Le booster season 5 : Orpheau

Music and vintage lovers, you’ll probably love Orphéau’s concept.

After working abroad in the management and finance sectors, Guillaume Bertrand and Matthieu Defoly decided to set up a shop in the Rennes region to create Orphéau, a start-up dedicated to give a second life to jukeboxes.

Selected to participate in Le Booster, the partners plan to use the French Tech experience to bring their musical furniture to centre stage. Grab your records!

A jukebox updated to suit modern tastes

With records’ surge in popularity over the last few years, Matthieu Defoly and Guillaume Bertrand noticed something: listening can easily become tedious due to its use.

“What is a record today?” Matthieu Defoly asks. “It’s an album, with each of its faces containing 20 – 25 minutes of audio. What we realized, is that when you listen to a record, everything stops after 25 minutes. You have to get up to play the other side. So people tend to just listen to one or two, and then they get fed up and switch to Deezer or YouTube, which are more automated.”

Two years ago, the young men, who had met eight years earlier in a Bordeaux business school, got the idea of giving the jukebox, the mythical automatic music player of the 1950s to 1980s, a second chance.

Their goal is not to equip restaurants, bars and other social venues, but to move the jukebox into private homes by offering a high-end piece that can store up to 20 records. “We got this idea just over two years ago, and last year, we validated the project and left our jobs to focus on it 100%,” they say.

The Booster, a priceless tool

Before joining Le Booster, Matthieu and Guillaume had already completed a market study, which gave them a fairly precise idea of their potential customers. “We believe our market could be composed of 5% of the French population. As for positioning, we want to target people over 35 – 40, AB+ professionals, who like music without necessarily being aficionados, but who value good home design,” says Matthieu. “Our studies have shown that the design element is more important than the audio quality. The product must look good. We want to capitalize on the product’s nostalgic nature.”

After four and a half months of residence with us, La French Tech experience seems to have paid off, as Guillaume recounts: “The program offered cover the full range of tools and trades that are economically necessary to launch a business. Not everyone has the same skills, so this is a way to get up to speed. Participating in Le Booster has also helped us with networking: we’ve met people who’ve helped us save time,” he concludes.

London calling…

With the presentation of a prototype scheduled for the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year, the young company’s next steps are already clearly visible. Matthieu and Guillaume’s long-term goal is to expand internationally: “First,” they explain, “we plan to expand to Switzerland, and then in 2020, if all goes well, we’ll enter the English market.”

And if everything goes according to plan, Orphéau should grow rapidly. “Today, with regard to development, mechanics and design, we plan to outsource. But when we launch, we want to hire a community manager to oversee communication regarding our product.”

In the next few months, Matthieu Defoly and Guillaume Bertrand will be travelling around France to take part in various salons and exhibitions related to home design, automobiles and vintage. Are you ready to dig out your records?