Altavia recently formed a partnership with Lille start-up V-Cult, specialists in developing immersive experiences to enhance brand storytelling and boost sales performance.
Looking for the 3D and virtual reality experts? Look no further: V-Cult, a start-up founded by Tom Gauthier in 2009, has arrived. The idea? Use video games as a basis to offer exciting, interactive and immersive experiences around brand experience. The aim? Enhance brand storytelling, boost business sales performance and solve problems specific to the sector. This B2B initiative launched eighteen months ago has a bright future.
The perfect path
Having studied business and worked for a short time at Publicis, Tom Gauthier then launched the first virtual reality social network, Beloola, which connects VR enthusiasts. “The internet hadn’t moved on for over 20 years with its static, unappealing 2D pages,” explains Tom, “To me it seemed ridiculous that teenagers then and in the future would have the same online experience as their parents or grandparents! There was a real need to create a new technology: a 3D game engine which could add some emotion to the internet.” With Beloola (which V-Cult still runs today), users built and created their own 3D area, integrating and sharing content and interacting with friends in real time.
Also in 2009, V-Cult joined Lille start-up incubator EuraTechnologies (and would eventually be the first company to emerge!). The business then entered the EuraTechnologies accelerator, where it is still headquartered to this day.
One 2-million-euro injection from (French and American) private investors later, followed by time at an American accelerator in San Francisco (where the start-up would later open its first office abroad), and V-Cult began considering launching its B2B activities in France.
“The immersive experiences we create can be accessed natively from any web browser thanks to our unique technology,” adds Tom, “We’ve actually developed our own graphics engine which runs online. There’s no need to download smartphone apps or computer software: just open an internet browser and access immersive 3D content which can also be viewed using a virtual reality headset.”
Today, V-Cult has invested in four vertical markets: retail (Decathlon, Etam, Boulanger, Tape à l’œil, etc.); professional training (LVMH Group, Bonduelle, etc.); property development (Nacarat, part of the Rabot Dutilleul construction group); and industry.
V-Cult has a busy few months ahead with the following goals:
– developing the industry vertical market for maintenance projects and factory management. “These are areas we would never have thought about going into eighteen months ago!” exclaims Tom.
– continuing to internationalise the company with B2B clients in Europe, Asia and Africa.
– bringing out its first B2B product before the end of the year. “At the moment we’re working like an agency but we eventually want to provide stand-alone products which allow clients to develop the content themselves,” explains Tom, “This will involve creating a virtual reality SaaS platform so that anyone without a background in programming or design wanting to create experiences can do so.”
– launching a second product in 2018 for retail merchandising.
Altavia and V-Cult: providing a coherent package
The Lille start-up recently partnered with Altavia. “We were at a meeting last May where we met managers from all over the world to introduce our technology and what we can do,” remembers Tom, “We don’t yet have any shared clients as it’s still early days but we hope that Altavia can innovate using our knowledge and skills and that we can learn from the group’s expertise. Our goal is to provide a coherent package.”