We talked to Grégoire on how Chauvin Uppler is Building B2B marketplace or E-procurement platform with the best-in-class B2B e-commerce features.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Grégoire Chauvin: We have not been impacted by the COVID-19, fortunately. But it has changed a bit our way of life. My family and I used to live in New-York city, but we came back to France during this period to be closer to our families in France.
For now, we do not know what we will do next.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Uppler.
Grégoire Chauvin: Right after my studies in HEC Paris and a specialization in New Technologies in Telecom Paris, I founded Uppler in 2013 with Emilien BOUARD, CTO of the company.
Uppler was one of the first fashion B2B marketplaces, connecting fashion brand with retailers over the world. The project attracted other types of industries where key players saw the potential answer to one of their emerging needs: Digitization of B2B relationships. So, we started building B2B platforms for others. One of our first non-fashion marketplaces was for the Rungis market
(www.rungismarket.com), the largest wholesale food market in the world. Then as we worked with different industries, we continued to develop the solution with new features and workflows to answer the specific needs of B2B commerce.
How does Uppler innovate?
Grégoire Chauvin: We offer B2B companies the opportunity to quickly digitize their sales process, buying process, or their whole industry, thanks to the only all-in-one B2B e-commerce platform solution.
It can support different kinds of use cases:
• B2B marketplaces: A digital platform where multiple professional buyers can transact with a multitude of B2B vendors.
• E-procurement platforms: An internal platform to improve purchasing management inside large organizations. If you are a big organization, our solution lets you bring all your suppliers and their catalogs in one single platform, with an Amazon-like buying experience.
• B2B e-commerce websites: A simple webshop where brands can sell their products to B2B clients, such as retailers, distributors, etc. In addition, we offer the possibility to larger groups to bring all their brands into one common e-commerce webshop.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Grégoire Chauvin: The pandemic of Covid-19 is accelerating digitization inside companies. So, I think we have the chance to say that the crisis has accelerated the demand for our product. Many companies faced the need to urgently digitize their sales operations or supply chain, and we helped them during this period.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Grégoire Chauvin: Fortunately, not, we managed to maintain growth and existing contracts
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Uppler in the future?
Grégoire Chauvin: I am pretty stoic on that point. If a company answers a need on the market and executes well, it will thrive. If that is no longer the case, it will go and let space to others. I am pretty confident that we bring value to our client, and if we keep on doing so, there is no need for us to worry.
Of course, cash management issues can be challenging, especially in a period where payment terms from clients tend to increase. In anticipation, we worked internally to improve processes and the way we worked and refused some potential clients who were too much at risk.
We also distinguish that new businesses, as B2B tradeshows, are starting to think about digitization. They want to create marketplaces and then manage meetings and exchanges online. That is a new opportunity that our platform can manage, and we do not want to miss it.
So, for answering your question, I project the company to keep growing in the future.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Grégoire Chauvin: Our competitors are all the editors of marketplace solutions, as Mirakl, for example. The offer we have is different from the others:
• It is the only marketplace solution which is 100% specialized in B2B. All the features are thought to answer B2B requirements. The solution is evolving every day with the requirements of our clients, and that is why we are happy to say that we have the most advanced solution in terms of B2B features and processes.
• It is an all-in-one solution. It means that we provide a complete solution to our client with all the three interfaces that are required to manage B2B marketplaces: buyer’s front-office, vendor’s middle-office, and operator’s back-office. No additional development is required for our client, and we can be live in one month. They can use it as it is and plan a very quick launch.
Your final thoughts?
Grégoire Chauvin: We have the chance that the current crisis benefits in a way our business, but it is no reason for us to be glad. On the contrary, we have been shocked by how quickly the situation could become difficult for some of our clients. Thus, we have worked twice as hard to help them overcome the crisis.
In the end, we remain confident that the crisis will come to an end quickly!