Dealt turns retailers into service providers and proves that pivots sometimes work

Dealt, a French startup formerly known as Mon Super Voisin, raised a €6 million funding round ($6.5 million at today’s exchange rate) a few months ago.

More importantly, the startup went through an important pivot. And this funding round proves that this strategy was the right one. It’s an interesting lesson for early-stage founders who are thinking about pivoting but aren’t willing to pivot just yet.

As the name suggests for our French-speaking readers, Mon Super Voisin was the typical freelancer marketplace for home tasks. You could use the platform to find a “neighbor” to mount a TV on the wall, help you with furniture assembly or arrange a deep clean of your home.

The company realized that some of these are one-off tasks that don’t create repeat customers. Even if clients find a gardener or a cleaning person through the platform, they would often bypass the platform entirely and pay the person directly.

At the same time, many of those tasks could be considered as post-purchase services. When you buy a washing machine, you might need some help to carry the machine to the right room and set it up.

“With an analysis of our business, we realized that over two-thirds of our users’ requests at the time of Mon Super Voisin were actually retail customers who needed help after purchasing something,” Dealt co-founder and CEO Mickael Braconnier told TechCrunch.

That’s why Dealt is now building a service platform for retailers instead of end customers. The company first started working with Mr. Bricolage, a popular DIY retailer in France. Dealt operates a white-label platform for Mr. Bricolage so that it can upsell its own clients with services.

“We helped them develop their home delivery and installation offer. We developed the offer around the installation of products, including light fittings, curtain rails, mixer taps, toilets, shower cubicles, etc.” Braconnier said.

Before working with Dealt, some Mr. Bricolage stores had business cards of nearby craftspeople and they would just share a business card with a customer. But there was no way to know the price in advance, the shop wouldn’t get any cut on the transaction, and customers would sometimes end up going to another store that offers a proper installation service.

This new distribution strategy for Dealt is more efficient because the company now acts as software-as-a-service startup and everyone’s interests are aligned. After an initial setup fee, Dealt’s clients pay a monthly subscription fee to access the platform. The subscription depends on the number of stores that use Dealt’s tools and marketplace.

After that, retailers like Mr. Bricolage can provide services and generate new revenue lines as they take a cut on each transaction. As for service providers, it’s another marketplace that can help them find clients.

For instance, Jardiland, Truffaut and Botanic all work with Dealt to offer gardening services. Some gardeners may already have their own client base, but it might be a bit quiet during the winter. Working with Dealt could be a way to complement their revenue.

Other Dealt clients include Fnac-Darty, Orange, E.Leclerc, Conforama, Boulanger, 3Suisses and Rue du Commerce. Some of these retailers work with Dealt to provide services that aren’t necessarily related to a new purchase. Clients may want to repair something, transfer data from an old smartphone to a new smartphone or resell old appliances.

La Poste Ventures (operated by XAnge) is leading the €6 million funding round. GO Capital, One Green, Holnest, Neo Founders and a bunch of business angels are also participating.

Dealt currently works with 10,000 service providers, 500 retail stores and 40 e-commerce clients. The startup expects to expand to other European countries next year, starting with Belgium, Switzerland and Spain.

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