Paatch is an idea that germinated during the lockdowns. “I had become a solo telecommuter and the isolation weighed heavily on me. Why not find us at several, to work remotely, in a pleasant environment and for short periods? explains Niels Rolland. Experiences in villas in Cap-Ferret, chalets in Morzine or houses in the Dordogne are starting. seat rental, to each his own roomsharing of common areasfree time and participative spirit… A way of telecommuting “roommate” was born.
In March 2022, Niels Rolland and Cédric Boivent decided to professionalize the concept with the creation of the company Paatch. The former takes care of the development while the latter manages the technical implementation. The start-up becomes the first community work platform in France.
Now offers one-day formulas coworking in the city or a week of “living together” by the sea, the mountains or the countryside. Paatch claims to date 1,000 participants or “paatchers”, divided evenly between employees and freelancers. Turnover reaches 25,000 euros in 2022. The start-up’s objective is to reach 10,000 members within three years. A growth of patcher community which is the key to the company’s success.
business model pivot
Indeed, Paatch’s business model currently relies solely on the telecommuter, whether employed or self-employed. This makes an annual subscription of 15 euros to the platform to become active member of the community. As such, it is a source of proposals to enrich the catalog of places. He then pays a portion of the rent for the space, on which the start-up receives a 10% commission.
However, at the beginning of the adventure, the entrepreneur’s vision contemplates a wide offer to the companies that come to participate cost of living Paatch from your employee. During the summer of 2022, Niels Rolland contacted several large group HR departments. “A waste of energy because even though the majority of employees are in favor of telecommuting, many companies maintain a strong face-to-face culture. They don’t want to encourage remote work. But it is only a matter of time before telecommuting becomes the norm”, says Niels Rolland.
The entrepreneur then understands that his gateway to this business market will pass through the community of “paatchers”, since so many telecommuters manage to exert pressure on their employer. In this way, he intends to make Paatch a recruitment lever and employee loyalty, because “a company that offers weeks of work several times a year in attractive third-party locations is attractive”. The start-up is also in contact with companies such as Revolut or Airbnb, which have converted 100% to teleworking, and which already have “paatchers” among their employees.
Financing put to the test
Other challenges awaited the startup. Starting with funding to develop the platform prototype. “For that, we got a French technology exchange of 30,000 euros, in addition to our personal contribution of 5,000 euros. We also had the advice of a technology specialist, who injected 20,000 euros into the project”, says Niels Rolland. Paatch joined a Paris&Co incubation platform in September 2022, where the start-up leases its offices. This support allowed them to structure the activity around monitoring indicators or meeting with specialists. “A former director of customer experience at Air France gave us advice on ways to unite our community, around small rituals, for example”, says the businessman.
Paatch can benefit within the incubator of a support program paying, 1,000 euros per month. A still high value for the start-up. “But it is possible to request support from the City of Paris and the Parisian Innovation Fund. Let’s get down to it,” says Niels Rolland. Beyond these challenges, Paatch maintains its ambition to create a employee ecosystemfreelancers and companies that defend a new way of organizing work.