Bruno: After meeting in high school, we both went to preparatory classes before joining business schools. I did a Master's Degree in Marketing Services at ESC Toulouse. To be completely honest I didn't know what path to take, and I only chose this Master's to study on the Barcelona campus!
Philippe: I did a Master's Degree in Luxury Marketing & Communication in ESC Rennes.
Bruno: It's quite funny because we both always loved the web in general, but neither of us followed that road at the time. We graduated in 2014, and I started working as a Junior Product Manager in the liquor industry (Sailor Jerry and Grant's).
Philippe: I worked at Corthay (a brand of men's shoes), where I was in charge of the website and of the digital communication.
Bruno: Excuse MyParty is the AirBnb for parties! It is a collaborative platform that allows you to host / to go to parties held at home. On one hand, you have the "Party-Maker" who will create the event online, set up a price, a theme, and decide what is included (ex: for 20€, food and beverages included). On the other hand are the "Party-Goers" who will research, apply to the parties and, if they are accepted by the Party-Maker, receive the address to join the party. The Party-Maker validates each participant.
Philippe: The idea was to differentiate from Facebook events, where you have no control whatsoever on the number of attendants: with Excuse MyParty, there's some communication before the party, and you can check everyone's profile, talk with them before validating them. Apparently, this system works: with over 1,000 parties held, we never have any issues (appart from a broken glass)! We soon realized that people you've never met are far more respectful of the premises than your own friends! We pushed it even further with a grade system, for the Party-Maker and the Party-Goers, and people all behave in a respectful and cheerful way.
Bruno: During our gap year, we were sharing an apartment together and held a lot of parties where we invited our friends, but also our friends' friends and so on. The goal was to end up having a good time with people we didn't know. We also went out a lot, and we always ended up disappointed in the times we spent in clubs: the bouncer wasn't always letting everyone in, the drinks were 15€ each... We spent around 50-70€ a night, and we didn't even have that much fun! We started thinking "never again". Back then, AirBnb and Blablacar were starting to happen and it inspired us to create the market place for homeheld parties. What we were after was the REAL party: non-stop fun, with no lines, where it's cheap and friendly.
Philippe: We moved from idea to action almost immediately: we developed the project during our last year of studies. We even started building our website on WordPress by ourselves, but it didn't work at all... In September of the same year, we decided to trust some professionnals with this mission, and joined forces with Laurent and Romain (developer and graphic designer) to help us build this project!
Philippe: The "WordPress stage"...
Bruno: There's also a lot to be careful about, such as the name you pick at first. We lost some time on a legal issue because the domain name we initially picked (and bought for 3,000€...) was too close from another company's. After discussing it with them, we understood their issue and quickly decided to take another name, which cost us... 12€! We were very happy with it, we think it is closer to our concept, and at least it's our own world.
Philippe: We didn't really have any issue with the financial part because we were working full time and injecting every money we had on to the project, the legal steps, the feasability study... We launched a little campaign on Kisskissbankbank that went pretty well, and allowed us to fund our launching event. After we quit our job to focus on Excuse MyParty full-time, we had our 200.000€ fundraising in September 2016.
Bruno: Things have been moving fast since this fundraising! We'd like to have a second one in the Summer, but patience...!
Philippe: We were quite lucky: after our Kisskissbankbank campaign, we were contacted by Canal+ who wanted the exclusivity for the covering of our launching night by the Grand Journal's Before. This event brought us tens of parties, thousands of registrations, it was amazing! Because they had the exclusivity, we had another launching night two months later, where all the press was invited. This led us to be on the cover of 20min: second massive increase in our database!
Philippe: We worked on the frame for our future app, now all we have to do is develop it! We will probably use React Native, and will start working on it in October 2017.
Bruno: Our project is innovative because we created the househeld parties market! The goal is for people to spend as little time as possible on our website, to go back from the virtual world to meeting in real life. It's also disruptive for the night life, that always offered the same places / line-ups. With Excuse MyParty, you go out in short-lived places, in people's apartment, it's a completely different experience.
Philippe: It's also innovative compared to traditional meeting apps (Tinder, Happn etc), who were always focused on the romantic encounter. Here, the goal is to go to a party, meet some people, without an agenda. People go to our parties as a couple or on their own, they meet new friends, they network, and sometimes they find love! But they never have to go through the whole "date" pressure.
Bruno: We have many stories that happened thanks to these parties. Today when we see people again, they either work together, are in a relationship, or even sharing an apartment together!
Philippe: The website has been available since March 2015.
Philippe: We already talked about AirBnb and BlablaCar, but we were also very inspired by the movie The Social Network about the beginnings of Facebook: it really made us eager to create our company.
Bruno: Before seeing this movie, I didn't really consider it either!
Philippe: We showed it to our developer after a big day of work... he wasn't impressed!