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

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

More importantly, the startup went through a major 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 changing, but aren’t ready to change yet.

As the name suggests to our French-speaking readers, Mon Super Voisin was the quintessential freelancer marketplace for work-from-home jobs. You can use the platform to find a ‘neighbor’ who can mount a TV on the wall, help you assemble furniture or arrange a deep cleaning of your home.

The company realized that some of these are one-time tasks that do not generate repeat customers. Even when customers find a gardener or a cleaner through the platform, they often bypass the platform completely and pay the person directly.

At the same time, many of these tasks can be considered post-purchase services. When you buy a washing machine, you may need some help carrying the machine to the right room and setting it up.

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

Therefore Treated is now building a service platform for retailers instead of for end customers. The company first started working with Mr. Bricolage, a popular DIY store in France. Dealt operates a white-label platform for Mr Bricolage, so that it can offer services to its own customers.

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

Before working with Dealt, some Mr. Bricolage shops take business cards from local artisans and simply share a business card with a customer. But it was not possible to know the price in advance, the store did not receive any discount on the transaction, and customers sometimes went to another store that offered a good installation service.

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

Then retailers like Mr. Bricolage can provide services and generate new revenue by cutting back on each transaction. As for service providers, it is another marketplace that can help them find customers.

For example, Jardiland, Truffaut and Botanic all work with Dealt to offer gardening services. Some gardeners may already have their own customer base, but things can be a bit quiet in the winter. Working with Dealt could be a way to supplement their income.

Dealt’s other 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 are not necessarily related to a new purchase. For example, customers want to repair something, transfer data from an old smartphone to a new smartphone or resell old devices.

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

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

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