Upfluence – First Place Finish in the CIC Contest “Innovating in an Ever-Changing World”


To commemorate its 150th anniversary, CIC Lyonnaise de Banque, a bank in the Crédit Mutuel Group, organized a competition to help start-ups and innovative companies in southeastern France grow and expand abroad. The top prize was a check for €50,000 and the honor of being recognized by a jury of professionals. 

The “Innovating in an Ever-changing World contest called on 25 judges to whittle down a pool of 325 entries to 10 finalists over three selection rounds. The finalists were then invited to present their project to a qualified audience on Thursday, December 17, 2015.

In the end, it was the Lyon-based start-up Upfluence that took the top prize after several months of competition. The distinguished jury, including Patrick Bertrand, CEO of Cegid, and Jean-Christophe Simon, Chief Innovation Officer at Groupe SEB, were won over by Upfluence’s innovation technology, which was presented by Vivien Garnès, one of the company’s co-founders.

Upfluence is a young company with a staff of 25 that was developed at an incubator in San Francisco. It identifies, interacts with (through its proprietary algorithms) and analyzes more than 5 million influencers on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as through a large community of bloggers in every languages and every country.

Founded in 2013 by four young entrepreneurs from Lyon – Kevin Creusy, Vivien Garnès, Yann Metz-Pasquier and Alexis Montagne – this digital content marketing start-up has gained the trust of more than 650 companies in just a few years. A variety of businesses have tapped Upfluence to deploy their specialized native or content marketing campaigns. Clients range from marketing agencies (Havas Media, LSF Interactive, Omnicom) to major corporations (Air France, Nestlé, Danone, Catimini, Microsoft) to pure web players (The Tops, Envie de Fraises).

In addition to its influencer indexing technology, Upfluence now offers its own software to clients:

  • Publishr.io, a native advertising management solution
  • Signr.io, a dynamic tool that generates e-mail signatures

Upfluence is faithful to its Lyon roots, posting 15 of its 25 employees in France’s culinary capital, “because of its energy and its booming ecosystem, which we are helping to build each day”. The company already has staff in San Francisco, Paris and Neuchâtel and plans to expand its international efforts, with an office slated to open in New York in the second quarter of 2016.

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