Created within Euratechnologie, Giroptic was developing a camera that could take photos and shoot 360 degrees in high definition quality, without the user having to process the images themselves.
A product that required 7 years of research and development. The camera was also one of the first to pass Apple’s validation, not requiring an iPhone power supply, and seduced Marc Zuckerberg, who had bought several thousand copies to offer them during the his F8 conference to the developers present.
Giroptic had received various funding for a total of 6 million euros from Partech Ventures, its historic shareholder Finorpa, and 360 Capital Partners, SOSV and business angels including Oleg Tscheltzoff (founder of Fotolia) and singer Aloe Blacc, as well as through Kickstarter with 1.4 million pre-purchases of its model for the iPhone, with more than 3,000 contributors.
20,000 cameras sold in 2017
The start-up’s road has been turbulent on numerous occasions, notably with a commercial conflict between it and Decathlon, which ultimately ended with an agreement allowing Giroptic to continue its development. But that’s without taking into account the difficulties inherent in all projects involving hardware and software.
The company sold more than 20,000 cameras last year, a non-negligible success but which was not sufficient to establish the sustainability of the company, which has 45 employees. In 2017, Giroptic opened an office in San Francisco to get closer to key players in the Tech ecosystem. Backing up to a smartphone manufacturer was necessary for a more massive deployment. Unfortunately, the negotiations were ultimately unsuccessful after 8 months of intensive discussions. This outcome put an end to the adventure piloted with pugnacity and resilience by its founder Richard Ollier and his teams.