First believers
Cyril Bertrand

The Radical Entrepreneur

Christian Jorge is the kind of serial entrepreneur that is quite common in Silicon Valley, but still rare in France: the radical profile. After Vestiaire Collective and Arianee, he’s now launching Omie & Cie, an ambitious direct-to-consumer e-commerce concept that XAnge is proud to back, alongside an impressive list of business angels.

Omie & Cie is not yet another D2C or “impact” company

Christian’s ambition is not to launch another D2C company with an “impact” touch. He is determined “to create, at a large scale, a good, fair and healthy food offer, as an alternative to large industrial food conglomerates” as he wrote back in fall 2019, in a visionary Medium post (in French). This gentleman has enough successes under his belt by now, he could bugger off to the bahamas. But when you have operational expertise, fundraising expertise, hyperscale experience and a clear vision of what you want to change in the world, it’s time to go back to work. Assemble a top-notch team and create a new startup, a radical one.

“We aim to create products for the greatest number of people, with an accessible and fair price positioning, which will allow each member of the value chain to live with dignity from their work,” also wrote Christian in his manifesto. His vision is well aligned with Xange’s values, as we stated recently in our own manifesto. We fund businesses that benefit the 99%. In Omie & Cie’s case, the 99% are both the consumer and the producers who will benefit from this new, fairer, distribution model. We are convinced that Omie & Cie will bring the proof that impact and scale are compatible.

Omie & Cie stands for “radical transparency”

It’s just a start: today, Omie & Cie is raising a 1M€ seed round. The startup is now going to design, sell and deliver a range of more than a hundred grocery products with one idea in mind: “radical transparency”. For each pot of tomato sauce, each soup, each packet of rice, the consumer will get access to the “behind the scenes” of the production. The origin of each ingredient, the name of the producer and the margin for each stakeholder in the value chain will be clearly stated.

To develop its products, Omie & Cie focuses on five guiding principles:

  • locally-sourced ingredients,
  • traceability,
  • a fair remuneration for the producers,
  • the organic transition,
  • accessible prices.

This last point, “accessible pricing”, is the one that ‘got us’ at XAnge. We have seen (and sometimes financed) the organic, the local, the tasty, the fair retail .. but at standard retail prices? That’s always been the missing and the most challenging piece of the puzzle. That’s where our love story started with Omie, and we are not the only ones: a thousand early-adopters supported the team, following a successful campaign on French crowdfunding platform Ulule.

Omie & Cie was born Bcorp

But that’s not all. Omie & Cie has been a certified Bcorp company since June 2020. “Impact” is truly at the core (and the articles) of the company, it’s not the cherry on the cake.

In case you are not completely clear about what a Bcorp company is, here are a few others in XAnge portfolio: La Ruche qui dit Oui !Microdon (acquired by La Banque Postale in 2020), Shine (acquired by Société Générale in 2020), Welcome to the Jungle… What do those different businesses in different sectors have in common? A pragmatic commitment towards continuous improvement, the very definition of the B-Corp label. Even if very few Bcorp companies get funded by VCs in France (are there really only seven of them?), the trend is here — and we bet it’s going to spread like wildfire. For everyone’s benefit.

At Omie & Cie, every detail is meticulously, lovingly taken into account, in order to be as social and environmentally-friendly as possible. For instance, to deliver the products, Omie will proudly turn its back to the current near-instant delivery frenzy. It will build its own fleet and reinvent the “milkman’s tour”, organizing regular and planned visits. It’s win-win: delivery costs are reduced as well as pollution, since everything will be optimised. And count on this team to quickly introduce a deposit-refill system.

Of course, everything won’t be perfect from the start. But Omie & Cie is committed to gradually improve its operations, in full transparency.

So, if you’re in Lille and Paris — Omie launch cities — you know what you have to do. You can be part of the 99%.

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