[September 2018 update : Family has been awarded the French Tech Pass, for startups in hyper-growth]
Remember that time when the grand-parents had the whole family around? Tell stories and treat the kids. Now that link is often broken and the elders are cut off from the rest of the family. How do you link the youngest and the eldest when one uses smartphones and the other loves postcards? French Tech startup Famileo has a very clever answer.
The reality of family communication
For ages, people would communicate with a pen (quill?) and paper. Letter, postcards, Christmas cards would fill up letterboxes for all to enjoy. Now, things are different. When was the last time you sent/expected a postcard? Isn’t it simpler to share your lastest holiday on Facebook? It is, isn’t it. But are your grandparents on Instagram, liking Kim K. and following hashtags? Probably not.
So how is it then? They probably feel left out of the family dynamics, slowly drifting to that “elder status”, alone. In the meantime, the younger generation feels guilty of not giving news or dreads going to that retirement home to see “grandma”. Communication is broken.
What if each could use their favorite communication tool?
Famileo’s genius is to let all use their favorite tool to keep in touch. The kids/grandkids share their pictures/text online and the grand parent(s) receive an illustrated paper gazette of the posts. The online network is private and secure, available to family members who have the code. Depending on the plan, the gazette is made every week, fortnight or month with a maximum of 30 messages.
The layout has been worked out with ergotherapists for pleasant reading. First available for retirement homes (the personnel would print the gazette and hand it to residents), it is now available for all.
The digital gap is filled and the older family member is back at the center of the family. Interesting “side effect”, the pictures shared represent happy moments (one will hardly share a picture of a car crash). The gazettes are, in their vast majority, very happy and joyful snaps of family life: newborn, first tooth, new job, holidays…
The genesis of Famileo
The company was founded in October 2014 by Tanguy de Gélis and Armel de Lesquen. Tanguy had offered his grandma a digital tablet to connect with family but didn’t quite get the expected result. Left aside, the tablet didn’t appeal as much as letters and postcards. There was a missing link to be re-established. Then came the idea of Famileo.
It started as a B2B service for retirement homes. But demand was high for B2C and Famileo now offers both plans.
In just two years, Famileo now counts 50 000 users and not just in France. It makes it really easy for expatriate family members to keep in touch.
Famileo is not alone in the “digital postcard” field but has the advantage of being one of the first with a comprehensive family ecosystem. They remain confident: competition is healthy and they have a few tricks up their sleeves. Partnerships and novelties are expected in 2018. Famileo is also very happy to have a dedicated community which is the best ambassador for their product.
The Famileo Team
The team, based in Saint Malo (Brittany) has quite grown those past 6 months and will keep on doing so in 2018. The 13 members will soon be joined by newcomers in the communication and marketing departments.
Besides making a valued producted, the founders of Famileo have a strong desire to build a meaningful company. They thrive to use the best of new technologies to enhance family bonds. Famileo wants to bring families together around the elders. Just like it used to be, except differently.