Stéphanie Hospital has established herself as a pacesetter in European tech, and we featured her amongst Europe’s most influential ladies within the startup and enterprise capital area in 2018. A former Orange government, she created the distinctive French VC OneRagtime in 2015 alongside together with her co-founder Jean-Marie Messier.
OneRagtime isn’t a standard VC – on its platform or utilizing its app, founders can simply enroll and pitch their startups, and buyers may also signal as much as take part in OneRagtime’s investments on a deal-by-deal foundation. The VC has a curated group of over 500 buyers, together with enterprise angels, corporates, household workplaces and extra. Its platform additionally permits OneRagtime to be extra data-driven than different VCs, optimising the sourcing and evaluation of its startups, and offering a seamless, fully-digitised funding course of. The VC focuses on early-stage European software program startups, particularly deep tech tasks with a worldwide outlook. Up to now, OneRagtime has made 15 investments, with extra within the pipeline.
Under we ask Stéphanie about her background, OneRagtime, the expansion of the French and European startup ecosystems, what she appears for when she’s investing in a startup, her recommendation for founders, and extra. Profiter de l’interview!
What’s your background, and the way did you come to discovered OneRagtime with Jean-Marie Messier as co-founder?
I spent a few years at Orange being an intrapreneur, engaged on behalf of entrepreneurs to construct partnerships and launch new ventures. This was once I knew that, whereas I liked the lifetime of an intrapreneur, I knew that what I actually needed to do was to raised serve the unbelievable entrepreneurs I used to be seeing throughout Europe, to accompany them and to develop their tasks. With this I used to be impressed to turn out to be an entrepreneur myself: an entrepreneur serving to entrepreneurs. So, I constructed OneRagtime to raised serve the European tech business and champion the unimaginable innovation we have now right here. I needed to create one thing distinctive within the enterprise business by constructing OneRagtime as a fintech that may leverage the facility of knowledge and know-how to strengthen investments and really help entrepreneurs. And to do all this whereas staying near corporates as a result of company partnerships, when properly executed, are a game-changer for startups.
What are some startups you’ve just lately invested in and why did you select them? What have been your most profitable investments?
We have been fortunate sufficient to be a enterprise angel backing Zenly, technically the primary funding accomplished by OneRagtime. It gave us some good karma and we’re seeing many different successes with our startups, together with Jellysmack, a startup we’ve been with since day one, which went on to boost a $14 million Collection A spherical in September 2018 and is now clocking over three billion video views per thirty days, and +Easy, who raised €10 million of their follow-on spherical and have secured main partnerships with the likes of Allianz and Malakoff Médéric.
We’ve additionally backed Make.org, a civictech startup that has acquired unbelievable publicity – they have been invited to the Elysée by Emmanuel Macron to launch their “Initiative for a Sustainable Democracy”; telecom startup onoff, which lately accomplished a €10 million spherical and has achieved over 2 million app downloads worldwide; AI startup Gestoos who has partnerships with leaders like Cisco, Jaguar Land Rover, HP and Adidas; Muzeek, an AI music era platform; Phantombuster, which is harnessing net knowledge for entrepreneurs; Marie Quantier, an AI robo-advisor; Woleet, which presents “blockchain-as-a-service”; Glose, which is revolutionising studying; and Antescofo, which is placing an orchestra within the pocket of musicians worldwide. You possibly can see our full portfolio by heading to our web site.
We’re predominantly in search of software program startups with a B2C or B2B2C enterprise mannequin, based in Europe with the ambition to develop internationally. We love deep tech with a shopper focus, throughout a variety of verticals, together with however not restricted to content material and leisure, gaming, fintech, communication and extra, utilizing applied sciences reminiscent of AI, blockchain, and AR. What’s key’s that we require our startups to be deep tech, or tech enabled, on the core, and to exhibit a scalable enterprise mannequin. Their capital effectivity is vital.
When it comes to timing, we like to return in as the primary skilled investor, proper after the love cash and the enterprise angels. We’re proud to be a VC that is ready to make investments pre-revenue, however we do have to see an precise services or products with a excessive progress potential, and ideally some traction. We’re in search of corporations with a know-how or product that’s able to promote and scale, and be worthwhile at scale, however whose workforce may benefit from enterprise improvement and funding to develop. We take the danger initially with our founders and we comply with with the ambition to be a fullstack investor from Seed to Collection B. This manner, we will effectively again entrepreneurs according to their improvement curve.
“It’s about having an enormous imaginative and prescient however protecting your ft firmly on the bottom, laying out a transparent path to realize your objectives”
One other factor that our startups all have in widespread, maybe crucial aspect, is to have an distinctive staff on the helm. We love entrepreneurs who’ve an enormous imaginative and prescient however who maintain their ft firmly on the bottom, having laid out a transparent path to realize their objectives. As a part of this, we search for leaders who’re each extremely targeted on execution and open to suggestions, it’s a two-way relationship between founders and VCs.
Our tickets are sometimes between €500okay and a number of other million, and we’re capable of full follow-on rounds for our start-ups.
What differentiates OneRagtime from different VCs?
We’re very totally different from conventional enterprise capitals. Our imaginative and prescient is constructed upon our platform mannequin, which is an entire ecosystem for startups and buyers alike. It empowers buyers to take a position digitally on a deal-by-deal foundation, and help startups of their full journey to success with funding, operational assets, and connections.
Our platform, out there on our web site and app, permits us to automate and digitalise enterprise capital and the funding course of. With our platform, we might be data-driven like no different VC and obsessed about leveraging knowledge to optimise the sourcing and evaluation of our startups. We now have an in-house technical workforce of builders and knowledge analysts which might be working behind the scenes to construct our merchandise and knowledge evaluation instruments. In contrast to different enterprise platforms, nevertheless, we full full due diligences and analyses on all of the startups that we provide as funding alternatives to our curated group of over 500 buyers.
“Up to now 10 years, the European startup ecosystem has gone from power to power.”
What’s extra, because of our platform mannequin, our curated group of over 500 buyers (constructed up of enterprise angels, corporates, household workplaces and extra) are captivated with our startups, and open up their very own contact books and supply their experience to our entrepreneurs to assist them develop. This community provides us entry to a much bigger and higher dealflow, and since it’s scalable (it’s not simply our group serving to the startups however our entire rising group), there’s no restrict to how a lot help we will supply startups. Moreover, we encourage cooperation between our entrepreneurs, constructing a group with them and for them to propel them to success. We insist that leveraging the group is the best way to scale.
Are you able to inform us concerning the sectors you’re targeted on, and a number of the tendencies you’re seeing inside them?
We’re on the lookout for early-stage software program startups based mostly in Europe, with an emphasis on deep tech tasks that reveal a scalable enterprise mannequin. What’s a should is a worldwide outlook, we’d like that burning ambition to develop internationally! We’re specializing in new interfaces utilizing applied sciences like synthetic intelligence and blockchain, the fintech and insurtech business, mobility, gaming, content material and communication.
How have you ever seen the European startup ecosystem change up to now 10 years? How has the French startup ecosystem advanced?
Prior to now 10 years, the European startup ecosystem has gone from power to power. We’re now producing unicorns like by no means earlier than, big business disruptors like Criteo, Vente Privée, BlaBlaCar, Transferwise and Social Level, with historic quantities of capital in Europe to again them. Europe is on the rise. The previous ten years have proven a tradition change on all ranges, corporates are starting to see M&A as the brand new R&D, Europe’s brightest minds are being impressed to show to entrepreneurship and construct their very own tasks, and extra buyers want to enterprise as an thrilling and rewarding asset class.
The French startup ecosystem has performed a number one position within the transformation of Europe’s attitudes in the direction of startups and enterprise capital. Enterprise in France is being nurtured by our present authorities, making for as soon as key transformative modifications for the nation. Now, we have now that urge for food for fulfillment and there’s a buzz of pleasure for the longer term. That’s mirrored within the expertise, buyers and large firms that we’re welcoming from everywhere in the world. France is turning into increasingly engaging for entrepreneurs, the spirit has modified and extra entrepreneurs are wanting to construct in France. France is again! There’s no underestimating how a lot the French ecosystem has grown, initiatives like La French Tech are a actuality, constructing a military of unimaginable French startups worldwide… it’s only a matter of time earlier than we begin reaping the fruits of this innovation. What’s extra, we’ve grown a incredible financing ecosystem because of Bpifrance and different in depth sources of personal and institutional funding, and now we’ve acquired the position fashions there too – superstars like Criteo and Zenly, and prime amenities just like the world-leading Station F. The setting has by no means been so good in France, and this can be a nice signal for Europe too.
The subsequent problem for Europe is to develop into to consolidator of tech corporations to construct world tech leaders. With this, we will take a look at examples of outstanding tech progress like Dassault Systèmes, which is displaying engineering management from an organization that began within the 80s and is attaining €three.5 billion in income.
What do you search for whenever you’re investing in a startup, and what recommendation would you give to startups looking for funding?
We glance firstly on the workforce, which must be constructed up of combined profiles and open personalities. We love atypical entrepreneurs! We search for a workforce with a agency imaginative and prescient and the potential to execute, but in addition to pay attention and study from the help community we’ve constructed to nurture them. As I discussed beforehand, it’s about having an enormous imaginative and prescient however holding your ft firmly on the bottom, laying out a transparent path to realize your objectives. And doing so in a method that’s as capital environment friendly as attainable! Taking over sensible cash, and spending it well too. We like tasks that want to deal with huge markets like onoff (telecom) or Gestoos (automotive) and naturally the uncooked enterprise parts the product-market match, the income potential, whether or not you match with our funding thesis (software program, early-stage, a excessive progress potential). It’s additionally necessary that we really feel we’re well-positioned to assist the start-up (that a start-up is on the proper stage, and concentrating on the best market), and that the start-up is ready to settle for our help too… it’s a two-way relationship from begin to end.
What’s the French authorities doing to help know-how startups, and what extra can – or ought to – it do?
The French authorities is creating a really thrilling surroundings for startups in France proper now, with prime initiatives just like the French Tech visa, supporting tasks like Station F, and offering beneficial tax breaks for tech funding in France. However in France we’re not simply captivated with attracting and rising this tech right here for progress, the emphasis on tech for good is extraordinarily essential too. The federal government has been instrumental in supporting know-how start-ups in search of to make a distinction, identical to our personal portfolio firm Make.org who have been invited to lunch on the Elysée with Emmanuel Macron, launching their newest trigger “The Initiative for Sustainable Democracy”.
Is there anything you’d like so as to add?
We’re excited that the mannequin and imaginative and prescient that we launched two years in the past is working, with 15 investments made and extra within the pipeline, already our first exit, and incredible progress throughout our portfolio. We’d wish to encourage anybody who needs to again implausible corporations as an investor, or any entrepreneurs who need to be funded by one of the best new disruptive VC to hitch us! All you should do is signal as much as our platform at oneragtime.com or by way of our Android and iOS app and uncover for yourselves. OneRagtime is a human story, we love individuals, like to develop them and need to belief them to construct nice issues. We need to empower individuals and all the time need to work with others who share that widespread mission.