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Startup interview: Souscritoo

At Urban Linker, we are passionate about startups, so we're always happy to share some beautiful projects with our readers! Have a look at this interview of Philippe from Souscritoo.

28.04.2015

Can you tell us about your formation?

I’m 26, I graduated from Polytechnique and HEC. I worked for Goldman Sachs in mergers and acquisitions, than I did some strategic counseling at McKinsey. I quit two months ago to focus solely on Souscritoo. I co-founded this startup with my associate Benoit, who graduated from Supélec and ESCP before working as a strategy counsel at Advancy. 

Can you pitch Souscritoo in a few words?

Souscritoo takes care of your administrative procedures when moving houses: electricity, gaz, insurance, internet… All of these take time and energy. Souscritoo is a free service that allows you to leave that all to us!
At Souscritoo, with one 20-min phone call we take care of everything, for free: we ask the user what offers they want, and we take their information (address, name, RIB). There’s no paper to send / receive, it’s all dematerialized. Once we hang up, you don’t have anything to do: we take care of resigning your old contracts, and to create the new ones. We do all that until there’s power in the house and the internet is working. 

How did you come up with the idea?

I had the idea last year. I wanted to create a company but didn’t know which sector to go for. I thought about it and went back into my past as a student, when I had to find a apartment and take care of all the administrative procedures (electricity, water, internet…). That’s when  I realized there was an opportunity. No other actor on the market offers what we do. I wanted to centralize all the administrative tasks and give them to one and only provider, in order to make users’ life easier. I starter contacting suppliers to talk about the project’s feasibility. I had a principle agreement by the end of December. That’s also when my associate jumped onboard. By the end of 2014, we had realized many user tests to measure our service’s attractiveness, and to improve it. We then went all in in January 2015. 

What were the major difficulties your faced?

The main difficulty I met was how slow things were with big accounts. Despite the good will of our interlocutors, decision-making processes are long and not very flexible. It takes a bit of time to negotiate partnerships with them. As a new company, we also had to face the lack of credibility for our clients. We had to convince them to trust us and to partner with us. 

What helped you go through the project?

A few factors helped us go through our project. First thing is, I was pleasantly surprised with the French mentality: people always reacted very positively when I mentioned my project of creating a startup. They were very enthusiastic, and ready to help out if needed. We underestimate this: many people offered us free help, which is always nice. Our school network also helped a lot, and eased the way on many aspects. 

What languages do you use?

 We developed our website using Python language for the back-office, on a Django framework. We used Twitter Bootstrap in order to have a responsive website; we chose this technology because it is already existing and flexible. We didn’t want to create a website “from scratch”. Benoit took care of all the website creation and development. 

How is your startup innovative? Why are you going to succeed?

We are the only ones offering this kind of service today. There is a huge market in France, with other 3 million moves made each year, and 9 million contracts involved. There are several alternative solutions to Souscritoo: your can do it yourself, which takes a fair amount of energy. You can use comparative websites to get information on the different offers on the market, but don’t help out when it comes to the procedures themselves. The last one is to go through a service provider who will take 200€ to do what we can do for free. We stand out from our indirect competition by offering our clients a useful service, for free. 

When will your service be available to the public?

We launched our website in March. It is operational, anyone can already access our services.  
You can learn more about Souscritoo on souscritoo.com , on facebook and twitter
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