Emmanuel Schalit has lived in New York, Boston, San Francisco and Paris. A software engineer by training, he left the world of development more than a decade ago to help run M&A for Vivendi Universal, spearheaded the online gaming division for Activision and held various roles at traditional media companies looking to get hip with the web. But the startup bug kept biting him, and eventually Mr. Schalit decided to try his hand at creating a product again.
His new venture, Dashlane, hopes to revolutionize the process of signing up, logging in and checking out on the web. “You would never walk into a brick and mortar store, find and item to buy, then spend fifteen minutes detailing your personal information just so you could make a purchase,” Mr. Schalit told Betabeat over Skype from Paris. “We’re looking to eliminate that friction online as well.”
Mr. Schalit would not reveal how Dashlane plans to fix the problem of online identity, and its a puzzle that big names like Facebook and Google are working hard to solve themselves. But when it comes to issues of geography, the man clearly has the right idea.
Dashlane just announced a $5 million round from FirstMark Capital and Rho Ventures, but its not just raising money in New York, the company is also moving its headquarters to Silicon Alley. “I’ve spent time in all the American tech hubs, and New York is clearly catching up with Silicon Valley very fast,” said Mr. Schalit. “In fact I think, if you’re looking to build a consumer internet company, New York is the better bet. You have access to all the same resources, but you’re not competing with giants like Facebook and Twitter for engineering talent.”