From Brest to Silicon Valley
Fabien Lamaison, CEO of BunnyMoney
BREIZH AMERIKA PROFILES | Fabien Lamaison
Fabien is a San Francisco based startup CEO and founder. We sat down with him to learn about his Breton links and expat story.
What are your links with Brittany? How did you become an expatriate in the USA?
I studied in Brittany at the Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Brest and fell in love with the region and the Breton culture. The soul of the city of Brest is quite unique. The coast & Iroise sea are incredible, and inland the menhirs & dolmen are everywhere when you look for them. As for the crêpes & galettes I could have them every day! I became a “Breton by adoption'' as we say.
After I graduated, I moved to Paris and then to San Francisco, but I’ve always kept ties with my friends in Brittany. And you know... Brest and San Francisco are not that different! And I’m not just talking about the fog…
As it happens, I met Cyril Goust & Thomas Ramé, my co-founders at bunny.money, through our university alumni network as they were looking for opportunities in the US. Now we’re a transatlantic team with French-Americans in the US, Americans in Europe... and we are also residents at Le Village by CA Finistère incubator! We plan to scale our team in Brittany.
What’s bunny.money? Why did you start it?
With bunny.money, caring citizens can easily save and donate based on their financial wellness while their favorite nonprofits can fundraise for free. We disrupt giving as 100% of the donations go to the organization without any fee whatsoever (vs. 2-7% industry average fee). Nonprofit organizations can directly engage with their members (employees, volunteers, and donors) and get their support. bunny.money helps you support the causes & communities you care about.
We initially wanted to disrupt the piggy bank, with a new digital twist and the idea to combine savings with impact because they go hand in hand. If you want a better future, you need to prepare for you and your family, but also “invest” in your community and the planet. People, Planet and Prosperity are inseparable.
We are building the next generation of community banking service.
What’s your vision for the future of communities - social groups & networks?
In the past, we would get together with our family, friends groups, work, social and sports groups in our town. It’s not that different today, but the digital world makes it even easier to connect people with common interests, wherever they are located, and potentially breaking a few social constructs or norms barriers in the way.
Nowadays most of us also belong to different digital “tribes” in addition to our friends, family and local groups. In a way, it is truly multi-dimensional and gives us the opportunity to express our own identity, and build the relationships we want among these different communities. Breizh Amerika is a great example of a tribe connecting people digitally and in real life (IRL) in the US & Brittany through a collective, business & cultural expression.
If COVID-19 has one silver lining, it’s reminding us how much we truly rely on each other, from our family, friends, colleagues to the first responders, local communities & small businesses around the corner.
We have come to realize that the way out of the current health crisis is only possible if we help and respect one another. Solidarity makes us all superhumans, or simply more human again. And entraide (mutual aid) is at the core of any community. Similarly movements such as #MeToo or Black Lives Matter show how much stronger together we can be, and we need to do the same to save the planet.
For all these reasons, I believe communities will be our new social & economic fabric to prosper as a society.
A cornerstone of collective interactions. A stepping stone for people’s empowerment & fulfillment. Work will be more about sharing with our peers, giving & learning. You can imagine working a few days a week at a company, and also volunteering in a couple of local organizations. It could be a form of timebanking as well — time is the currency, you help with your skills and receive from others. And it can supplement Universal Basic Income too.
Communities have the potential to shape societies in new ways and play a key role in making good use of technologies (AI, blockchain etc.).
Wait, can we use bunny.money to support Breizh Amerika?
I thought you would never ask! ;-)
Hop into https://register.bunny.money and select your favorite Breton community.
You will receive $10 and Breizh Amerika will also get $5 when you use the app ✅
is an organization established to create, facilitate, promote, and sponsor wide-ranging innovative and collaborative cultural and economic projects that strengthen and foster relations and cooperation between the United States of America and the region of Brittany, France.