Your entrepreneurial journey starts here  

Here's what it's really like to cofound with us.

1

You can either pick a studio, or apply to all. Once you’ve applied we’ll assess the possibility of working together.

2
Get matched with an idea

Each studio conducts extensive research to generate startup ideas. We’ll pitch you our ideas and together we’ll find one that best matches your skillset and drive.

3
Find your cofounder

We’ll introduce you to multiple potential cofounders that we’ve hand selected for you, and support you along the way to make sure it’s the right match.

4
Kick-start your company

Now that you’ve got the idea and co-founder(s), it’s time to get building. You’ll work hand-in-hand with 20+ operational experts who join your team and help you develop your MVP, recruit your core team people, and get your first users…

5
Raise a first round of funding

Once there is traction, you’ll work with the studio to raise your first round of funding. We'll connect you with our network of angel investors and VCs.

6
Become an independent company

After 12-18 months, you're ready to leave the nest! You'll become operationally and financially independent from the studio. But we'll never be too far, you'll become a lifetime member of the Hexa community.

They have co-founded companies with us

Spendesk
eF
#
16
Rodolphe Ardant
Cofounder & CEO

A builder at heart, Rod created his first company immediately after graduating from École Polytechnique and Columbia University. In 2013, he sold his company to Solocal (formerly Pages Jaunes) and took up the role of COO at Drivy before getting back to his entrepreneurial roots with eFounders and Spendesk. When he’s not in the office, you’ll find him hiking in the Alps or at home with his wife and three daughters.

Launching with eFounders immediately gave us a head-start. As soon as we got started, we had access to talent, a network of potential customers, and help from everyone in the core team. It’s been invaluable.

Cohort
3F
#
22
Séraphie de Tracy
Cofounder & CEO

Before co-founding Cohort, Séraphie was Chief Operating Officer at one of Europe’s first blockchain startup. After a career in strategy consulting and in France’s largest financial companies, Séraphie decided to join the blockchain revolution to make it accessible to all.

3Founders was instrumental to accelerate the 0 to 1 phase. Together with Nathan and Florent, we made key product and GTM decisions with very fast iteration loops. Access to the core team resources and the wider talent pool and the eFounders brand name made it way easier to reach initial product market fit.

Marble
LF
#
22
Juliette Pochard
Co-founder

As a former strategy consultant with a strong business background, Juliette likes solving complex problems with tech and data. Eager to take on a new challenge, she co-founded Marble with the desire to help fintechs fight fraud. In her downtime, she's a big fan of open water swimming.

Logic Founders was key to launch Marble: Camille as a true partner helping us make better decisions, and Pierre as a full team member supporting product development.

Swan
eF
#
19
Mathieu Breton
Cofounder & CTO

Mathieu is the cofounder and CTO of Swan. He lead Swan’s technical vision and development and is responsible for improving the quality and security of Swan’s Banking-as-a-Service. A seasoned tech entrepreneur, Mathieu launched JS-Republic after many years as a technical director at Xebia.

Every company that’s launched at eFounders has a recognizable grain of shared DNA. At Swan, we know that's partly where our “human” culture comes from. Thanks eFounders for the massive help during our early stages!


Aircall
eF
#
14
Olivier Pailhès
Cofounder & Board Member

A former HEC graduate and BCG consultant, Olivier has a strong business background and has managed large scale, industrial companies.

Joining eFounders to launch Aircall has been a life’s adventure. Since our launch within the studio, Aircall has seen explosive growth, reached unicorn status, hit the $100 million ARR mark, and opened offices across the globe. I don’t think we would have been able to achieve this kind of success without eFounders.

Upflow
eF
#
18
Alexandre Louisy
Cofounder & CEO

An engineer by training, Alexandre also has extensive experience in the financial industry. He co-founded Upflow in 2018 with the mission to revolutionize how B2B companies get paid.

Working hand-in-hand with eFounders gives you a head-start that is probably unrivalled in Europe today. We would have never been able to go this far and this fast without them.

Call for Founders

Interested in exploring our latest startup ideas with us?
Apply now
I
IntranetX
eFounders

Employee experience has been transformed by the move to remote work. What became clear was that businesses needed a way to manage culture and engagement remotely in one dedicated tool: an online home for all employees. The intranet isn’t new, in fact it’s a tool that’s been around for decades. But what we’re trying to do here is apply the power of no-code to the intranet. What if you could build an intranet, without any code, completely custom to your needs? That is how the intranet will make its comeback.

...
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W
WhatsappX
eFounders

WhatsApp has 2 billion active users and is used by 50 million businesses worldwide. The app is becoming professionalized as companies are increasingly realizing its potential to reach their customers. We believe WhatsApp Business is quickly on its way to becoming one of the most engaging customer channels out there. But the tool yet lacks the features needed to truly allow companies to offer an outstanding experience to their customers. This is why we believe there is room to reinvent WhatsApp Business with all the features necessary for businesses to truly wow their customers.

...
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Z
ZapierX
eFounders

Over the past decade, Zapier has built an incredibly powerful and horizontal automation platform which can cover an impressive variety of uses cases. Zapier has also been a key contributor to the no-code movement and has helped spread it far and wide. We believe, though, that it is time to unbundle Zapier by verticalizing it. Today, teams of all sizes and functions go to Zapier to solve their operational issues. But Zapier, while being highly customizable, remains a generalist tool. Having vertical Zapiers with pre-built workflows and integrations adapted to specific company function would be hugely beneficial. Imagine for example a Zapier-like no-code tool with very deep integrations with the CFO stack (e.g., Netsuite, Spendesk, Xero, etc). Or a tool with prebuilt standard workflows for HR teams (when I onboard a new user on Rippling, it automatically creates a Payroll profite in Gusto). The potential is huge, and we see it as a great way to help operational teams manage the increasing number of software and data sources they are using regularly.

...
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R
Recruitment & HR
eFounders

Since the pandemic, the way we recruit has been completely overhauled. It’s never been easier to hire someone across the world without even having met them in real life. It has made recruiting a much more efficient process: no more time wasted commuting to and from the office, both parties can easily take notes during the interview, and it can lead to higher quality conversations... The list goes on. These changes have opened up a world of opportunities for new types of software that are dedicated to solving the challenges of recruiting online, from the first screen call to closing. Such as software that analyzes video interactions, solutions that boost HR folks’ productivity on their ATSs, or ones that make it easier to take notes while on video interviews... We are actively exploring this space.

...
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M
MultiAPIX
eFounders

Our API ambitions have no limits and we want to build the one API to integrate and connect with all tools. With data scattered across many different software and systems, we want to build a unified API that would integrate seamlessly with any tool to unlock new and innovative use cases. We want to create a universal API for all.

...
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G
GTMX
eFounders

The project management market is huge, and it will keep growing. We believe new verticals will pop up and follow the same path as the product management vertical. Think of companies like Jira, Linear, and Cycle. Right when the first PM tools were created, three things were happening: the role of the product manager was getting more sophisticated, product management teams were growing at an unseen pace, and the lean & agile method of management was emerging. The same is currently happening with marketing and growth team. The job itself is evolving very quickly and becoming much more complex and technical, marketing teams are growing at a huge pace and a method is emerging with experimentations. Today, the best growth teams define and test growth experiments, quantify results and iterate. Now, they need a tool specific for them.

...
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V
Vertical productivity
eFounders

Every job deserves modern tools to boost productivity. We believe that a lot of company departments and specific functions remain underserved today. There's an opportunity for tailor-made SaaS products to help employees avoid redundant chores and to free up time for higher-value tasks. We have strong opinions about the way in which some jobs will evolve in 10 years and we're already thinking of the tools that will be required to be built for them. We've helped Product Managers (Cycle eF19), the Outbound sales function (Bonjour eF19), General Counsels (Canyon eF20), recruiters (Crew eF20) and want to keep on equipping other jobs. We've specifically looking into accounting, HR, treasury management, company assets in a remote-first world, fleet management, virtual event management, procurement and more.

...
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R
eFounders

Remote working is spearheading a myriad of changes, and it's just the beginning. We've identified four key areas which will be impacted by a move away from the office and we're interested in building companies that will help with the transition:

Team collaboration & communication. As teams are increasingly scattered around the world, we want to build tools to better communicate, collaborate, decide and manage, asynchronously.

Companies and their stakeholders. Whether it's candidates, prospects, clients or one's network. We want to build job-specific software that contribute to strengthening the ties between companies and their stakeholders, in a remote world.

Company social responsibility. To keep on attracting and retaining the best talent, companies need to offer great & secure working conditions and transfer their company culture wherever their employees are. We need software and services to bring everything employees had access to in an office setting, where they are now.

Legal.Hiring people across the world means that companies will have to create local job contracts, pay their employees in the local currency, comply with local laws and regulations. We want to help companies navigate this new complex legal environment.

...
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S
SaaS-Enabled Marketplace
eFounders

A SaaS Enabled Marketplace is a business that combines SaaS characteristics with marketplace components to connect two or more parties together. When building a SaaS business, the barriers to entry are relatively low but when marketplace components are added, it changes the model, creates network effects and powerful moats. For instance, Flitdesk is a SaaS that helps manage offices and workspaces while also offering a marketplace to connect employees to services they can enjoy while working. Our very own Collective (eF20) offers a SaaS for collectives (aka freelancers who team up on client projects) and with its marketplace connects collectives with companies looking to hire them. You can also think of the large platform moves (such as what Shopify is currently doing) as examples of inspiring service marketplaces.

...
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S
Learning
eFounders

Companies are pulling all the tricks to attract the best talent. But when hired, how can they ensure that talent remains at the very top of their fields? In an environment where technology is rapidly evolving, companies need to keep abreast of the latest developments and provide appropriate trainings to their teams. We also believe that software builders have an increasing stake in promoting their knowledge to ensure the proper adoption of software across their users. We're interested in building tools to help organisations promote software knowledge.

...
Read more
S
Vertical Zapier
eFounders

Over the past decade, Zapier has built an incredibly powerful and horizontal automation platform which can cover an impressive variety of uses cases. Zapier has also been a key contributor to the no-code movement and has helped spread it far and wide. We believe, though, that it is time to unbundle Zapier by verticalizing it. Today, teams of all sizes and functions go to Zapier to solve their operational issues. But Zapier, while being highly customizable, remains a generalist tool. Having vertical Zapiers with pre-built workflows and integrations adapted to specific company function would be hugely beneficial. Imagine for example a Zapier-like no-code tool with very deep integrations with the CFO stack (e.g., Netsuite, Spendesk, Xero, etc). Or a tool with prebuilt standard workflows for HR teams (when I onboard a new user on Rippling, it automatically creates a Payroll profite in Gusto). The potential is huge, and we see it as a great way to help operational teams manage the increasing number of software and data sources they are using regularly.

...
Read more

F.A.Q.

What is the journey of a startup?

Each studio startup is unique and follows its own path, but let’s try to sum up the general framework:

  • Each startup studio comes up with a unique business idea to solve a pain. This idea is generally scoped through a wireframe which describes the MVP and a note which outlines the opportunity and the go-to-market strategy.
  • Entrepreneurs come knocking at our door and we pitch them ideas we currently have in the pipe. Once we have assembled a founding team - typically made of two co-founders: a business and a tech profile - we can get the project started. Together with the founders, we spend 12-18 months in the same office to transform the idea into an early company. We focus on 3 dimensions: we build a product, we build a team, we acquire the first customers. Our goal is to make the company fully independent.
  • Once the startup has enough traction, we pitch early stage investors (Angels, Seed funds) to raise a Seed round (typically $1-2M). The fundraising enables the company to become fully independent, it takes off from the studio and moves into its own office.
  • Studios remain a key shareholder and continue to help the founders and the team on strategy and funding as well as some operational issues from time to time (e.g., recruiting, team structuring, etc.). We generally stay very close to the company, as we maintain strong relationships with the founders and know the business very well.
How does Hexa partner with entrepreneurs?

Every month, entrepreneurs reach out to us to express their interest in launching a company with one of our startup studios. When we sit down with them, we want to have a real and open conversation, similar to when two people meet for a coffee for the first time. The aim is to get to know each other, identify mutual areas of interest and assess the possibility of working together in the long run.

The discussions are led by the studio founders responsible for each idea.

We have three kinds of discussions in the partnering process:

  • fit and skills discussion - are we a good professional match?
  • idea fit - as we’re spending more and more time together working on the business idea, do we feel that we’re going in the same direction?
  • ownership - as our discussion moves forward, do we feel that entrepreneurs are taking ownership of the idea and bringing their own vision and insights to it?
  • co-founder match - if a co-founder's already in place, do we think there's a match?

There is no typical founder profile within Hexa. Founders we have worked with in the past differ along all dimensions: previous entrepreneurial experience, age, education, specific industry expertise.

In our initial discussions, we try to understand the founder’s profile and skills across four key dimensions:

  • Entrepreneurial mindset
  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Specific industry expertise

The founders join at the very beginning of the venture, before the first line of code is even written or the first team member is hired, so that they can build and own the full journey. Generally, the two founders' arrival is not completely synchronized: often times the technical founder will arrive first and start building the product.

How involved is each studio in each project?

Hexa and therefore each studio isn't an agency: our core team is a full-time co-founder on each project. It takes around 18 months to build a company starting from the initial idea. During this phase, the Hexa and studio teams are  fully hands-on alongside the founding team, working on product, design, strategy, go-to-market, recruiting, funding, etc. Besides being extremely hands-on, our core objective is to build a team and help them become progressively autonomous on each of these dimensions. We build independent companies.

The key difference with integrated studios (e.g., Rocket Internet) really lies in the fact we're building independent ventures from both an operational and a financial standpoint. This means that Hexa does not provide shared resources in consulting mode to independent companies, hexa does not provide funding to independent companies. Conversely, studios acts as a co-founder involved in every aspect of the company and covers all costs until the company becomes independent. Founders are in the driver's seat, they build their own company, and Hexa and the studio teams are dedicated to providing as much help as it can along the way!

What does the Hexa core team look like?

Our core team supports each project on recruiting, product, design, marketing, sales, finance, legal, and more strategic topics. Most importantly, the priority of each core team member is to help build a fully independent team for each project. It's also worth noting that we don't have software engineers in the core team working on new products. This means that each new startup's product will be built by engineers who have been recruited specifically for this company.

How does it really work?

The project team will initially start with two or three co-founders, and we will together start growing the team by hiring software engineers and business developers. After 12-18 months, when the project becomes independent, the size of the team (including founders) is generally between 6 and 10 people.

The team will work every day from our office, literally sitting on the same bench alongside the Hexa and studio core teams. This means we work together and interact on a daily basis on all topics: product, design, recruiting, go-to-market, fundraising, team management, etc.

To ensure that we keep the right pace of delivery and that everybody is on the same page, we have a weekly sprint organization that applies to all topics (product of course, but also business, go-to-market, etc). These sprints are supported by weekly routines: kick-offs, product, recruiting and, go-to-market meetings, as well as ad hoc meetings to dig into specific questions.

Finally, we have a quarterly meeting called Demotime, where each project makes a presentation to the hexa team and all the other startup teams to take a step back on their progress and define the 3 months roadmap.

Where do the ideas come from?

The initial idea will in most cases come from the studio teams. The numerous rich discussions we have through our deep exposure to entrepreneurs, companies, investors, and more generally the global tech ecosystem are the key source of inspiration for new pain points to solve.

An idea for us generally means (1) a pain point we want to solve, and (2) a first mockup of the initial MVP - a simple solution to start solving the pain point while providing enough value to users.

It's important to understand the idea will obviously evolve as we will be working together on the venture, driven by the founding team - and that in our experience the founders very quickly become full owners of the idea.

A question we often get is about copycats. The answer here is super simple, we build software companies and not e-commerce companies. Software businesses are driven by innovation and generally have low localization specifics (i.e. in general, apart from language, SaaS companies are essentially global from day one) - which basically means copycating a software company does not really make sense. Long story short, all our ideas are original 🙂

It's rare but worth mentioning that we have partnered with founders on an existing idea (e.g., Equify, Foxintelligence).

It's a question we get a lot which is hard to answer because success is difficult to define and takes several years to assess - but so far our failure rate has been pretty low in the initial phase, from idea to seed.

It's important to understand companies start as "projects" within Hexa and are generally incorporated 9-12 months after the first line of code, when we start getting the first positive signals from the market and the users.

If we don't find this initial traction, the founders and and each studio can collectively decide to stop the project before it is incorporated. It's already happened a few times, for instance with Solved, Illustrio and Chilli, but this remains fairly low in regards to the 30+ projects we started.

Most people joining a studio will join as early employees of one of the ventures.

Being one of the very first engineers or business developers on the team is an absolutely crucial role as you will have not only a huge impact on the product and the business but also on the company culture. Joining as an early employee when the company is still within a studio requires a very strong entrepreneurial mindset, autonomy, and a bias towards action!

You will be fully dedicated to a single project, but you'll also share best practices with other projects and with the studio and hexa teams.

Remember, we all sit on the same bench, have lunch every day together and have a lot of fun as a team!

Technically, you will initially be an employee of Hexa ("CDI") until the company you're working for is incorporated, and the team will then be transferred in the newly created company.

How is founders' equity split?

The studio has a dual role of (i) being a co-founder of each project and (ii) supporting all costs necessary to build the project until the newly created company raises VC funding. We split equity so that the studio retains 30% of the fully-diluted equity after leaving the studio and raising VC funding. Then, as the company grows and needs to raise money, the studio and the founders get equally diluted by new investors.

What is the journey of a startup after independence?

Once the company raises a seed round, they become a completely "normal" startup. The founders are in the driver's seat, they have a board comprised of the founders and the key investors (o/w the studio).

As the business grows, the team will also grow. As cash burn increases, the company generally needs to raise additional funding rounds often with VCs (Series A, B, C...). In general, startups are not profitable until a long time, as they tend to invest a lot in growing the business (e.g. by hiring engineers, sales, marketing people, etc). The studio remains as a shareholder until an "exit", the company is sold, or listed on a public market.