ViiBE completed a €1.2M Seed round
The startup founded two years ago by Marc Prempain (CEO) and Charles Demée (CTO) announces a fundraising of 1.2M €, realized with Kima Ventures (Xavier Niel), Nord Creation, Waterstart Capital, and several Business Angels including Monsieur Jean-Daniel Pick (H.81) and Lorraine Bompart de Gournay (sc po 99, Msc Management 2000). ViiBE wants to equip over 5,000 agents in contact centers and become the European leader in remote assistance by 2021.
ViiBE joined the HEC incubator in 2018 to boost its development in France and abroad.
It has already convinced industry leaders such as Total, Air France and Bouygues. Deployed within Allianz Partners' call centers dedicated to automotive technical assistance, "ViiBE has helped more than 5,000 drivers get back on the road without the need for breakdown service" explains Nicolas Gehin, Head of the automotive market at Allianz Partners France. Following positive feedback from the use of Viibe technology, an industrial deployment is underway in the European subsidiaries of Allianz Partners. International deployments are also in progress at Total, Air France and Daikin.
Meet Marc Prempain, CEO of ViiBe
Introduce yourself in a few words, your background, your ambitions
I spent one semester at North Carolina State University, I used to be a Business engineer in the Telecom industry during my gap year. Then, while graduating from an MBA in International Business in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam I decided to use my free time to teach Business English to Vietnamese professionals as well as Entrepreneurship at the Eastern International University in Ho Chi Minh City.
I have always been an entrepreneur and launched ViiBE during my last year. Charles and I used to build ViiBE from Paris to Ho Chi Minh before I got back to Paris.
Why did you decide to "make the jump" to start a business?
I'm adventurous, like to make moves, take risks and enterprise. In such a bustling city as Ho Chi Minh, I got myself involved in the startup environment: VCs meetings, workshops, Tech conferences and so on. Everything started from there and more importantly: I had a great friend to partner with.
What types of risks were you willing to support?
All risks I assume, which turned out to be extremely tough at the beginning. Indeed, during the first 2 years, I had no financial backup.
How would you define success for yourself and / or your business?
Building a team and watching our employees getting involved and loving the project as much as Charles and I do. It's been the most rewarding thing so far. Of course, bringing value to our customers and subsequently receiving positive feedback, it's so enjoyable and motivating :)
What are the main difficulties you have encountered?
Product-market fit research phase, all the uncertainty throughout this process. Treasury is super tight at this point and the future is terribly blurred. I used to ask myself: am I losing time, energy and money?
Would I learn more at a different position? Getting your first customer, especially a large one from CAC40, is particularly difficult when you just graduated and show up in this hostile environment without connections.
What are the main skills of a founding CEO of his start-up?
Resilience, ability to convince, ability to listen, perseverance, passion for learning and getting better, ambition, knowing your strengths and weaknesses to recruit accordingly. I am not saying I have these skills, I am saying as far as I'm concerned, these are the most useful ones.
How did you find and choose your co-founder (s)?
Charles and I met 8 years ago in Lille. We became unofficial roommates. Lucky we share complementary skills. By combining our experiences and complementary personalities, we immediately believed in the potential of our team.
Why have you chosen to join HEC Incubator?
The network is extremely powerful. It helped us raise funds and keeps on helping us connect with key decision-makers. Also the diversity of startups incubated here is really interesting. We get to discover new industries, different types of markets and products, from B2B to B2C, from hardware to SaaS to underwear...
Most importantly, you need to learn from your fellow entrepreneurs' failures: you cannot afford to make the same mistakes!
The best advice / the best anecdote / the most memorable memory you remember from your visit to HEC Paris/HEC Incubator?
Best advice is to keep on sharing and exchanging your best practices with the entrepreneurs around you. You will always discover a new tool that optimizes your processes.
I also had a great time on HEC campus during the Hackathon in September 2018. It was a great experience to share my entrepreneurial journey and to work on ViiBE with HEC students.
What is your first advice to entrepreneurs?
Be resilient and maintain a good balance between your convictions and questioning yourself. Keep a good balance between rigor and humor: have fun and laugh with your teammates while staying focus and serious!
Contact details : firstname.lastname@example.org / +33698276345
Website : www.viibe.co