BIME ! STAY Zen(desk)… AND CARRY ON Rachel !!!

BIME_Zendesk

From left to right: Jeremy Uzan (Alven Capital), Nicolas Raspal (BIME), Rachel Delacour (BIME),  John Geschke (General Counsel of Zendesk Inc.)

We would usually never do that !

I keep repeating that Frenchy is not a media and not a blog either…But  a unique inspiration catalyst and a truth revealer…  The truth of those who do and change the world: OUR ENTREPRENEURS.

At Frenchy, we actualy refuse to be guided by the news…

But today we are so happy to make an exception and celebrate SMACHING NEWS:

Rachel Delacour, Co-founder of BIME ANALYTICS, and her team have achieved a wonderful exit. Their company has been acquired by Zendesk Inc. for $ 45 million cash.

When I saw her one week ago before that amaizing anouncement, Rachel told me:

Fred, I can’t tell you more yet but if everything goes well, we have some « Big Stuff » coming on…

That is typical from Rachel… Since I have met her I have always seen her actionning to embrasse her dreams, demonstrating that everything is possible in a sort of permanent YES WE CAN mode:

YES WE CAN imagine a BI solution for every organisation whatever their size and budget…

YES WE CAN run BI in SAAS…

YES WE CAN as a woman from region in France challenge the US software industry…

YES WE CAN cope with three lifes in one as a wife, a co-founder and a mother…

YES WE CAN deliver a x5-10 valuation multiple in just 2 years…

YES WE CAN close a wonderful exit in pregnancy…

 

We Are Very Proud of You Guys ! BRAVO !!!

 

You all know that here on Frenchy, it’s only about the people… So, in order to celebrate this wonderful exit, we have wished to ask to those who know Rachel and her team from the beginning to tell us about their unique story. Are you ready ? Let’s go…

First, we have asked Jeremy Uzan, their VC at Alven Capital, if he remembered his immediate thought when he was pitched by the 2 BIME Co-founders…

Jeremy_Uzan

Yes, when I met with Rachel and Nicolas for the first time, it happened what happens sometimes, rarely actually, when I met with young entrepreneurs:  I could physically feel their strengh and ambition, their tremendous will to build something BIG . There was this fire in their eyes saying:

We do know we will make it, we will give all we have and we will be successful… With or without you by the way…

All those who have already met with Rachel know exactly what I mean. Shis is literaly of a endless optimism and energy.

We have then asked Jeremy what he lurnt from BIME execution and if this could teach anything to the rest of the French Tech…

That’s taugh to extract general learnings from a specific experience, every single entrepreneur journey is always unique. What I essentialy take away from the BIME adventure is the personal comitment of the founders, that very specific form of total commitment you only come accross with Star entrepreneurs and which is absolutely required to hit very high objectives. Rachel and Nicolas have never doubted actually even if nothing was easy… Tipically it had been an endless series of daily challenges. All the entrepreneurs face that and have to cope with it keeping calm, control and confidence. It is precisely this mindset which will make their team follow and trust them until the very end and what will allow them to build things BIGRachel and Nicolas have managed to gather a wonderful team, in France and the US. It was the team who turned it real as a wonderful « Made in France » Tech success.

 

Among the Startup community in Montpellier, it seems that Rachel has always played a special role. That’s what Sabine Safi, Co-founder of 1001 Pharmacies, confessed us:

Sabine_Safi

Credit Photo : Olivier Ezratti – QFDN 2014

I met with Rachel for the first time at a female CEOs Meetup in Montpellier. Clearly already at this time, she was literaly magnetizing everyone. CHARISMA you said… Their exit? It’s AMAZING! And obviously a wonderful message too: You can be a woman, young, CEO of a startup that you set up with your husband, having a baby and being and PROUD TO BE from Montpellier… Having an unusal background in Audit, being so energetic, franc and direct and despite all of this, WIN THE US! For all those reasons THANK YOU SO MUCH Rachel and the BIME Team… You are a real source of hope and confidence for all of us…

 

To return to the early begining of BIME who else than Catherine Pommier who runs Cap Omega, their incubator in Montpellier, to tell us how the whole story begins…

Catherine_Pommier

Credit Photo : Olivier Ezratti – QFDN 2014

We met with Rachel for the first time in 2008, 1 year before they set up WeAre Cloud actually. At this time, the Cloud and SAAS technologies were at their early begining. Rachel‘s Co-founder, Nicolas Raspail, had managed to develop « a new to the world piece of technology » which enabled a unique calculating capacity in the Cloud, at this time it was really disruptive. The beauty was that on her side Rachel was already convinced that she could win the world with it. Since at this time the Big Accounts were rather reluctant to host their data in the Cloud, the access market was the Small and Medium Size Companies. Despite all the doubts, Rachel remained focused and never gave up! A tremendous comitment and an amaizing energy, all of this into a single little piece of woman… That what convinced us to support the team. All really starts when they won that award of the Minitery of Research in 2009 (I-Lab). They received at this time the necessary funds to develop the very first version of BIME. Then we introduced them to their first Angel investor, François Legros, former CEO of Genesys Conferencing (Another success story from Montpellier acquired by Intercall in 2008) who was the first one to believe and invest in BIME. At this stage, all was still very uncertain. I think the mindset and personality of Rachel led François to invest! From that exact moment nothing could have stoped them anymore. Even in pregnancy, then as a young mother, Rachel had beeng continuing to run all over the world and advocate for the Cloud pure players all the timeRachel is also a key Ambassador of the French Tech in Montpelier. She made a lot when we apply to receive the official label from the government in order to demonstrate all the dynamism of or our local and national ecosystems. And when she has been asked why she remains based in Montpellier when all their market is in the US, she continues to cheerlead the colors of her original town, exactly as she advocates the US setup of BIME in Kansas City whereas everyone is only talking about San Francisco. That is Rachel! Typical from her… Challenging the status quo and keeping relax to demonstrate to the whole world that she was right and that nothing can stop her moving forward.

 

;And finally we could not have this post done, without asking Rachel to tell us specifically about the WHY and the BACKSTAGE side of this wonderful exit…

 Rachel_Delacour_Challenges

Credit Photo – Challenges

We were already big big fans of Zendesk. No posters in our bedroom but close to… 🙂 The story of these European Co-founders making waves in Silicon valley is fantastic. We are so proud to be part of this modern, smart and successful family. As we talked more with the Zendesk team, two things really clicked for us: The first point is that ‘culture’ is something really important to us. It is a bit hard to describe what culture is, but it’s that thing that makes you proud of your team, that thing that makes you happy when you wake up and go to work, that thing that will make every meeting shorter and each decision easier, that thing that will inevitably be visible to your customers in a thousand small touches. So long story short; we really believe that our culture is very close to the one of Zendesk. This makes integrating and working together easier, more efficient and – life is short – more fun. The second point that made this choice of joining forces obvious was the Zendesk strategy. We love what we are  doing at BIME. We want to help the world explore, understand and communicate data. WE WANT TO GO BIG. The Zendesk strategy helps us do that. First, because of the value we can bring to Zendesk’s existing customers. Second because of the obvious synergy between the amazing products under the Zendesk umbrella (Zopim, Voice & Embeddables). The vision of having that suite of services complementing each other is something we really believe in. Together we can transform and lead the analytics industry, which is really compelling to us, but we can also look a bit further and tackle other areas of the SAAS industry.

About an anecdote: I read Mikkel Svane‘s book « Startupland ». Mikkel is the CEO of Zendesk and I highly recommend its reading by the way. He seems to be  a fan of « The Cure » . I am myself completely crazy about Robert Smith. I even got the approval from the priest to play the orchestral version of « Boys don’t cry » in the church when my Co-founder and I got married 🙂 It seems there is a true rational culture fit, right ?

 

Frenchy: What’s next for you now? You are going to switch in an Angel mode?

Rachel: Yes this is something I want. I would like to focus on French female Tech entrepreneurs...

Frenchy: A message for your Co-founder, your VC ?..

Rachel: There were many « <3 » in our tweets recently 🙂 for Jeremy Uzan (Alven Capital), from the #AlvenFamily (I will feel part of it forever) :

Nothing would have been possible without them.

To my Co-founder:

I am glad to create another startup with him, expected for the end of february. With Nicolas, it never ends. Which kind? We are expecting our second little boy 🙂

 

Frenchy: A message for the French Tech community ?
Rachel: ….
Our story will be duplicated soon. And that is good news for the French ecosystem. Other unicorns will work with French tech companies. The CEO of Cisco recently recognized that French Tech companies are among the most promising. We have a fantastic educational background that fits today’s tech business requirements. France shines and the world is looking at France with this kind of news… In the same way, we brought more light to « Montpellier » being featured in Techcrunch and Venturebeat recently.
 .

Go la French Tech, good job…

And Go Frenchy we love your style! 🙂

 

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