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The 5-Minute Interview: Jean Villedieu, Co-Founder of Linkurious

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The 5-Minute Interview: Jean Villedieu, Co-Founder of Linkurious

Neo4j chats with Neo4j-partner Linkurious co-founder Jean Villedieu. Read on to find out how these two juggernauts work together.

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For this week’s 5-Minute Interview, I chatted with Jean Villedieu, a co-founder of Linkurious. I sat down with Jean at GraphConnect Europe last April.

Here’s what we discussed:


Q: For people who might not be familiar with it, what is Linkurious?

Jean Villedieu: Linkurious is a graph visualization startup. What that means is that we help organizations — like NASA or the French Ministry of Finance — look at the connections in their data, and we're trying to help them find hidden insights.

Linkurious is currently used in cybersecurity, in anti-fraud, in network management, and in medical research. In all of these domains, you have massive graphs, and business analysts are struggling to find insights in these large graphs. We make that happen with an easy-to-use solution that anyone can use.

Q: Can you talk to me about how Linkurious was used in the Panama Papers investigation?

Jean: The Panama Papers investigation is a brilliant example of what can be accomplished using tools like Neo4j and Linkurious. A group of about 370 journalists used Linkurious to investigate and search the Panama Papers data, which included 11.5 million documents. 

In this biggest data leak in history, they uncovered the names of various criminals, high-level politicians, and stars who were involved in money laundering and sometimes tax evasion, and they were able to find these suspicious connections via a visual and interactive interface.

Q: When you first co-founded Linkurious, what made you choose Neo4j? What factors were behind that decision?

Jean: It was a very natural choice. When we started the company, our vision was to help organizations tackle the issues linked to large graphs. We are not talking about millions — not even hundreds of millions — but billions of nodes and relationships. 

At the time, it was clear for us that the leader in that space was Neo4j with its leading graph database product. We also knew that there were great people involved in the company, and we wanted to work with the technology and with the people behind it.

Q: What have been some of the most surprising or interesting things you’ve seen from Linkurious projects, whether from customers or your own projects?

Jean: I think something which always surprises me is the range of use cases, the range of topics where you can apply graph visualization, and where Linkurious can help find those insights. I think I mentioned anti-fraud and cybersecurity, and these are use cases which are clearly associated with Neo4j. 

But we also have customers wanting knowledge management, those who are managing media properties, and those who are doing medical research. In all these domains, there's a common need to understand massive graphs, and it's very exciting to be involved in these projects. Today’s most complex data challenges are really graph challenges, and it's great to be able to offer some tools and techniques that help analysts find insights and solve these problems.

Q: Anything else you want to add or say? Any closing thoughts?

Jean: Linkurious is a partner of Neo4j, and we are very excited by this relationship. If you have a Neo4j graph database, we can help you turn that data into something that your business analysts can use to make smart decisions. We'd love to hear from any Neo4j customers who need help.

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