Wezzoo raises 500,000 euros for its weather crowdsourcing application
What weather is it ? To find out, rather than consulting a weather forecast forecast several hours in advance, why not ask the people present on site? It is on this very simple idea that was born Wezzoo, an international community weather service. The Parisian start-up that publishes it has just raised 500,000 euros from the Covea Next fund (investment structure of the insurer of the same name), the Fred & Farid Digital Investment Fund and business angels including those of the Despinvest group and SKR Consulting. This is his first fundraiser. The founders did not wish to disclose the breakdown of the amounts invested, however they still hold a majority stake in the company’s capital.
Founded by Clément Guillot, ex-Sup de Co Montpellier and two associate graduates from the École Centrale de Paris (Dominique Sauquet and Michaël André), Wezzoo publishes a web platform as well as an application (iOS and Android) for community members can keep other members informed at any time. For this, they can provide information on the state of the weather in the place where it is located by noting a comment, adding a photo. Everything is then broadcast on social networks. Beyond the publications of mobile users, the start-up composed of 8 people conducts a semantic hunt on all tweets, Facebook statuses or Instagram publications that give a geolocated weather indication. Thus, at least 200,000 local information is broadcast daily on the platform. Wezzoo is based on an economic model that is both BtoC and BtoBtoC (see interview below). It did not generate any turnover in 2013 and expects “a few tens of thousands of euros” in 2014. Other community weather applications exist: Weddar in Portugal and Weather Mom and Weather mob in the United States.
“This fundraising will allow Wezzoo to pursue its technical and commercial developments as well as accelerate the growth of its community already present in 189 countries via the application available in 5 languages”, welcomes Clément Guillot, president of Wezzoo. The leaders of the start-up intend to use the technology to publish another service in the health sector and also to canvass the media and automotive manufacturers in 2015. (see interview below)
On the support side, beyond the financial aspect, the fund from the communication agency Fred & Farid has been incubating the startup in its premises on rue de Provence in Paris since July 2013. “Wezzoo is a great“ livemapping ”tool with multiple applications in areas as varied as weather, health and automotive. Their teams, with whom we have been working in close collaboration for two years now, have demonstrated their ability to build truly differentiating technology ”underline Fréderic Raillard and Farid Mokart, founding chairmen of Fred & Farid Group, former Havas and Publicis. Wezzoo is a member of the Systematic and Moveo competitiveness clusters.
Interview with Clément Guillot, co-founder of Wezzoo:
Frenchweb: How did you meet your new investors? How long did it take to raise the funds?
Clement Guillot: The meetings were made in both directions. We contacted several investors during our research. Some others contacted us after installing and using the app. In all, the lifting took us about eight months.
How did you come up with the idea for Wezzoo?
On the one hand, the idea came from a personal need: to know if it was snowing in the mountains at the moment. Neither forecasts nor webcams could answer this question. Only the people there could give the information precisely. On the other hand, weather is a universal theme and people share it very easily. On social networks, a great many messages and photos are exchanged every minute (more than 3000 tweets per minute on this theme).
Almost three years after its launch, where is the start-up?
The technical part is almost in place and we aggregate more than 10 million data per month. The final version of the applications is in preparation for the start of 2015 to optimize and meet the expectations of 150,000 current users.
What is the economic model?
The economic model is twofold: BtoBtoC with the offer of our hyperlocal and real-time white-label weather service to players in the world of insurance, automotive and the media. And a BtoC model through the audience of our iOS and Android applications.
What will these 500,000 euros be used for?
The main expenditure item will concern the recruitment of 2 sales representatives by the end of the first half of 2015. We are also preparing the launch of another service by the end of the first half of 2015: an information platform around the theme of health (air quality, pollution, epidemics, risk of allergies, risk of asmthe, etc.). It will not be under the same brand, nor on the same applications. The information will not only come from the community but also from connected objects. This service may be marketed to insurers including Covea, which is part of our capital.