Respublica.fr : is it the end of the adventure on the French Riviera?
In the big villa of Mougins, which is the symbol of the community spirit, the threat of a grouping of activities in Paris is more likely to happen now, together with dismissals.
After Etexx, in liquidation at the beginning of June, after Aucland which laid off some of its employees, one of the other flagships of the new economy on the French Riviera, Respublica.fr, is entering a very turbulent period. Since the buyout of LibertySurf, -which owns Respublica.fr-, by the Italian Tiscali, they try to save money and to search synergies. This restructuring might not be favourable to the start-up, set up in a big villa of Mougins.Indeed, the threat of a grouping of activities in Paris is more likely to happen now, with LibertySurf, Nomade and Chez.com. The latter start-up, platform of website hosting owned by the group, works in a very close field of the one of Respublica.fr. A “Community” pole was also created with this start-up at the beginning of January 2001 (see press release published for this occasion).Respublica.fr, a platform of virtual communities, launched in July 1998 by Christophe Dupont and bought out in November 1999 by LibertySurf now employs about forty people on the Riviera. Most of employees fear to pay the price of the grouping and then, to lose their job. A first judicial transfer is in progress concerning the elections of staff representatives. LibertySurf, which became since July 1st Tiscali LibertySurf, estimating that these elections didn’t take place in statutory conditions, served employees of Respublica.fr with a writ and asked for the cancellation of applications.Concerning the villa, which is a symbol of the community spirit of the website, it could be abandoned after September. Then, it would be the end of the adventure for Republica on the French Riviera and an additional blow for the “new economy” in the region.