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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - BPCE Group case study: AppStud (France), Mobile applications development company

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Data analysis, user feedback and information on how products are being used have always been relevant for the improvement of the product itself. In the world of mobile applications, this potential is no doubt even greater.

AppStud is active in this field, specialised in the design of innovative tailor-made mobile applications, through a user-centric production methodology. They already have a proven track-record on the mobile market, working with a broad range of high-profile clients, including Airbus, Nespresso or LVMH. Bastien Rassat, the company’s founder and director, developed an innovate instrument called ‘Azot’, which detects consumers’ behaviour within each mobile application. In his own words: “For those who make apps and don’t know whether their interfaces are understood or not, we designed Azot. Azot is an app analytics tool. It analyses every gesture on every screen of your app, to be able to answer this question: Do they use my app the way I thought they would?”

To finance his company’s growth, Bastien secured an EU-guaranteed loan provided by the French bank Groupe BPCE and backed by EIF under the Investment Plan for Europe, the EU initiative aiming to generate new investments in Europe through the support of small and medium-sized enterprises. He used the first part of the loan to finance research and development efforts around the first version of ‘Azot’ on iOS, and the second part to finance its adaptation to Android.

However, before getting this EU-guaranteed loan, Bastien reveals that he considered other financing solutions for his company, such as raising funds through so-called ‘business angels’. “But this would have entailed several shortcomings”, explains Bastien. “First of all, we would have ended up spending a lot of time and energy in securing the financing instead of focussing on the project itself; and secondly, we would have surrendered ownership of part of our company before the project even saw the light of day.”

Eventually, obtaining a loan thanks to the EU’s backing was better in every way. Bastien says that “If we would not have been able to benefit from the InnovFin loan, it would have created a delay in the release of ‘Azot’. And in the world of innovation where everything moves very fast (especially in the mobile sector!), we needed to act as fast as possible.”

Since Bastien got his loan, he has hired 4 additional engineers to work on ‘Azot’, bringing the size of AppStud’s team to a total of 15 persons.

Company: AppStud (France)

Type of business: Mobile applications development company

EIF financing: InnovFin SMEG, EFSI

Financial intermediary: BPCE Group

For further information about EIF intermediaries in France, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/fr

 

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