A word from our founder: 2023 memo
Table of contents
The idea of Partoo was born out of a conviction: that of the end of the website.
In 2014 (the year Partoo was created), basic store information (addresses, hours, phone numbers, photos) could be accessed from platforms such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Waze, etc. Consequently, we had less need to visit their website.
In 2016, reviews of points of sale could be viewed on those same platforms. They allowed us to choose the business to go to or order from, without having to go to its website.
Today, in several countries, and soon in Europe, one can purchase products from platforms, ordering Burger King from Google for New Yorkers, or shopping at Jio from Whatsapp for Indians. Yet another reason to go to websites less and less.
Their gradual end is on the way and with it a total change in consumption habits. Year after year, Partoo becomes more and more necessary since our reason to exist is to help companies adapt to the evolution of purchasing behaviour. Whether it’s for the research, the choice, or the order – the three main steps of the consumer journey -, our products provide a solution to benefit from new habits.
We are one of the first players in the world to cover these 3 steps. This unique positioning gives us an incredible opportunity to help millions of businesses get closer to their customers by reinventing themselves as consumers’ habits change.
Today, more than 8 years after the creation of Partoo, I am convinced that we are at the very beginning of our story.
2022, a year rated 4.9/5
Whether it’s on Glassdoor (197 reviews) or on our Google listing (832 reviews), we have an excellent rating of 4.9/5 today. Since reviews have a huge impact nowadays on the choices consumers make daily (employee, prospect, investor, partner…), we are very proud of those we received!
However, in my opinion 2022 would deserve to be rated 5/5 for all the accomplishments made together:
- Excellent customer satisfaction as evidenced by our record renewal rates (90.8% for Enterprise, 72.5% for SMBs) and an NPS score of 47
- A growing use of our products and more particularly of our mobile application: 10.8k downloads, 2.8k users on average each month for 5.5 connections per week
- A successful launch of our Messages product, which is seen as a priority for the future of Partoo, 8,787 points of sale using it, of which 36% are Enterprises
- An impressive growth of our revenues, from 14.5 million euros to 24 million euros, that is to say a progression of 9.5 million euros (vs. 6.6 million in 2021)
- A growing international footprint with 40% of our revenues coming from outside of France, i.e. 1.6 times more than in 2021, including 5% (1.2 million euros) in South America, a region in which we will be investing heavily in the coming months
- A successful acquisition (Pulp) with the launch of the Partoo Food vertical, which allows restaurant owners to benefit from a unique solution in France to develop their business
- A stunning increase in our staff: we were 236 last January and are now 405
- An employee NPS of 56, 15 points higher than the average for French start-ups
Towards a measured and controlled growth
For several years, we at Partoo have achieved an increase in our revenues ranging from 80% to 100% per year.
We appreciated some aspects: adrenaline, rhythmic work, accelerated individual progress, recognition… But we were also able to catch a glimpse of its limits: overflow, mental load, various preoccupations, fatigue, risk of erosion of the culture of our company… Yet growing at over 80% has often been a necessity.
While some promote non-growth, we believe that growth should not be a problem, especially when the company has a positive impact on society; the problem arises when growth becomes an obsession, which can easily lead to endangerment.
We have witnessed this for several months now as many scale-ups are laying off dozens, or even hundreds of people. Very often, these companies have presented to their shareholders a very ambitious growth plan based on a colossal number of recruitments. While the economic situation has deteriorated, so has their growth expectation.
Not being profitable, they had no choice but to lay off massively, regardless of the human consequences that this could generate: insecurity, anxiety, difficulty projecting oneself…
We want to avoid this pitfall at all costs and are committed to a frugal and prudent management of Partoo: ensuring our ability to become profitable, developing the business based on reliable assumptions and knowing how to slow down when it is in everyone’s interest.
Obviously, running a company this way means growing a little slower. We now know that this is not a risk for Partoo because our future success depends solely on our ability to adapt to market changes and strengthen our principles.
In this respect, we have a solid foundation: a sincere desire to help our customers, a simple and effective product and an exceptional corporate culture. The latter is one of our greatest strengths.
Brand image and corporate culture
A few decades ago, the creation of a brand was based on the identification of a strong message, hammered out with radio and television ads. “Just do it” by Nike, “Taste The Feeling by Coca Cola” or “What else” by Nespresso are good examples. Today, building a brand is a very different process.
Indeed, with the Internet, we have access in real time to thousands of contents concerning every company: a good candidate experience shared on Glassdoor, a satisfied customer expressing him/herself on Google, an inspiring message on Linkedin, an article on Techcrunch, a team building photo published on Instagram…
In this day and age where transparency (voluntary or involuntary) is key, anyone can influence a company’s brand image, and a slogan, however powerful it may be, becomes obsolete.
So, we asked ourselves: what is the best way to create a great brand image and for it to be passed on by everyone so that it may last?
Our answer was self-evident: through “corporate culture”. If the company’s culture is sincere and embodied by everyone, it will influence the passion for the customer, the simplicity in the product as well as the will to have a positive impact on our environment and society.
Thus, each person interacting with Partoo becomes an ambassador to their friends, colleagues or even family. At the end of the day, corporate culture and brand image are in fact only two sides of the same coin.
In our opinion, making our corporate culture sustainable requires mastering three points:
Since a person can have a positive influence or not on the dynamics of the company, we are vigilant during the recruitment process to ensure that everyone is in line with our culture. In particular, we are in the process of developing an evaluation grid to assess whether the candidate can embrace our 6 values.
Once recruited, candidates often have a rough idea of what defines us as a company. It is therefore our responsibility to explain to them in detail our traditions, our rituals and the way we work and communicate.
That’s why we have set up a dedicated training course on our 6 values, in order to explain to them how they can embody them on a daily basis.
Moreover, even the old-timers will contribute to this onboarding through the buddy system that we will reintroduce: each new recruit will be assigned an “old-timer” who will make sure that he/she is properly integrated during his/her first week at Partoo.
As you may have noticed, they are the cement of our culture. From the very beginning of Partoo, when we were less than ten employees, we wanted our company and the people in it to incorporate a “fun” side to their work, always sharpening their sense of “curiosity” to develop new things and “empathy” for those around them.
However, after a few years, we realized that these values were not enough to define us, because we must also know how to remain “simple” in our work, ask others and especially ourselves to have “high standards”, while keeping in mind that we have the duty to positively “impact” our planet and our surroundings.
All these values are our strength. They are the object of a real conviction, contrary to most of the companies which define theirs on the back of an envelope (just like certain banks which preach “transparency” as a founding principle…)
The majority of companies that inspire our generation have a strong culture. However, this is not enough to win against the competition. To be a leader in your market, you must be able to differentiate yourself from other players by adopting an innovative strategy.
Our strategy to be leaders
In our eyes, being the best is not an end in itself; it is, however, the only possible way to have a positive impact on society. Indeed, successes are often most watched and therefore reproduced. I
t is therefore essential for us to support a growing number of customers, to increase our market share and ultimately to be identified as leaders.
For this, we have developed a strategy around 3 axes:
We are committed to maintaining excellent relationships with the people we deal with (prospects, partners, customers). Moreover, we do our best to satisfy our customers through our product, which is simple and efficient. We believe that the combination of the two builds a strong, long-term relationship in which we are seen as a trusted partner.
This competitive advantage stems from a strong investment in 2 aspects: simplicity and support for points of sale. Few players in our market are willing to invest so much energy in simplifying the experience of their product.
Nevertheless, this seems essential to us since our users are often unfamiliar with technological platforms. As the product alone is not enough to bring them full satisfaction, they expect to have reactive support to accompany them in case of emergency.
All in one
The main value brought by our product comes from the possibility to do so many things from a single interface (manage your online visibility, control your reputation, answer messages from prospects…).
The relevance of this strategy is that, as our customers acquire software, they see how difficult it is to use it to its full potential. They therefore see centralization and the existence of a single tool as a necessity, even an absolute priority…
Although the pursuit of our development around these 3 axes makes us confident for the future, it is essential to keep in mind our corporate vision “Make things right”. Its role is to guide us in our daily decisions, to contribute to a new way of doing business, more in harmony with our environment.
My wish is that we move hand in hand in this direction and that together we influence more and more leaders, entrepreneurs, journalists, employees, students…
I wish you all an excellent year 2023!
Strength and honor.
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