17 July 2019

Inauguration of the unicorn start-up Symphony in Sophia Antipolis

On July 4th, the unicorn start-up Symphony inaugurated its R&D center at the ecological campus of Pearl Partner in Sophia Antipolis. This R&D center is key in the European and global expansion strategy of the company. The French Secretary of State for the Digital Economy, Cedric O, also attended this special event.

Founded by David Gurlé in 2014, Symphony is a start-up from the Silicon Valley specializing in secure team collaboration and cloud-based messaging. Looking at transferring its R&D center in Europe for competitiveness and commercial targeting reasons, the Californian start-up was supported by Team Côte d’Azur starting from the end of 2017 to find an optimal location site and grow its business.

Sophia Antipolis was chosen after a study based on more than 15 destinations in the world, among which Brazil and Singapore. Currently valued at $1.4 billion and seeking to recruit 100 employees in Sophia Antipolis by the end of 2020 against 34 today, Symphony found the ideal conditions within the first European technopole. Sophia Antipolis established itself as one of the best places to develop the innovative solutions of Symphony. Amongst the main benefits of the location, renowned R&D expertise, many engineering talents, a dynamic and unified innovation environment, leading laboratories, over 2000 start-ups and key companies, as well as the global “SCS” competitiveness cluster (secure communicating solutions). The presence of many companies specializing in the digital industry contribute to placing Sophia Antipolis as the French “Silicon Valley”, a favorable environment to meet technological challenges.

The strong local digital culture played a part in seducing the Californian start-up. With over 60 nationalities, Sophia Antipolis offers an unparalleled diversity of profiles and paths, synonym of opportunities. To protect this digital culture for current and future generations and to help build a secure environment for companies specializing in the digital industry, David Gurlé introduced the new Manifest for Digital Human Rights, which is now a national priority.

To support this idea and illustrate the strong partnership between Symphony and the French Government since 2015, the French Secretary of State for the Digital Economy underlined the country’s potential in terms of digital and aims at placing it as a top destination for foreign investors. The French ecosystem is emerging as a platform that fosters the rise of tomorrow’s technological giants and is now ranked 1st on the European level in the R&D investment category. This leading position is reiterated by the recent E&Y ranking and translates a very strong boost in the activities. The ambition of the Côte d’Azur is to become a digital European leader. “Success is a combination of people and territories, and this is what Sophia Antipolis manages to do”, pointed out the French Secretary of State for the Digital Economy.

The set up of Symphony, which was supported by Team Côte d’Azur, sent a strong message to the rest of the world, especially Fintech players. It also reflects the attractiveness of the region and the mission of Team Côte d’Azur to structure and promote an efficient ecosystem among national and foreign investors. 

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