The current newcomer of the TOP 100 Swiss startup ranking Movu (#31) sets itself the aim of providing the best moving and cleaning offer for its customers. Now they signed a deal with Swisscom. We talked with CEO Laurent Decrue about his company, the deal with Swisscom, a recently closed funding round and his favorite joke.
Laurent, before we talk about MOVU, tell us your story.
I’m originally from Basel, grew up there and studied Business and Economics. My grandfather always pushed us to work in a big stable company, preferably a bank or Nestlé, or to become a doctor. So after my studies I joined UBS. But I soon realized the corporate world will not suit me. So I joined DeinDeal and was given the chance to build their online furniture shop Home & Living from scratch. It was a great time and I learned a lot, but I soon realized that I’m probably what you would call “unemployable” in todays company structures.
How did the idea of MOVU come up?
My parents were moving and used one of the biggest moving companies in Switzerland to do so. The people were really friendly and went about the job really professionally, but the miscalculated the amount of work completely. Instead of 8-10 employees it would have probably taken around 15 employees. So we all had to help and the move was done around midnight. So I was thinking: If even one of the best companies, after visiting our house can misjudge the work by that much, there has to potential to change the processes of this industry. The moving business was still completely offline and our founding team has a strong digital background. I was hooked.
What distinguishes your technology from your competitors?
There is no competitor that has the service approach that we do. We accompany our users from the moment they make an inquiry with us until they are settled in their new home. Our service is completely free of charge and we have the right, automated solution for every problem along the journey. Our marketplace technology is highly sophisticated and flexible so we can always adjust to new challenges.
Furthermore, we build our technology with the goal to help moving companies adjust to the new digital world we are living in and not to push them out of business and take their share of the market. We strongly believe that our technology enriches the experience for both, users as well as moving and cleaning companies.
You signed a deal with Swisscom about Service Innovation. How did that come up?
As a startup with a lot of flexibility we are helping Swisscom to give all their clients a perfect moving experience. We, together with a team in Swisscom that consists of Armin Ledergeber, David Brunnschweiler and Björn Linder are challenging the processes that are implemented in Swisscom at the moment and trying to improve whatever is possible.
What are your expectations from this deal?
At the least we are hoping that by working together with Swisscom we can benefit from their reach to get to new customers, gain even more trust in the market and on the other hand will also be able to give back ideas on new processes, a flexible environment in which they can test certain measures and learn from each other.
To us, this is a prove of concept that we can help big corporations take the next step in service innovation and with some of them we’d like to integrate a lot deeper in the future. Which ones is still up for discussion at the moment though.
At what stage is MOVU today and what do you plan next?
We’ve become the leading moving platform in Switzerland in our first year and our numbers keep growing at an incredible rate. Our goal for next year is to build on that success to enhance the user experience, offer a lot more services and ensure our vision of being “the one stop shop for moving and cleaning services”.
Recently you closed another funding round. How did the deal come about?
After the closing of our last round in July, we still had a lot of investors that were interested to invest in our company. Therefore, we decided to raise another round. The investors we’ve added to our network are all bringing a lot of experience and strategic knowledge with them, which has been of outmost importance for us since the beginning of our venture.
How will you invest the money?
The biggest part will go into enhancing our technology and our customer service because these are the main pillars of our success so far. Another part will be used to grow our business, especially expanding to the Romandie.
Is the “venture leaders” program an option for you?
Every program, partner, investor, influencer, user or employee that we can learn from is always a valuable option for us. The venture leaders program is definitely up there as one of the most benefitting programs available to entrepreneurs. So my answer would be: Yes, definitely.
You have met a lot people at events and workshops. You might have heard some bad jokes, but also good jokes. Tell us your favorite joke.
It’s more of a story than a joke to be honest: A young boy enters a barber shop and the barber whispers to his customer: “This is the dumbest kid in the world. Watch while I prove it to you.” The barber puts a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in the other, then calls the boy over and asks, “Which do you want, son?” The boy takes the quarters and leaves. “What did I tell you?” said the barber. “That kid never learns!” Later, when the customer leaves, he sees the same young boy coming out of the ice cream store. “Hey, son! May I ask you a question? Why did you take the quarters instead of the dollar bill?” The boy licked his cone and replied, “Because the day I take the dollar, the game is over!”
Check out the explenation clip of MOVU (german):