Start-up of the day: iChaper, to make mobile browsing safer for toddlers
Frenchweb invites you today to discover Innovation31, this Parisian start-up publishes a parental control application for use on tablets and smartphones: iChaper. On the same function but in the case of computer navigation, there is also Xooloo, Parents nearby (PDLP) and Norton family for example. Children can also learn to surf with a secure browser specially designed for them: Potati. More details on iChaper with Germain Brion, Founder and CEO of Innovation31:
Frenchweb: How did you get the idea of creating this start-up?
Germain Brion: A while back at a restaurant at a nearby table, a three-year-old was ‘surfing’ YouTube while his parents were eating. We exchanged, the little one was showing me his ability to handle the tool when we came across “borderline” content. His parents confessed to me their helplessness and I said to myself “there should be an App for that”. Thus was born the Mobile Chaperone.
What need are you meeting? Who are your clients ?
We are addressing parents who have questions about the use of smartphones and tablets by their children. These parents sometimes feel overwhelmed by all these innovations and the behaviors they engender. We put this mobile technology at their service, and we help them to peacefully pursue the digital and physical education of their children.
What is your business model?
We work in B to C and B to B to C. Through iChaper, we speak directly to parents. The subscription is at 19.90 euros per year.
In B to B to C, we work with CD Interactive, creators of the Gulli tablet. We will soon launch the first smartphone for children in around ten countries. This phone is based on iChaper technology.
What competition are you facing?
There are 2 types of competition:
- External services. These are parental applications structured around a wide variety of services. There are 2 or 3 players with close services, but no solution is as complete as iChaper, especially in its educational dimension.
- Then there are the integrated services either at smartphone or available from some operators. In both cases, even if they offer some similar features, such as parental control on the internet, they are very limited by their scope of action. Parental controls for the Internet do not work with operators when the device is connected via Wi-Fi. Manufacturers do not offer remote settings.
Have you ever raised funds? If so, from whom, when and how many? If not, is it being considered?
We have raised nearly 700,000 euros since the start of the project from business angels. We are currently preparing a new round to accelerate our commercial development, particularly internationally.
Do you benefit from specific supports?
Our families and friends support us every day, it’s cliché but so true! Our investors are always available to give advice. And we had the chance to benefit from the support of Scientipole and Cap Digital to prepare our next fundraising.
What was one of the first issues in your development, and how did you deal with it?
The problem of visibility. Although meeting a universal need, many parents do not know that there are solutions to help them. We have established a visibility partnership with the children’s channel Gulli and with CD Interactive on the smartphone child. But the question of visibility remains a daily challenge.
What were you doing before setting up this site?
I created a real estate investment company in 2010 and, by chance, I became CEO of an innovative startup in e-health. One evening I went to a restaurant and voila… we pivoted and iChaper was born.
What is the best advice you have been given and by whom?
Entrepreneurship is not a game of chess or it is about defeating a rival. The company is a game of go, it is about taking and occupying territory. One of my mentors, who became an investor of mine, told me that when I started out on my own.
Who is the personality you admire the most?
Elon Musk, after making his fortune by selling PayPal, he risked everything to change the world by creating an electric car (Tesla Motors) and having the ambition to send man to Mars with SpaceX. His intelligence, his determination, but, above all, his ambition are real sources of inspiration.
Founder: Germain brion
Investors: business angels
Creation date: September 2013
Company based in: Paris
2013 turnover: 50,000 euros
Number of employees: 6