a strategic turnaround and layoffs, Actu

End of the year very busy for Meero🇧🇷 The start-up specializing in photographic subcontracting changes its CEO. Thomas Rebaud is replaced by Gaétan Rougevin-Baville, who until now was director of operations and one of the first employees of the young film. created in 2016🇧🇷 The founder remains on the board and retains his shares in Meero.

Two other faces are emerging on the start-up’s management committee: Fanny Kauffer, in charge of the catering and tourism verticals, becomes chief revenue officer, and Alix Moggia, formerly of Criteo, takes over as chief product officer. These three appointments, including that of the CEO, who has a very technical profile, illustrate the strategic shift this Next40 member is making towards software.

Originally, Meero was a marketplace connecting freelance photographers to companies in the tourism and restaurant sectors with clients such as Deliveroo, Airbnb and real estate agencies.

72 planned job cuts

This activity will gradually cease because it never regained its pre-crisis levels of health. “There is a kind of long Covid in marketing investments”, image Gaétan Rougevin-Baville, who recalls that his photographer clients have not been able to travel for months. “Marketing budgets, which include visual content, were frozen”, recalls the boss, who tried to sell this activity without success.

This closure will be accompanied by layoffs. The start-up has just launched a procedure for informing and consulting workers’ representatives with a view to eliminating 72 jobs in France. “We are going to offer support measures, support for training and professional mobility in addition to legal measures”, underlines the new CEO, who specifies that the backup plan (PSE) should come into effect around the first quarter of 2023🇧🇷

This isn’t the first time Meero, which raised $230 million in 2019, has reduced its workforce. Following the health crisis, it resorted to reducing working hours and instituted a collective contractual termination and an employment safeguard plan.

In a year and a half, the start-up went from 600 to 350 employees. Since then, the workforce has been stable, according to the boss. Also within the start-up there was a requalification of less than a dozen employees linked to its wedding photography activity. “We did some tests and it didn’t work. It would take seven or eight years to break even”, explains Gaétan Rougevin-Baville.

most recurring revenue

With this future PSE, Meero will be made up of 50% technical profiles, whereas previously the company was heavily dominated by commercial profiles. Efforts are massive in the development of its software created in 2020 and marketed since the beginning of 2022. Specifically, it allows you to manage the entire lifecycle of photos (image size, selection, etc.) thanks to artificial intelligence. Everything adapted to each sector (real estate, automobile, catering, etc.). “You don’t cut a car like you cut a pizza”, illustrates Gaétan Rougevin-Baville.

To make its move, Meero acquired CarCutter, an Austrian automotive image processing solution, and AutoRetouch, a German fashion photo editing platform, earlier this year. This branch of software will allow the company to generate more recurring revenues (ARR in jargon), an economic model acclaimed by venture capital funds that injected a total of around 300 million dollars into the start-up. “Software generates around 40% of our turnover, but its share should increase very quickly”, says the manager.

At the same time, Meero will continue to develop its professional fashion photography activity, both in the studio and with clients (brands and marketplaces). “We aim to increase our turnover tenfold in three years”, guarantees the CEO, who does not give further details and does not communicate about the income for 2022.

This growth will be funded by the start-up’s two activities. No funding is foreseen in the short term. “We are not going to get up in two or three years”, says the boss, who also has no plans to make a profit in the short term.

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