To obtain French papers, there are those who have to save children from a burning house at the risk of their lives, and those who create start-ups. Evan Spiegel is of this last category and was naturalized by Emmanuel Macron in 2018. As the Civil Code specifies, this procedure can intervene for “a French-speaking foreigner who makes the request and who contributes by his distinguished action to the influence of France and the prosperity of international economic relations”. So of course, Evan Spiegel is not really French-speaking, he does not really contribute to the French economy either and moreover does not live on the territory, but this young billionaire under 30 years old had the ideal profile, with eyes of the president, to embody the “start-up nation”. “I have a very strong bond with France, the young man justified himself all the same . My grandmother had French cookbooks. »
Millions of Western teenagers seduced
As often, the story behind Snapchat is not very bright. When Marc Zuckerberg created Facebook to collect student contacts, Evan Spiegel and his engineer friend Bobby Murphy thought up their social network after the Anthony Weiner scandal. This elected American had to resign, ten years ago, following the revelations of numerous photos of his penis that he had sent to several women. This is what gave them the idea of creating a social network on which messages and photos sent by users would disappear after a few seconds. At the first version of the application, called Picaboo, no one believes it. But Spiegel insists, refines the design and tries again a year later, in 2012, with Snapchat. The app ends up attracting millions of Western teenagers, who see in these ephemeral messages a way to let off steam and a fantastic tool for school bullying. Evan Spiegel thus becomes a billionaire at the age of 24.
Alexandre Arnault and Yannick Bolloré among his associates
Snapchat now has a few dozen employees in France. And even more since the acquisition of the start-up Zenly, a specialist in geolocation. Spiegel had a look at Paris, since, from 2016, France became the third market for Snapchat, the year when almost nine out of ten tall French teenagers had the application installed on their phone. Since then, the young billionaire regularly leaves Venice Beach, Los Angeles, for Paris. During a speech at the Trianon on the long Franco-American friendship, he again evokes his grandmother: “His idea of heaven was to stay at the Bristol. It turns out that my wife (Miranda Kerr, model – Editor’s note) has the same idea of paradise. » By force, Evan Spiegel has made some French friends. Xavier Niel, of course. The young man even promoted School 42 when the boss of Free opened a branch in the San Francisco Bay. He also frequents heirs, Alexandre Arnault, son of Bernard, just like Yannick Bolloré, son of Vincent.
[va : 759324 : Lire également]
The application is still used by nearly 500 million people worldwide, but Evan Spiegel’s fortune has just taken a hit. Its financial assets have suffered from the Nasdaq crisis: Snapchat shares have been divided by four, and it is suffering from competition from TikTok among young people. He went from the 12 e at the 46 e place in the ranking Challenges.