Throughout the July / August vacation period, the Rude Baguette will be running a series of interviews with some of France’s top and rising startups, where their founders give us more insight into their business, their future plans and what sets them apart from the rest. In this installment, we talk with Nicolas Toper, Pilo CEO and Cofounder, who recently launched their movement-powered, eco-friendly battery at this month’s Paris Founders Event.
You debuted Pilo at the most recent edition of our Paris Founders Event. For those who were unable to attend, tell us a bit about Pilo, what it is and how your idea to shake up the traditional battery market came about.
Pilo is a 100x better battery. it is always on (ready for use), lasts much longer than a regular battery and is eco-friendly. Whenever you shake the device you charge it. For more technical details (load time, capacity,…) have a look on our website on http://pilo.cool or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There was no magic moment about the idea. I came up with it when I had the exact same problem. I needed to turn-on my TV but had no “working” batteries. Necessity is the mother of invention, right. Then I figured out that it could be a world changing product.
How does it work? What are the biggest technical challenges?
Pilo is powered by movements. Most competing “movement batteries” needs several hours of movement to be usable. That’s why they were never sold on the marketplace. This is our main challenge: to make Pilo usable e.g. low charging time, long lifetime, price competitive with chemical batteries.
The battery market is obviously massive in size and clearly global. How ‘big’ do you think Pilo could be?
Pilo can become a new big and important company with revenues way over a billion dollars . The market clearly holds this potential as you pointed it out. Now it’s up to the team to make it happen.
What are the next big milestones you have for Pilo in terms of technical and product development and commercial objectives?
Right now you can pre-order at http://pilo.cool. We don’t charge until we ship. Our priority is to build and ship while building the company
(patent, certification, hiring, funding, office space,..), then scale.
Which geographic markets do you think might be most promising for Pilo and why?
This is a worldwide market with no geographic as you pointed out. A battery is a battery whenever you buy it. We plan to validate the go to market plan in France with select channels. Once we are sure, it works, we will go global.
What is your long-term vision for Pilo?
There is a huge opportunity in making electronic device “batteriless”. Imagine a world where your remote control always works. Think about your wireless mouse, your videogame controller,… This is what we want to make and sell. AA batteries are just the start of the journey.