Le booster season 5: Smartmoov

Using vehicle data to improve driving

As drivers, we’re passionate about the subject of connected cars. But some take it to the next level and dream up services that will help professionals to extract their maximum potential.

This is the case for Stéphane Pau with Smartmoov, a platform linked to an app, which not only collects vehicle data but also adds open data, with the ultimate aim of delivering useful information to individuals.

Client, did you say client?

The end users who will be sent information on their car, environment and driving skills will not, however, be Smartmoov clients: “the client will be the insurance company. Today, these types of solutions do exist but they don’t go far enough. I’m given a driver rating but in addition to this rating, what can I do to improve my driving?” asks Stéphane Pau.

Smartmoov wants to become the assistant that provides advice on safe driving: “if the data shows that you take a specific road at a specific time to get to work and there has been an accident on the road, it can advise you to leave early and above all to remain vigilant. We’re also working on wear and tear: a simple photo to check the condition of a tyre and estimate the next replacement date. This would provide reassurance and also help budget planning. At the end of 2016, road safety published a study showing that assistance systems (manufacturer or third party) reduced accidents by 20%. This decrease increased insurance company profits by 27%. The idea is to transform what is currently nothing more than a loss leader into a source of profit.” 

Le Booster’s motto: “Go and see your clients”

For Smartmoov too, Le Booster played the role of devil’s advocate: “Le Booster allowed me to broaden the scope of the project. At the outset, I was focused on insurance companies but it was brought to my attention that I would need lots of clients for my business model to succeed. And that it would therefore be a long and complicated process”.

Together with Stéphane Schultz of Fabrique des Mobilités, Stéphane Pau plans to envisages appeal to other clients, such as local authorities, to support them in return for identifying accident hotspots for example. And there’s more: “I took part in a BNP hackathon, which helped me discover other possibilities for Smartmoov: at the current time expense reports are not automatically linked to mileage, using data from a connected car could make it possible to submit information on business mileage at the touch of a button, and claim the relevant payments. This would be good for corporate groups and SME’s but also freelancers, who could easily send their mileage to their accountant.”



Bitten by the entrepreneurship bug

This is not Stéphane’s first foray into the world of start-ups. After a career in industrial computing, in 2002, he set up Ariase: “it was actually rather pragmatic, I was moving and was looking to choose my future Internet provider but couldn’t find a website that compared the offers”. 15 years later, Ariase has 70 staff members and a turnover of 8 million euros.

It was thanks to his first company that the Smartmoov venture started for Stéphane Pau: “In 2016, I had the chance to go to the CES in Las Vegas for Ariase. There I met with  insurance companies of Silicon Valley and they explained what they were in the process of doing: it fascinated me. I then launched completely alone, which is not necessarily what I wanted to do as start-ups don’t always measure up in terms of job security. But a start-up: is also finding a model and clients, all starting from zero!”

And now? Smartmoov will be spending the summer with Start Me Up before joining Emergys in September, for the first tests. At the same time, Stéphane Pau will be working with Loustic, which he met through Le Booster, on the ergonomics and acceptability of his project: “We have the MVP, we have 70 users equipped with boxes but these are car geeks who are keen to take part in this project. Others may be more difficult to convince but we’ll be working on it. Reducing accident risk seems a rather convincing agreement!”