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eFounders’startup building thesis

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.

The startup studio’s recipe to create unicorns

Venture firms have their investment thesis, we have our building thesis. At eFounders we are not investing in companies, we are building them. As a startup studio, we’ve chosen to develop our own thesis — a series of rules that are truly part of our company creation process. Here is our “building thesis”, the one we think helps us create unicorns.

What we like

1 — Targeting millions of businesses…

We like the network effect of consumer businesses, and we like the general behavior of business customers. It naturally comes with a business model, it’s more predictable and less risky.

Mention has more than 300 000 users, a big part of them are SMEs, big companies, agencies and a lot of institutions.

2 — …Offering a service rather than purely a software…

We like to create services that are powered by amazing software more than building software as such.

TextMaster is a translation service that relies on a very powerful software, as are Mention — a media monitoring service powered by a very strong web crawler — and Mailjet - an email delivery service with a reliable deliverability technology.

3 — …At a small and recurring cost.

We are not selling big software to large accounts. Instead, our products are offering recurring services that can help increase revenues, reduce cost or improve productivity for a few tens or hundreds dollars a month.

Aircall is based on a subscription model. For $24 a month you can get one or more business phone lines that can be shared across your teammates to manage support call and increase productivity.

We are eager to:

4 — Disrupt outdated industries…

Our ambition is to disrupt entire sectors. There are still lots of opportunities in the enterprise world. Disrupting industries is a great way to create large-scale businesses.

TravelX (project still under cover) is going to be our way to reinvent the corporate travel agency. This sector is fossilised and thus offers a huge opportunity for disruption. TravelX project will definitely change the way agencies are currently working.

5 — …by cutting out the middlemen…

We like marketplaces because disintermediation empowers the multitude, changes the established order, creates market transparency and often improves service quality while reducing cost.

illustrio disintermediates design agencies by providing a customisable illustrations generator. Therefore, it provides a better and cheaper services to startups, SMEs, medias or other kinds of agencies and lets them build their own illustrations and visuals in a few clicks.

6 — …or by using new technologies…

We like leveraging new technologies and getting inspired by the new perspective they offer.

Solved uses a brand new technology that enables communication from browser to browser (Web RTC) which makes it possible to put collaborators in touch with software experts live very easily.

7 — …in order to create scalable…

We’re using our infrastructure to make at least 30% of our client acquisition completely automatic — and we are very also happy to contact or call the other 70%!

Mention’s 300,000 users have been acquired without spending a dollar in paid marketing.

8 — …and global models.

We like to avoid local constraints (HR, Accounting etc) to focus on issues common to any companies worldwide, and not limited to startups.

Front provides a tool to manage customers’ incoming queries as a team. Front can be used by any type of companies worldwide, it is just sufficient that the companies have customers. Every company that has customers needs Front.

TO SUM UP

eFounders’ building thesis

We like targeting millions of businesses, offering a service rather than a software, at a minimum and recurring cost.

We are eager to disrupt outdated industries by cutting out the middlemen or using new technologies in order to create scalable and global business models.