Ecosystem Nov 28, 2017

Here again with our series of founders' interviews. This time, we asked a few questions to Julien Cote, cofounder of Wakeo.


1. Please explain the Wakeo offer.

Wakeo is a Saas platform that helps large industrial companies reach real-time visibility on shipping flows.

To move goods internationally by sea, air or road, industrial importers use many different carriers in a fragmented market. And this industry is still old-fashioned, relying on phone calls, emails and faxes to organize and track shipments. Whereas it is really easy in B2C to track your online parcel, in the B2B world of freight, even large shippers struggle to know where their goods are and when they will arrive.

Wakeo brings software and digitization into this trillion $ market, using satellite data and datascience to track shipments, anticipate delays and send notifications. Our platform makes real-time tracking for freight as easy as tracking parcels on Amazon.

Wakeo brings agility and anticipation to large corporations which allows them to provide an innovative customer experience, to automate processes and to anticipate for a better planning of production lines and resources.

2. How might you compare your service to that of Convargo or Shippeo?

Wakeo is focused on international shipping driven by complex chains and multiple transport modes. We are able to track shipments by sea, air and road. The freight leaves a factory in China to reach a warehouse by road. It is then loaded into a container and a ship for several weeks with a high uncertainty about the date of arrival. After clearing customs, another carrier transports the goods until the final warehouse.

This market is called freight forwarding, and it covers all shipments above 150 kg using a combination of sea, air and road segments.

Convargo or Shippeo are interesting companies focused on the freight road market, which is complementary to international shipping.

3. About you, what did you do before founding Wakeo Shipping?

My co-founder Loïc Marzin and I used to work at PwC in consulting. We got the opportunity to work on many different businesses, and a lot of them were struggling with service quality in their supply chain. Previously, I graduated from EMLyon Business School after doing my “classes préparatoires” at Lycée du Parc in Lyon.

My grandfather was an entrepreneur in industrial automation, and I inherited from him a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Shipping is a fascinating industry at the heart of global trade, I felt this was the right time to bring digitization and data into this world.


4. What advice would you give to startups wishing to enter one of Techstars acceleration programs?

Techstars is a unique experience. It is a strong network of successful entrepreneurs, corporate partners, investors and mentors. People are committed to make things happen, to learn and iterate fast to bring value to high-potential start-ups. You can reach anyone from a Techstars program worldwide and they will help you.

It generates a lot of opportunities that are incredibly valuable when you launch your business. You can talk to leading companies and decision-makers, and collect great feedback to improve your execution. On the other side, it is also a great opportunity for corporate leaders. At Techstars, they find an open ecosystem to work with dynamic start-ups to find solutions to some of their problems, which gives them a competitive edge.


5. What do you like most about working in Paris?

The Paris tech ecosystem is moving fast. There is a strong momentum in France and specifically in Paris. We were backed by BPI France, Institut Mines Telecom and Scientipole, which is a major support to accelerate our development. The political support and the fact that Paris is challenging London in terms of VC funding show how attractive the city is. In Paris, there are also a lot of talented people enthusiastic about innovation.
I have been living in Paris for the past 4 years, I really love its dynamism and the endless list of great restaurants and cool places, like Sunset and Le Ruisseau, two of my favourite local places in the 18th arrondissement.


Thank you Julien! We'll go and try those restaurants!


Want to learn more about Wakeo? It's there.


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