This week, Team Breega is excited to be introducing you to one of our very latest and rather unusual investments, Wecandoo, an experience marketplace that connects the general public with the artisans and craftspeople that create and shape the everyday objects that surround us.
With a network of over 1200 artisans in over 30 different cities in France, Wecandoo proposes live workshops that allow the public to learn how everyday objects are made and to have a go at making them themselves.
Consumers can benefit from over 2300 classes covering almost every conceivable skill from pottery, weaving and bread making to learning how to make your own cutlery or cleaning products. All of which can be taken home afterwards. Craft lessons can either be booked online or bought in experience gift boxes now available in the French retail chains, FNAC and Cultura.
More than just an experience marketplace, Wecandoo has a strong social mission that consists of raising awareness of France’s artisans and their value-add. Before launching in 2017, its founders Edouard EYGLUNENT, Grégoire HUGON and Arnaud TIRET travelled around France, meeting artisans to find out why there are so many misconceptions around their work, particularly as regards cost. Grégoire tells us:
“After meeting and exchanging with multiple artisans and craftspeople around the country, it soon became clear to us that while 98% of French people have a positive opinion of the craft industry, very few actually buy craft products. We decided to do something about it”.
They did so by building a network of artisans around the country, encouraging them to advertise and sell their wares online and helping them to design and build workshops for different audiences. As a result, the majority of these artisans have seen their business activity increase by up to 40%.
Why Wecandoo (it)
If you’re familiar with Breega’s investment thesis then you would be forgiven for thinking that this is not our usual investment style. So what attracted us to Wecandoo?
Firstly, it was the originality of their offering, their strong social mission and the drive and skill of their team that attracted us to this startup. And secondly, their results. Each week, an average of 2,000 participants take part in Wecandoo’s craft workshops. Fueled by the covid lockdowns and people’s need to meet up and take part in fun and *authentic* activities, website visits increased threefold between 2020 and 2021, reaching an average of 150,000 visits per month. And the startup’s business activity has quadrupled over the past two years.
François PAULUS, Founding Partner at Breega says:
“With Covid-19 and its successive lockdowns, consumers, now more aware of environmental and societal issues, are looking to consume more responsibly. Wecandoo’s model makes sense from a societal as well as a commercial point of view. Breega is delighted to support this dynamic and motivated team in their mission to become a leader in the experience sector”.
Why Breega ?
When looking to raise their first round, Grégoire and Edouard say that they were attracted by Breega’s entrepreneurial DNA and our operations team that provide free practical help and support. Co-founder Edouard tells us:
“Breega, like us, are entrepreneurs. So they are extremely quick at understanding the challenges we meet. Their strong expertise, especially on digital marketplaces, both B2B and B2C, made it clear for us that they were the right team to partner with. There was also almost immediately a great human fit with every single interlocutor we had”.
Our all-star Ops team was also a compelling argument:
“Their Ops team was also a great asset since we wanted our investors to be involved in business operations every day with us. We will definitely make great use of all their expertise and resources !”
Thanks to their 3,2 million euro raise, Wecandoo will be opening up in 20 new French cities before moving into Europe. Already present in Belgium, their classes will soon also be available in Switzerland and Spain.
They will also be expanding their offering to include more arts based classes and different formats such as immersive weekends and eventually entire training courses leading to a diploma. Lastly, with this fundraise, the team plans to expand their B2B offering and set up a subscription system for companies.
“If we can bring awareness to people of the importance of the role played by artisans in our society through enriching and enjoyable classes where they can create with their own hands whilst also encouraging them to consume more responsibly and sustainably then we will have won”.
Breega is proud to be helping Wecandoo in their mission to bring awareness to artisans while enlightening and empowering consumers. Their short to mid term goal is to ensure that everyone in France and Belgium will be able to take part in a class within 50 km of their home.
And with their dedication and drive, Breega is sure that they can doo it. 😉