers retain a bigger share of the profits, whilst it’s run on a much lower cost business model that Uber.

Taxify is directly targeting Uber’s customer base by offering a 15% commission on rides booked through the online platform. Uber charges between 20-25% in London. In addition to this, Taxify will accept cash as well as electronic payments unlike Uber.

The CEO and founder of the Estonian startup Markus Villig insisted its policy is that it will always be cheaper than Uber. Uber has just appointed a new CEO in order to bring much needed stability to the organization. It has endured a hugely difficult year, it has been embroiled in sexual harassment cases, legal disputes over the legality of the services it provides, and co-founder Travis Kalanick was forced to resign as CEO.

Uber’s new boss is former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and he has vowed to take the company public in the next few years, and said the company had to change in order for it to continue to expand. Taxify has enjoyed incredible success since its inception and will be confident it can penetrate the UK market.

It’s based in the Baltics and it first staked out in major cities all across Eastern and Central Europe, before expanding operations in Africa. Its CEO has declared that he believes they will overtake Uber by the end of this year. The taxi company has been boosted by investment from China’s rife-hailing firm Chuxing DiDi and aim to expand into Paris before the end of 2017.

Published in Apps

French telecom giant Orange hosted the Egyptian Minister of Communications and Information Technology, HE Eng. Yasser ElKady, at its facilities in Paris, France, from July 17-18. Orange hosted the Minister to reinforce its presence in Egypt – a presence of “utmost importance” for Orange’s future development in Africa and the Middle East.

The Minister was welcomed by the Egyptian Ambassador in Paris, Ehab Badawi and by Jean-Marc Harion, CEO of Orange Egypt. He also met with several members of the Group’s Executive Committee including Bruno Mettling (Orange Group Deputy CEO; Chairman and CEO of Orange Middle East & Africa), and Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière (Orange Group Senior Executive Vice-President of Innovation, Marketing and Technologies).

“We are honored to host his Excellency Engineer Yasser Al-Kady at the Orange Group’s headquarters in Paris. The Group’s presence in Egypt is of utmost importance to our future development in Africa and the Middle East, and we have great confidence in the potential for development within the Egyptian economy,” said Mr. Mettling.

“This visit also reflects the Orange Group’s willingness to work with the Egyptian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in order to strengthen cooperation between our two countries in a context that encourages foreign investment.”

The Minister visited Orange’s flagship smart store in central Paris and the Group’s innovation campus, Orange Gardens. The emblematic smart store was opened in November 2016 and showcases the Group's approach to customer experience, which is a key element of its strategy.

He also visited the Group’s new innovation campus in Chatillon, Orange Gardens, which was inaugurated in June 2016 by the former French President François Hollande. The 72,000m² eco-friendly site brings together more than 3,000 employees across all areas of research and innovation.

The campus was conceived to foster new ways of working to increase Orange’s innovation capabilities and better interact with the Group’s other innovation centers across the globe. During the visit, the Minister was able to witness first-hand the latest advances made by Orange as it prepares for the future launch of 5G networks.

The Minister also attended meetings organized with senior managers on topics such as opportunities for telecom operators in the fields of mobile money, energy or m-agriculture.  Exchanges were also held on the Group’s efforts to support start-ups, notably through Orange Digital Ventures, as well on topics related to the B2B market including smart cities and cyber-defense.

As a result of the meetings, Orange is contemplating leveraging the opportunities offered by new technology zones, including in Assyut, to install customer service centers. Also, as part of the Orange Group's interest in supporting emerging, innovative companies, it was agreed to support and fund technology-focused start-ups in Egypt to help them to transform their ideas into reality while creating a sustainable business model.

Published in Government

US technology colossus and global search engine giant Google has avoided paying a whopping €1.1 billion tax bill in France after a Parisian court ruled in its favour. The court’s decision was a welcome reprieve for the Californian based entity, as the ruling comes just weeks after Google was fined by the European Commission (EC).

Google’s legal row in relation to this tax bill has dragged on for six years, but a Parisian administrative tribunal ruled that Google was not liable to pay five years worth of back taxes which was being sought by France’s tax authorities. The tribunal found that Google’s advertising saes business had no taxable presence in the country.

The Wall Street has claimed that the French court’s decision could have implications for the other tax battles that Google are currently embroiled in Europe and other parts of the world. In its summary of its findings, the Parisian court concluded that Google did not illegally evade French tax by routing sales in the country through the Republic of Ireland. Google’s European headquarters is in Ireland - and they ruled that Google could not be taxed if it also has a permanent base in France.

Google reiterated its commitment to France by vowing to support the growth of its digital economy. In a statement issued by the US firm, which employs 700 people in France – they suggested that the decision by the court confirms that it abides by French tax law and international standards. The statement read, “We remain committed to France and the growth of its digital economy.”

However, France’s Minister of Public Action and Accounts, Gerald Darmanin, claimed that the tax authority may yet appeal the decision made by the administrative panel. In the meantime, the court’s decisions eased recent pressure on Google across Europe. The European Commission fined the organization €2.4 billion a fortnight ago, it said it abused its market dominance as a search engine, and illegally promoted its own shopping comparison website.

In addition to this, reports have circulated that the EU may fine Google over its Android operating system, which last year was accused of stifling innovation and market competition by the EU competition commissioner.

A number of other European countries have also attempted to claim back taxes from Google. In Spain, authorities raided Google’s offices in 2016, while the company also agreed to pay €306 million in Italian back taxes earlier this year.

Published in Finance

Samsung Electronics unveiled new details surrounding its premium line-up of QLED TVs and The Frame at a global TV launch event in Paris, further demonstrating Samsung's leadership in defining the future of home entertainment with advanced cutting-edge technology.

"At Samsung, we strive to provide our customers with the most advanced technology to deliver unrivaled viewing experiences and cutting-edge designs that complement their everyday lives," said HS Kim, President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. "With state-of-the-art style, smart features, and picture quality, our 2017 lineup is truly ushering in a new era for television."

Samsung selected Paris, "the City of Lights," to unveil the "TV of Light," a name given to the QLED TV for its delivery of optimal brightness levels and stunning visual experience. The venue choice for the event at the Carrousel du Louvre also highlighted Samsung's focus on the Lifestyle TV concept, represented by two works of arts, the Samsung QLED TV and The Frame.

The latest QLED TVs were designed with the consumer in mind and focus on addressing three key consumer paint points through the solutions known as Q Picture, Q Smart and Q Style. Samsung once again worked with Yves Behar, a renowned Swiss designer, to create the innovative TV, The Frame and offer consumers an elegant masterpiece that seamlessly blends into the interior of any home.

The newly-announced QLED TV takes quantum dot technology to the next level with advancements in light efficiency, stability and a wider color spectrum. With new metal quantum dots, the QLED TV addresses all the major aspects of picture quality, including viewing angle, color volume, brightness and bold contrast. The QLED TV can express accurate color and achieves a 100 percent color volume – the highest on the market today, earning accreditation by Verband Deutscher Elektrotechniker (VDE), one of Europe's largest technical-scientific associations.

In addition, the QLED TV's rich, deep black levels and bold contrast provide a consistent viewing experience regardless of a room's lighting. The QLED TV's advanced HDR 1500 functionality allows users to see every hidden detail as it was meant to be seen, with no loss or distortion of color.

Elevating the home entertainment experience

Samsung's Smart Hub has been expanded to offer an even more intuitive and unified experience, directly via the QLED TV. The enhanced Samsung One Remote Control now supports more devices and offers voice control capabilities across more Smart TV features. Paired with the latest Smart View App – available on Android or iOS mobile devices – users will enjoy their personalized Smart Hub.

Additionally, the TV Plus service offers the easiest and fastest way to find, purchase and watch the latest 4K films and entertainment. The new Music service also allows for easy searching and identification of songs heard in the background of TV shows and films.

This year, Samsung introduced new design elements that can fit into any home – regardless of the interior aesthetics or setup. The all-new Invisible Connection cable helps manage unsightly cords and clutter with a refined, single cord system. Consumers can now design their space with a single optical cable that brings all devices together, reclaiming the living room space once occupied by set-top boxes and external devices.

Samsung has also introduced the No Gap Wall-mount which brings the TV flush against the wall, closer than ever before, with a 15-minute installation process. For those who do not wish to mount their TV onto the wall, there is also a range of stylish Samsung TV stands. Designed like an easel, the Studio Stand is an ideal accompaniment for any artist-inspired living space, and with the Gravity Stand, the TV can be rotated easily and allows for optimal viewing at any angle.

A new way to look at TV

Continuing its focus on premium design, Samsung announced more details surrounding its newest innovation – The Frame. Teased at CES 2017, The Frame was curated with an artful approach meant to elevate any room or viewing environment.

Based on the new innovative technology, The Frame looks like a picture frame hanging on a wall when 'Art Mode' is on. Instead of fading to black like a conventional TV, the Lifestyle TV's display transforms into a work of art, letting the users select custom-designed digital art pieces from The Frame.

With more than 100 art pieces in multiple categories – including landscape, architecture, wildlife, action, drawing and more – to choose from, it is sure to please every design preference. Paired with the numerous options for art layouts and colors, as well as customizable accessory options including interchangeable bezels and an optional Studio Stand, it truly complements the user's living space.

Furthermore, The Frame is outfitted with Samsung's new Invisible Connection and No Gap Wall-mount, allowing users to hang it anywhere because it can blend seamlessly into any living space without unsightly cables or wires.

Published in Gadget

Ireland-France Subsea Cable Limited (“IFSC”) announced a partnership with Tiger Infrastructure Partners (“Tiger Infrastructure”) to finance and construct IFC-1, a submarine fiber-optic cable system that will be the first and only direct subsea cable between Ireland and France.  The transaction is expected to close following customary regulatory approval and other conditions precedent.  Further financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The IFC-1 system will be a state-of-the-art subsea cable and provide ultra-high capacity transmission to telecommunication carriers, Internet companies and large enterprises in Ireland looking for connectivity to continental Europe. 

“The massive growth of Ireland’s data center industry and the requirement for resilient telecommunications infrastructure has created the need for a new, direct route to continental Europe,” said Michael Cunningham, Chairman of IFSC.  “We are delighted that Tiger Infrastructure shares our vision and look forward to having them as our partner.”

IFSC was founded in Cork, Ireland in early 2015 as a single purpose entity to develop a submarine fiber-optic cable system between Ireland and France.  IFSC was created by veteran telecom entrepreneurs Michael Cunningham and Douglas Cunningham.  The team has decades of experience in the telecom and finance industries and has previously developed other submarine cable systems, such as Arctic Fibre and Antilles Crossing, and other large-scale telecommunications infrastructure projects.

“We are pleased to be working with IFSC and its experienced leadership team to develop and build this strategic cable between Ireland and France,” said Emil Henry, CEO and Managing Partner of Tiger Infrastructure Partners.

The subsea cable has been designed to extend terrestrially into Dublin, Ireland and Paris, France providing PoP-to-PoP connectivity and enabling long digital line segments. The system is scheduled to be ready for service in late 2018.

Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. acted as the exclusive financial advisor to IFSC in connection with this transaction. Tiger Infrastructure is an independent middle-market private equity firm that invests in growing infrastructure platforms. Tiger Infrastructure targets investments in the communications, energy, transportation, and related sectors in North America and Europe.  Tiger Management L.L.C. and members of the Ziff family are significant investors in Tiger Infrastructure.

Published in Infrastructure

The French capital of Paris is one of the most famous cities in the world - famed for its wonderful culture, fantastic cuisine and historical landmarks. However, French authorities are now set to give the go ahead to futuristic egg shaped ‘river taxis’ which would dramatically reshape the landscape of this beautiful city.

Paris is set to become the first city in the world to introduce high-tech environmentally-friendly ‘flying’ river taxis into its public transportation system. The clever innovation is the brainchild of French yachtsman Alain Thebault and Swedish windsurfer Anders Bringdal – and it has caught the imagination of the Parisian public as they take one of their first steps towards transforming Paris into a high-tech smart city.

The river taxis will be trialed next spring at the request of the environmentally conscious city hall. The futuristic egg shaped taxis are constructed from a combination of fiberglass and high-density foam; the vessel will be powered through solar energy and can carry five people at a time. The inventors have claimed that the rivers taxis can accumulate speeds of up to 30kmh due to fixed hulls which reduce drag and enable the shuttle to float.

However, the charismatic Frenchman indicated that if he had received more help from the relevant authorities in London then he would’ve launched the innovation in the English capital.

He revealed that a number of private firms and city authorities reached out to him to find out more about his project – but he received nothing from London officials and he was subsequently forced to revise his initial plans for his high-tech cabs.

Mr Thebault said,” If London had helped us out I think we would have started out there. There was interest from private firms, but we heard nothing from London officials. Next spring we will hold a public demonstration on the Seine in front of the National Assembly (parliament) in Paris with five Sea Bubble.”

There has also been interest expressed from authorities in New York City who want to secure the high-tech cabs for the River Hudson, while Californian officials have also expressed their interest in the invention. However, the French inventor has insisted that he will not take any orders until the prototype has been completed.

“There has been interest, but we are taking no orders at the moment. We first have to finish the prototype,” Mr Thebault said, adding that he hopes that the Sea Bubble may eventually become driverless. “Once we have gone beyond the prototype and have fully developed the Sea Bubble, we might, after Paris, begin with London or Geneva.”

Published in Government