Since 2014, Partech Ventures has been at the side of Dayuse.com, the European leader in daytime hotel bookings. Jean-Marc Patouillaud, Managing Partner at Partech Ventures and David Lebée, founder and CEO of Dayuse.com tell us all about their strong relationship.
Can you tell us about your first meeting with Partech Ventures?
David Lebée: Dayuse.com has actually generated revenue since its inception in 2010, so the issue of fundraising only arose four years later to accelerate our growth. I decided to get support from Business Angels specialized in the hotel sector and a few days before the closing, Partech Ventures reached out to me. I was very surprised, as I hadn’t thought about contacting an Investment Fund at this early stage of development. I could see that Partech Ventures had a strong interest in Dayuse.com, as they explained what they could bring to us while remaining a minority investor in our capital.
The founding team is a key investment criteria for Partech Ventures: what impression did David make on you?
Jean-Marc Patouillaud: Dayuse.com was not the usual company in which we typically invest: it was a family business with David, his brother, sister and half-brother working together in the company and in addition, David had no previous entrepreneurial experience. However, we tend to take more risks at early stage. More importantly, some key elements outweighed our risk: we felt that David had unequalled good knowledge of the hotel sector, we liked his fresh perspective and his endless enthusiasm, and, at the time of our investment, Dayuse.com already had a track record on a regional level that really validated their business model.
How complementary was Partech Ventures to the Business Angels?
David Lebée: The Business Angels were giving us visibility on our market and an entrepreneurial vision to accelerate our development. Partech Ventures, beyond their capacity to challenge us on a daily basis, brought us some legitimacy regarding our capacity to develop well.
How do you support Dayuse.com in its daily operations?
Jean-Marc Patouillaud: I try to be available as much as possible and to challenge them a lot, even at the risk of seeming too critical. I work in tandem with Claire Godron, who can dedicate more time to support Dayuse.com on specific points.
David Lebée: Its true, I really appreciate Jean-Marc’s availability, our open discussions and his desire to always understand where I want to go and why. We have a real trusted relationship, with an aligned vision built from the beginning. Dayuse.com is my first entrepreneurial experience and although it is successful, I may sometimes need more support than others from someone like Jean-Marc who can give me relevant advice and help me question myself.
Jean-Marc Patouillaud: We also help Dayuse.com access our network and involve them in our events and workshops.
David Lebée: Having access to Partech Ventures’ large platform is very useful. They put us in contact with strategic profiles as well as with entrepreneurs who experienced the same difficulties as us. Jean-Marc supported us on our development in the US by helping us recruit a strategic person to build our team. It is also thanks to their network that we were able to sign our first global framework agreement with Accor.
How do you arbitrate between the different funds when they disagree?
David Lebée: Both Partech Ventures and Idinvest Partners, my two investment funds, have aligned visions. My Business Angels come from the hotel sector, so they can help me make a decision in case of divergence, but so far, I haven’t come across this kind of situation. I also believe that having a tight board as we do, with only five members, allows for more direct exchange. In addition, we rarely disagree because we discuss key topics upstream.
And you Jean-Marc, how do you handle relationship with the second investor in Dayuse.com?
Jean-Marc Patouillaud: One of the key factors of success is to ensure that there is as little difference as possible between shareholders. We share the same vision and expectations for Dayuse.com with Idinvest Partners. David, his management team and we investors all are driven by the same goal: to build the most successful and valuable company. The secret to success in a business like Dayuse.com is transparency and openness.
What is your vision for the future?
Jean-Marc Patouillaud: Our goal is to make of Dayuse.com a great success, both as a company and as an investment. This is the guiding thread towards a sale or an IPO. There are several potential paths to achieving this, hence the importance of regularly confronting our points of view to treat all subjects in a transparent and rational way.
David Lebée: We wondered about the future of the company before choosing our investors, to make sure that we would all be aligned. And today, we are all moving in the same direction. If necessary, our investors will be able to advise us for a second round by suggesting good practices and reflexes acquired from other companies.
Thank you David and Jean-Marc for your time!
Learn more about Dayuse or book a hotel room for a day!