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Another startup taking off: Aircall (HX14) raises funds, we raise our hats to a beautiful entrepreneur’s…

Thibaud Elziere
Thibaud is the founder of Hexa. An entrepreneur at heart, Thibaud has co-founded over 30 companies through Hexa, many of which have become huge successes. He knows what makes a good idea and how to kickstart it. Previous to Hexa, Thibaud exited his first company Fotolia to Adobe.

I’m very proud to share with you that after 11 months in beta version, Aircall finally did it. The SaaS phone system that makes phone calls…

I’m very proud to share with you that after 11 months in beta version, Aircall finally did it. The SaaS phone system that makes phone calls as easy to handle as emails is launching. Its seed round has been made public in several medias including Techcrunch and its launch is displayed on Product Hunt today.

Aircall’s path is not the typical “startup success story” that you might read about on TechCrunch. It didn’t raise millions on a hunch and got hundreds of thousands of users right from the start. Yet, if you’re an entrepreneur yourself, you know that those success stories reflect just to opposite of your daily, hard-working life.

Aircall is a typical startup: it started from a painpoint, iterated to build a stable product, and struggled to attract users, using only sweat and tears.

I am particularly proud of this project who had to face immense tech challenges and managed to survive despite a highly competitive environment, always putting its customers first. Today is a day of celebration and I want to take this opportunity to salute the hard work of the team, and raise my hat to Olivier Pailhès, Aircall’s CEO.

I want to reflect upon Aircall’s story as a lesson for humility.

Aircall was built inside eFounders’ startup studio. By nature, it means it got much more means and resources than any other startups. We bring a team of expert, an infrastructure of tools, and some money on the table right from the start. Does this mean that it’s become “easy” to build a startup? Absolutely not.

As a startup, Aircall has been brought up by its team of hard workers, a continuous effort to keep a customer-centric focus and an unconditional support from eFounders’ team.

We started Aircall because of our own experience. When building Fotolia, we had to open virtual offices all across the globe and struggled to buy Skype numbers and handle phone calls in a smart and scalable way. We wanted to build an app that enables any businesses to buy international phone numbers and manage its phone lines easily.

Aircall made the choice of top-notch technologies and had to face the challenges that came with. Web RTC and VoIP are hard-to-master technologies. Obtaining a good quality of calls has been Aircall’s #1 concern — while developing all of its other cool features. Quality of calls was rated 3.0/5 by Aircall’s users in December 2014 and grew up to 4.7 / 5 in April 2015.

During the same period, the team built a fully functional app with collaboration features, CRM integration and an ultra-user friendly UX.

Tech challenges might have hindered traction, but the team did not give up. It is one thing to praise Silicon Valley’s gurus and their mantra, it is another to run a business on a daily basis. Marc Andreessen describes a situation of “product market fit” as follows: “The customers are buying the product just as fast as you can make it”. Well, that situation happens pretty rarely — and it is still not happening for Aircall.

The market we address is huge (around $40 B) and we are pioneers. Being pioneers can simply not be easy, it requires people to change their habits (shifting a phone system to the cloud, embracing phone support as a scalable channel) and getting the word spread.

While we were building Aircall, similar products launched: these were a sign that we were on the right path.

The Aircall team has gained an immense amount of experience during this beta version. Their free trial got hacked. Strong competitors arose. They lost great clients. Some of their teammates left. But they stayed strong, and the adventure is just starting!

Aircall is now a stable product and a perfect fit for any business that wants to get an international phone customer support in 3 minutes. Its seed round will be used to finish up their mobile app and start marketing effort to grow internationally.

Finally, I’d like to thank the great investors that believed in Aircall to skyrocket, we all share the same vision to change how businesses speak with their customers.

Try Aircall now on Aircall.io

More info on their launch is the press release