Machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence—Julien Dinh, Senior Research Lead at...
Paycar : buy and sell your used car safely
Paycar has rapidly earned universal acclaim, delivering a solution to a problem experienced by anyone seeking to buy or sell a used car – which includes some 12 million people every year in France. So the idea easily won over the teams at BNP Paribas, who invited the startup to join the Group’s FinTech Accelerator. Recounting that adventure is Paycar’s founder, Vincent Marty-Lavauzelle.
The Paycar solution seems like a response to a situation you might have experienced in real life. Is that true?
It is! A few years ago I was selling a used car. I arranged to meet a buyer on a Saturday afternoon, but I had no way to verify the check I received for the car. And then I had to find time to cash the check… It took a week before the money showed up in my account. The whole process seemed tedious and inefficient.
Several years later, I was discussing potential services to develop through a startup, and someone in the conversation mentioned used car sales. It immediately became clear: we needed to design a fast, secure and simple solution for buyers and sellers. Paycar was born!
Paycar has 2 co-founders: how did you meet?
We met for professional and social reasons: Michael Waldman and I got in touch through our respective businesses. When I decided to create my startup, the choice was clear: Michael was the partner I needed to accompany me in this adventure. In addition to his technical abilities and experience, he is someone I trust. We have a lot in common. Fortunately for me, he accepted my offer!
How did you get in touch with L'Atelier BNP Paribas Lab?
After attending the kickoff event for BNP Paribas’s Innov & Connect initiative, we came up with an idea for connecting innovative startups and excellent ETIs. So I reached out to BNP Paribas to suggest that Group subsidiaries could also get involved in partnerships like these. The idea must have clicked with BNP Paribas, because just a few months later, we read in the news about the launch of its FinTech Accelerator!
So we applied immediately. We were then invited to give an oral presentation to a group of around twenty people. We showed up somewhat less prepared than we could have been, but our spontaneity and our enthusiasm must have convinced the panel!
What did you expect from the Accelerator? Did it live up to your expectations?
Our main goal was to meet with other entrepreneurs. Every startup faces the same problems, so we wanted a chance to share information, help other startups, and get their advice.
We didn’t have any specific expectations concerning the team from L’Atelier, and we were surprised by the quantity and quality of the services we received! We participated in several valuable groups and workshops. Above all, we received attentive, well-intentioned and personalized support. We weren’t expecting to see experts do so much for us, offering their time and sharing their knowledge.
We weren’t expecting to see experts do so much for us, offering their time and sharing their knowledge.
“ Beyond the concrete aspects, we also enjoyed a fabulous experience on a human level.”
Co-Founder of Paycar
What are your thoughts on taking part in the FinTech Accelerator?
While we had already launched our offer before taking part, the FinTech accelerator enabled us to improve our structure, expand our commercial offer, and develop our marketing strategy. We received solid press coverage and even won an RB Innovation award. Most importantly, we formed a privileged relationship with BNP Paribas.
Today, we are still hosted at WAI locations, and our collaboration with the BNP Paribas group takes concrete form…
Beyond the concrete aspects, we also enjoyed a fabulous experience on a human level.
BNP Paribas Group takes part in Paycar's first funding round
The BNP Paribas Group has decided to take part in Paycar’s first funding roung of €1.3 million. A minority stake to finance and support the development of the startup, using the Group’s expertise and knowledge of the target market. “This funding round will enable us to put the right structures in place so that we can move even faster; and secondly, the partnership with BNP Paribas will help to speed up adoption of our service and drive business growth. Our long-term goal is to establish PayCar as the standard payment method for all second-hand vehicle sales” states Vincent Marty-Lavauzelle.
What advice do you have for startups planning to join L'Atelier BNP Paribas?
You can’t count on the Accelerator for everything: each startup holds the keys to its own success within the program. It takes a strong commitment, as well as a positive attitude. We took part in all of the workshops and events on schedule, even when we were busy. I think that our level of motivation even encouraged the teams from L’Atelier BNP Paribas Lab to play an even stronger role to support us.
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