Hexa, the startup studio behind Front, Spendesk and Aircall, unveils its next batch of startups | TechCrunch


Hexa, the Paris-based startup studio that started its life as eFounders, just shared a list of the six next companies that will emerge from the studio. It’s an interesting mix of enterprise SaaS startups with a blockchain data startup thrown into the mix.

And given eFounders’ track record, it’s always interesting to see the ideas and trends that appear from these new batches. As a reminder, eFounders was created in 2011 with a focus on SaaS startups working on tools and services that define the future of work.

Some of eFounders’ portfolio companies include Front, Spendesk and Aircall. More recently, eFounders broadened its scope and rebranded itself into Hexa. Hexa is now an umbrella company of multiple startup studios, including eFounders on the future of work (still), 3founders on web3 startups, and Logic Founders for fintech topics.

Hexa has launched over 40 startups over the past decade. Some of them have worked remarkably well, others never really took off. Last year, Hexa portfolio companies reached a total valuation of $5 billion.

Hexa and its startup studios come up with the ideas behind these startups. They then try to find the right founding team to iterate on those ideas day in, day out. For the first year or so, the startup studio brings its expertise when it comes to product design, go-to-market strategy, hiring, fundraising and more.

When a startup raises its seed round, it becomes a proper independent company and the startup studio team can move on to other projects. When asked about Hexa’s stake in its startup, Hexa co-founder and CEO Thibaud Elziere told me “nothing is changing with Hexa, we still keep 30% in equity post-seed, except that now 7.5% of this 30% stake is allocated to the studio founder.”

So here are the next Hexa startups.

Riverflow

Riverflow is a startup that was created by Hexa’s web3 startup studio called 3founders. It’s a data orchestration startup focused on blockchain data.

You will be able to use Riverflow to fetch information from smart contracts, blockchain transactions, wallet addresses and more. That data can then be manipulated and transferred to a data warehouse, an analytics or a BI tool.

At first, I thought Riverflow would work a bit like Zapier, but with blockchain data. “It’s exactly like that, but it’s a tool for data analysts. So it works more like Segment than Zapier, allowing users to put blockchain data into data warehouses and SaaS tools,” said Florent Quinti, the head of 3founders.

Okko

Okko is a startup that streamlines procurement processes. Who would have thought that procurement would become an important vertical for tech startups?

But, in 2023, as many tech founders are trying to find ways to cut costs and extend their runway, Okko isn’t the first company working on overhauling procurement tools.

Many employees try to bypass the procurement platform because it’s too complex. But procurement is only effective if you can see the full picture and use it as a spend management system.

Unlike Pivot, Okko doesn’t want to build a modern procurement system from scratch. Okko wants to integrate with existing systems, such as Oracle NetSuite, and modernize the vendor portal or the interface to create a purchase order.

Catalog

Catalog is a new SaaS tool for B2B wholesale orders. Think about a clothing brand selling clothes to independent stores, for instance.

The name here is quite transparent as Catalog wants to overhaul the catalog that companies use for their B2B clients. Instead of sharing an Excel file with a bunch of obscure reference numbers, Catalog centralizes all product information on a website.

Online orders are then directly integrated in the company’s ERP and it opens up new possibilities when it comes to recurring orders, promotions, new product launches, etc.

RingX

RingX is still a codename for this startup focused on corporate knowledge. As many jobs are becoming more and more technical, it can be hard to find the right resources to learn how to do something the right way.

Instead of sharing the right resources with you, this startup wants to connect you with professionals working for other companies who have already encountered the same issue. People will be able to take advantage of this peer-to-peer platform to connect with professionals and learn new things.

Kiosk

Kiosk is a SaaS startup built on top of WhatsApp Business. It could be defined as a way to extend WhatsApp with more features so that companies can use the messaging platform more efficiently to talk with their customers.

For instance, Kiosk could be used as a way to get new customers with a simple chatbot-like funnel. Potential customers start a WhatsApp conversation and answer some simple questions, such as “when would you like to start your home renovation project?”, “how big is your home”, etc.

Kiosk could also help you handle support requests thanks to integration with other SaaS tools, such as your help desk, your CRM or your e-commerce platform.

Tengo

And finally, Tengo centralizes all French public tenders so that companies don’t miss a potential bid. This tool could be particularly useful for companies that rely heavily on public tenders to generate revenue.

“We detect all public tenders (we’ve built a ‘Google Alert’ for public tenders) and we also help to respond to private tenders using AI/LLM technology,” said Matthieu Vaxelaire, the head of eFounders.

Tengo could be defined as Govly, but for the French market.

Two unnamed projects

Hexa is already thinking about the projects after those ones. It still has two more startup ideas under the codenames TopiX and GPTX, but it has yet to find the founders that will work on these ideas.

TopiX will be a mobile-first communication tool with some AI element. GPTX will be a generative AI-based tool for internal use cases in companies that value privacy and security.



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