OuiKAN, a platform to relieve us of the chore of grocery shopping

success story
OuiKAN, a platform to relieve us of the chore of grocery shopping
Mr. Jean-Yves Maurel, CEO of the start-up OuiKAN, has received the "Invest in Provence" label dedicated to the community of investors accompanied by Provence Promotion.
18 December 2017 / E-Commerce/E-Tourism, Start your business

Tired of laborious grocery shopping? No time to go, or no way to get there? OuiKAN, a collaborative platform founded last February, creates a link between two communities: those seeking assistance and the "shoppers" willing to do the legwork for them. After a rich, diverse career, Jean-Yves Maurel left the Auchan group in 2016 to found OuiKAN. Since he was based in Lille, he found it hard to resist the call of Provence. Provence Promotion is no stranger to his relocation to the south, and the agency worked to put him in contact with the start-up accelerator P. Factory. Interview.

After 18 years as an executive at Auchan, you are running a start-up today. Can you tell us about your career?

My career has been atypical to say the least. With an engineering degree from the Bordeaux campus of Arts et Métiers, I joined the Arts Décoratifs school of Paris to pursue my education as a designer. After my first experiences with Renault, Knoll and Bosch, I began working to help establish the house brand of non-food Auchan products beginning in 1999. I managed a team of approximately a hundred people based in various countries. Then I created the group's Innovation department.

When I had the idea of founding OuiKAN, I decided to leave the group, since my project entailed working with several supermarket chains.

How did the idea for OuiKAN come about?

OuiKAN is the result of several observations. On the one hand, we have an aging population and an evolution in consumer behavior that shows diminishing interest in supermarkets; on the other hand, a portion of the population really enjoys shopping. OuiKAN, like Blabacar, is a collaborative platform that enables you to ask a third party to do the grocery shopping for you and deliver the merchandise to your home.  In return, you waive any promotions or indirect advantages (game participation, reductions, free products, etc.). Medium-sized cities (Amiens, La Rochelle, Nancy, Bourges, and so on) and community centers for social improvement are already showing their interest for this platform, since it helps promote social cohesion.

How does it work?

Just go onto the website, create your shopping list, and select among the shoppers who propose their services. When the person checks out, he or she will benefit from the promotional benefits associated with your purchases. Supermarkets are very interested in this system, which is more cost-effective than e-commerce or the drive-in. The superstores on the test sites therefore complete the shoppers' compensation for up to 5% of the total cart price. OuiKAN receives between 4 and 5% of the total amount shown on the receipt; but the fee for the launch is set at €1 regardless of the amount spent. We have already launched several test sites: Carrefour in Aix-en-Provence, Auchan in Valence, and soon E-Leclerc in Salon de Provence and Cora in Strasbourg. Did you know that supermarkets check out 100 million shopping carts each week? Even if OuiKAN only handles 0.5 out of 1,000 million, it will still generate €1.5 M in turnover.

You are originally from Toulouse, and you live in Lille. Why did you choose Aix-Marseille?

I was hesitating among Toulouse, Lyon and Marseille, three cities with a high quality of living that are especially affordable. Since I am planning on international expansion in the long term, I was seeking the proximity of an airport. I contacted the heads of the renowned companies of the Aix-Marseille metropolis to survey them via LinkedIn. They enthusiastically recommended the area and encouraged me to contact Provence Promotion. By the time directors from the other regions had replied, we had already arranged for my transfer, and the agency had presented me with P. Factory. That is how OuiKAN joined the Aix-en-Provence accelerator. The company only employs two people for the moment, but within 18 months, we should develop to a team of seven people.