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

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 round of financing shows that this strategy was the right one. It’s an interesting lesson for early-stage founders who are thinking about pivoting but aren’t ready to do it yet.

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

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

At the same time, many of those tasks could be considered post-purchase services. When you buy a washing machine, you may need help getting it to the right room and installing it.

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

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

“We help them develop their installation and home delivery offer. We develop the offer around the installation of products, including lighting fixtures, curtain rails, single-lever taps, toilets, shower cabins, etc.” Braconnier said.

Before working with Dealt, some Mr. Bricolage stores had business cards from nearby crafters and would simply share a business card with a customer. But there was no way to know the price beforehand, the store didn’t get any discount on the transaction, and sometimes customers ended up going to another store that offered a proper installation service.

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

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

For example, Jardiland, Truffaut and Botanic work with Dealt to offer gardening services. Some gardeners may already have their own customer base, but it may be a little quiet during the winter. Working with Dealt could be a way to supplement your 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. Customers may want to repair something, transfer data from an old smartphone to a new one, or resell old appliances.

La Poste Ventures (operated by XAnge) leads the €6 million financing round. GO Capital, One Green, Holnest, Neo Founders and a group of business angels also participate.

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

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