In 1993, the twin brother of Ben worked with the same internship as Emeric, throwing copies in a printing shop in New York. Emeric and Benoit met by chance and hit it off immediately.
However, the internship ended. And Benoit, armed with his mechanical engineering background, later joined PixelPark, one of the largest European web agencies at the time.
Emeric quickly established his reputation in law: first, in the United States, as an in-house lawyer at the French embassy and then a partner at Winston & Strawn in Washington, then back to Paris.
Then, Benoit and Emeric came up with a revolutionary idea: to create a place in this new thing called the Internet where businesses could socialize with their customers online. Launched in 2001, Affinitiz (think Agorapulse 1.0) was a community-oriented B2C focusing on family, friends, associations, alumni, and passions.
And it was an overnight success! Actually, no. It wasn’t. (That’s not how success works.)
The journey to eventual success was an arduous routine of learning, making mistakes, encouraging each other, driving through doubts, moving forward, celebrating success, learning, making mistakes, encouraging each other, etc.
Emeric and Benoit trudged along for nearly a decade, taking side jobs to make ends meet, tightening their belts, making difficult sacrifices, and even struggling with the worried family members and friends who questioned their dream.
Benoit and Emeric decided to change their idea of forming communities on Affinitiz to creating a tool by creating Facebook marketing apps. When McDonald’s, Playstation and Microsoft needed to run a Facebook contest and ads, these golden companies turned to marketing tools, like Affinitiz. Over time, Benoit and Emeric pivoted from software to focus all their enthusiasm on social media management and its capabilities. Affinitiz evolved into Agorapulse.
By 2011, Agorapulse was launched, with a focus on full social media management, including Facebook and Twitter.
Now Agorapulse has over 60 highly experienced team members from around the world with a rapidly growing user base of over 20,000 people across 6,000 accounts. Agorapulse has remained on fire so far since its inception managing to reach $10 million in annual revenue, with year over year growth of 80%.
Agorapulse has just completed a funding round of $18.5m (USD) from three investors – Cipio Partners, Entrepreneur Venture and Hi Inov – to fuel the next stage of its growth targeting annual revenues of $100m.