Startup Studio Spotlight: eFounders

We interviewed eFounders to find out a bit more about who they are and what differentiates them from other studios.

eFounders Startup Studio Spotlight, by Startup Studio Insider

At Startup Studio Insider, we like to check in with some of the top startup studios to find out how they are shaking up the world of startups. By featuring the leading players of the startup studio industry, their attributes, ideologies, and unique perspectives, we can better understand just how the startup studio model is reshaping and transforming the startup space as we know it.

For our first startup studio spotlight, we interviewed eFounders to find out a bit more about who they are and what differentiates them from other studios.

The pioneering brain trust of Quentin Nickmans and Thibaud Elziere started eFounders in 2011 in Paris, France. With the growing trend of companies moving to cloud-based solutions, eFounders has dedicated its disruptive focus and innovation to developing B2B SaaS startups. Since their launch, they have expanded their offices to Brussels, Belgium and helped build 27 software solution startups. In January of this year, with an eye on the multi-billion dollar financial technologies, or “fintech” industry, eFounders announced their launch of a new fintech-focused startup studio, using the tried and true eFounders model to innovate within a new business vertical.

In 2020, eFounders experienced a sensational year to say the least; the startup studio’s company portfolio generated $148M in revenue, with a consolidated valuation of $1.5B. eFounders’ model is responsible for producing innovative business software solutions such as Front, Mention and Aircall.

Here’s a quick synopsis of each of their top three portfolio companies from our feature, Top Startup Studios by Website Traffic:

Front: In a remote world, keeping your team organized can be a major challenge for businesses. Lapses in record-keeping and communications can allow valuable customer interactions to slip through the cracks. Front is a customer experience management platform that combines your team with access to all customer touchpoints in one convenient place. With a universal inbox and task management, Front gives teams the ability to control and improve customer experience.

Mention: Managing multiple social media channels for a brand can be very time-intensive, and many brands fail to analyze the performance of their social media communications, rendering them ineffective. Mention is a social media tool for brands and agencies to publish social content and glean insights from social listening and brand monitoring, ultimately enhancing your brand’s digital presence. Mention offers tiered packages to accommodate your brand’s specific needs.

Aircall: Similar to Front, Aircall strives to provide convenient and efficient business solutions for remote teams. Aircall is a cloud-based customer call center that allows you and your team to manage and access customer service information and data from anywhere, making your team more effective and efficient, and improving customer interactions.

Interviewing the eFounders team gave us great insight into their approach to building business and just exactly how hands-on they are with their businesses. And while many studios follow similar guidelines, we dug a little deeper to learn what sets them apart within the startup studio space.

Let’s see how eFounders works their magic!

Interview:

Q1: What sets you apart from the rest of the competition in the startup studio space?

Response: The key difference with integrated studios really lies in the fact we’re building independent ventures from both operational and financial standpoints. This means eFounders does not provide shared resources in consulting mode to independent companies, eFounders does not provide funding to independent companies. Conversely, eFounders acts as a co-founder involved in every aspect of the company and covers all costs until the company becomes independent. Founders are in the driver’s seat, they build their own company, and eFounders is dedicated to providing as much help as it can along the way!

Q2: How would you describe your studio’s approach to developing new ideas?

Response: The initial idea will in most cases come from the eFounders team. The numerous rich discussions we have through our deep exposure to entrepreneurs, companies, investors, and more generally the global SaaS ecosystem are the key source of inspiration for new pain points to solve.

An idea for us generally means (1) a pain point we want to solve, and (2) a first mock up of the initial MVP — a simple solution to start solving the pain point while providing enough value to users. It’s important to understand the idea will obviously evolve as we will be working together on the venture, driven by the founding team — and that in our experience the founders very quickly become full owners of the idea.

Q3: What services do you offer your startups?

Response: eFounders isn’t an agency: our core team is a full-time co-founder on each project. It takes around 18 months to build a company starting from the initial idea. During this phase, the eFounders team is fully hands-on alongside the founding team, working on product, design, strategy, go-to-market, recruiting, funding, etc. Besides being extremely hands-on, our core objective is to build a team and help them become progressively autonomous on each of these dimensions.

Twelve people work in our core team. They support each project on recruiting, product, design, marketing, sales, finance, legal and more strategic topics. Most importantly, the priority of each core team member is to help build a fully independent team for each project. It’s also worth noting that we don’t have software engineers in the core team working on new products. This means that each new startup’s product will be built by engineers who have been recruited specifically for this company.

Q4: What does the studio’s level of involvement look like after the business has launched? What unique benefits does the startup studio model provide entrepreneurs?

Response: eFounders remains a key shareholder and continues to help the founders and the team on strategy and funding as well as on operational issues (e.g., recruiting, team structuring, etc.). We generally stay very close to the company, as we maintain strong relationships with the founders and know the business very well.

We hope you enjoyed this exclusive Startup Studio Insider look at eFounders and their impressive application of the startup studio model to produce disruptive software solutions for businesses. By helping founders build their business ideas and providing support and guidance for their portfolio companies’ growth, eFounders has had major success and established themselves as a key player in the startup studio space.

We’d like to thank the eFounders team for contributing to this month’s Startup Studio Spotlight! We can’t wait to see what new and exciting startup innovations are on the horizon. If you have an up-and-coming startup studio and would like us to spotlight you, comment down below, and we will be in touch!

Make sure to subscribe to Startup Studio Insider to stay informed on the latest from key players in the startup studio ecosystem and stay tuned for more startup studio spotlights.

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Craig Kronenberger

Craig Kronenberger

Hi, I am Craig Kronenberger — entrepreneur, business accelerator, and founder of The Startup Studio Insider. Connect with me on LinkedIn!