#FRENCHTECHFRIDAY: Five friends launch Fintech start-up Ticoon right out of school

Mar 23, 2018
Vote on Hacker News

promoting bitcoin

 
 
Never underestimate what you can do with a bunch of friends. It is such a bunch that created fintech start-up Ticoon right out of business school, well almost out.
 
Sébastien Bergès, Gatien Cantais, Mathieu Mhun, Antoine Grimal and Niels Rolland were all in the same preparatory class in Toulouse. Entering different Business schools, they were scattered but remained in touch. Then ICO happened.
 

ICO’s need for communication

 
Like most offers, you must hit fast and hard. Yet, in the Initial Coin Offering business, getting to the right people is not as simple as a Facebook ad. The circles are not easy to get into and regular marketing techniques are not enough.
This doesn’t mean bitcoin is an opaque business. As Gatien cares to point out, only 1% of bitcoin serves illegal endeavors whereas 6% of US dollars do the same.
But expectations are different from mainstream marketing and the sale must be carefully structured.
 

The origins of Ticoon

 
The play on words with “tycoon” and “ICO” comes as no surprise for the group that has to master the English language. Just about all communications regarding ICO are in English. An ICO project can take up to 6 months during which the marketing part is a vital part. Such enterprise needs to structure the actual sale, reassure potential buyers and reach investors communities. These communities have specific needs and codes and they spread over multiple media.
 

But how come five students get to become so well-versed in ICO communication?

 
It started during the junior years when they became interested in bitcoin and started investing. This was, at the time, just a personal experiment that turned out to be profitable. Their LinkedIn network grew and they started having requests for counseling. The closed world of crypto-communities was open to them and that didn’t go unnoticed. Of course, the crypto world is not only on social networks and the group soon mastered all aspects of ICO launches.
 

The team and its competition

 
Well, currently, this is mostly uncharted areas. Some solutions exist but none in French. Besides, Ticoon now has a sound expertise and knowledge of communities and they are part of investors groups. They are pretty much by themselves in France. The versatile team of 5 founders finds most needs met as it is but their involvement in the Talao ICO and upcoming deals (BTU protocol) will require new recruits. A developer, community manager, and business developer will join the team later this year.
 

What’s coming up?

 
Even though the startup has settled in Paris, development through international ICOs is a sure path. The team has already worked for an American company last year. Frontiers are not the main concern in blockchain…
More projects are on the way such as defining a database of top crypto-influencers and media. They also wish to set up an incubator for blockchain projects
 

“First they ignore you…”

 
Gatien views Ticoon’s future with confidence while competition seems to lag behind. It’s the advantage of diving in a new domain not always taken seriously. When people realize it’s time to jump in, it’s usually too late. Gatien likes to share the quote ” First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win” (mis-attributed to Gandhi). Well, ignorance and laughs are past now as Ticoon carefully becomes a major player in ICO communication. With little opposition so far, they could jump straight to the “then you win” part.