We recently had the chance to interview Alain Mevellec, the co-founder of myFacture.com (Update – December 2022: The website seems to be out of use, and we therefore deactivated the original link).
myFacture is an innovative online invoicing system that is aimed at small companies and freelancers. With myFacture, users can generate invoices in just a few clicks. The company was founded in 2009 and is based in La Rochelle, France.
When did you have the idea for myFacture and what made you sure it was the right one?
We had a previous startup in the B2C market, which was a dating site that we sold in 2007. We started to think about creating a new service and we thought that the SME market had some potential. This market is dominated by software vendors created in the 1980’s. The internet model can really push the limit and open new ways of working. It was the right time to launch a product for SMEs.
How did you finance the startup-phase of myFacture and who invested?
With my co-founder, Frédéric Coulais, we invested directly in the seed stage. We came out with a beta version, started to monetize after six months and then started to look for new investors. In December, we raised €1 million with Alto Invest, to support new developments and increase our sales.
Looking back – what would you do differently in the startup-stage and what were the main stumbling blocks of the first year?
As we’re experienced, we didn’t have that much on a corporate side, but the initial coding took longer than we thought. We planned 6 months, and it took us a year and a half to have a really working product. But it was worth it!
What makes myFacture unique, or better than other online invoicing systems out there?
We’re more web guys than software guys. We have a strong focus on ergonomics and ease of use. Traditional software is often complex to master. With myFacture you can create and send your first invoice in minutes. The advanced features exist, but they don’t overwhelm the interface.
What new features of myFacture are coming up in 2011 and do you have any plans to enter additional markets within or outside the EU soon?
We have a very strong pipeline ahead of us: mobility (smartphones, tablets), project management, time tracking. We want to build a full suite of modules before going international. But the final goal is to adapt the solution in different European markets, as it is pretty unique and can work everywhere.
How many people are working for myFacture right now, and how do you support the corporate culture?
We are (or will soon be) 10 people. We re-hired people from our previous businesses, so the corporate culture sort of kept on going.
Where would you like to see myFacture in 3 years?
We see ourselves as a leader in France, with a strong user base, raising more funds and going international.
What would you do for a living, if you had not started a business?
I always did, never had a boss. So…
How is your experience of La Rochelle as a location to start a company?
We work in small city by the seaside, where the ambiance is very different to big cities. We try to avoid stress and work more efficiently. Our people are really happy to have a job (we’re probably the only startup in town) with such good conditions. It really helps.
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