Alkemics had to convince large companies to open their IT systems

by bold-lichterman

Frenchweb invites you to discover a series of portraits of young innovative companies in the commerce, digital security and connected objects sectors. This week, Alkemics, the specialist in data analysis for brands and distributors with Antoine Durieux, CEO and founder.

Frenchweb : Could you introduce us to Alkemics?

Antoine Durieux, CEO and founder: Alkemics is a French start-up created in 2011 specializing in the management and analysis of consumer data. We offer brands and distributors a collaborative data management platform to adapt their activities to the omni-channel behavior of consumers.

What is special about our platform? Within it resides an artificial intelligence engine that we have developed and which is capable of understanding the links and interactions between products. This intelligence thus makes it possible in a transparent way to communicate different solutions (quality tools, marketing, sales, etc.) by recognizing a product on the basis of any attribute, but also to solve what is called the chaining problem. : ie the ability to understand that two products are identical for the consumer despite the change of an attribute: bar codes, packaging, etc.

The flagship service we offer is Product Stream, a solution dedicated to omni-channel marketing and e-commerce. It allows brands and distributors to offer a rich and intelligent consumer experience by simplifying the centralization, sharing and distribution of product content (description, packaging information, photos, videos, consumer reviews, etc.).

Last March, you raised 5 million euros from Index Ventures and Partech Ventures, what has this changed for you?

First of all, this fundraising confirmed that we were taking the right direction with Product Stream. It has enabled us to accelerate the development of new functionalities and our time to market. So just 9 months after its launch, Product Stream was used by more than 1,300 brands including brands of major manufacturers such as Unilever, and other brands of consumer products … and is compatible with many distributors.

We are now preparing to expand our presence in Europe, starting with Spain, Germany, and the UK which are important markets and similar to ours.

What difficulties have you encountered in your start-up adventure?

Our project takes on its full meaning in the collaboration between brands and distributors. Very early on, he was confronted with the reluctance of large companies to connect a young start-up to IT systems at the heart of their activity. Finding the right contact, the right approach and shaping a product in line with the needs of the market has been a long way. If we were very oriented around technology at our beginnings, these exchanges and co-construction with our customers, allow us today to adopt a more professional approach.

What are you most proud of today?

Beyond a technology, we have been able to respond to a real need of brands and distributors. They lacked a simple and collaborative solution to better collaborate. A proposal that has enabled us to work in a few months with more than 650 manufacturers (1,300 brands), including 18 of the 20 largest manufacturers on the French market, and large distribution groups such as Auchan, one of our long-standing partners .

If you had some advice for a project leader, what would you say?

It is probably never to stop listening, to be curious. You also have to be a real explorer of the different facets of the idea you are developing. The history of Alkemics is marked by serendipity. It is often unusual explorations, carried out following a client idea or unexpected encounters, that have led us to where we are today.

Screenshot 2015-05-11 at 12.17.25“By choosing to make the mass consumption industry smarter through better analysis and knowledge of consumers, Alkemics has set itself a major challenge: to convince the major brands and retail chains,” mastodons “within of which IT is a hyper-sensitive subject. Indeed, the subject of digital transformation is often the responsibility of IT departments while technology is at the heart of business opportunities. We must therefore succeed in seducing. Attract marketing departments with a clear and effective presentation of product benefits. And that’s what Alkemics managed to do in a very short period of time, convincing over 1,300 brands.
To develop in a market with strong barriers to entry, it is essential, in addition to a structured commercial approach allowing the offer to be co-constructed with its customers, to have a strong technological brick like that of Alkemics – 80% of the team are engineers! – which allows the start-up to differentiate itself and then capture the attention of large groups, such as the “giants” of distribution. “

[Contenu réalisé en partenariat avec Start’inPost, accélérateur du Groupe La Poste]