1) What is exactly that you do, and what is your start-up about?
VOGO is a leading international player with its audio-visual live & replay solutions for fans and professionals alike, through its two flagship brands: VOGOSPORT and VOKKERO. For professionals, VOGO offers analysis and decision-making tools (referee assistance, medical diagnostics and coaching). VOGO’s disruptive solution for fans transforms the stadium experience by providing multi-camera content on demand for tablets and smartphones, no matter how many people are connected. All of the group’s technologies are patent-protected. The Group has been listed on the Euronext Growth stock market since November 2018 (ISIN code: FR0011532225, ALVGO). It has also been listed on the European Tech 40 list since 2020.
2) What is the problem that your start-up is trying to resolve?
VOGO aims at providing sports professionals (referees, coaches, medical staff, video analysts, athletes, etc.) with video and audio solutions to assist them in their decision-making process, in particular audio and video VAR solutions, video review solutions for concussion diagnosis and video analysis software to improve performance. For fans, VOGO provides an app-based solution to access the live feeds of cameras filming the sports event, get several angles of view on the action, be able to replay actions, benefit from highlights, etc.
3) What inspired you to start this particular business?
The three founders of VOGO are engineers specialized in media softwares and passionate about sports. In 2013, they attended a football match in a stadium and figured out that it would be great, when you are an in-stadium spectator, to get access to all TV cameras to choose your preferred angle of view and be able to replay the action, becoming your own producer. They developed an application that can serve an unlimited number of simultaneous users, whatever the connectivity constraints in the venue.
4) When was your start-up founded? What stage is your start-up currently at?
VOGO was founded in 2013. In 2018, we did an IPO, being the first sportech to be listed on the Euronext Stock Market in France. Last year, we achieved 12 million euros in turnover with a team of 60 people in France, the UK and the US.
5) Are you the sole founder? If not, how did your team meet? Who does what on your team?
Christophe Carniel and Pierre Keiflin, two of the founders, studied together at the Ales engineering school in France. They set up a first company, Netia, that they sold to Orange in 2008. The third founder, Daniel Dedisse, was their CTO in Netia.
6) What is your start-up business model, and how does it work?
We mainly work under the technology-as-a-service business model: we develop our solutions and provide turn-key services to sports leagues, federations, and event organizers, for particular events or season-based championships.
7) What exactly differentiates you from your competitor in the marketplace? Can you name a few?
We are always in the starting blocks to meet new challenges.
We work hand-in-hand with our customers to provide them with customized, relevant audio and video solutions.
We are combining our proprietary, patented audio and video solutions and operating them with our own technical team so that customers have a unique entry point and provider for audio and video services.
8) At what stage is your start-up currently at? (Early-stage, Growth stage, Established)
We are at a growth stage. In 2022, we achieved 41% growth vs. 2021.
9) Can you discuss any significant milestones that your start-up has achieved so far?
In the last 12 months, we implemented the VOGOSPORT fan solution for FIFA during the World Cup in Qatar. Our video live and replay solution was integrated into the FIFA official fan app, FIFA+. We covered the 64 matches of the World Cup in the 8 stadiums of the competition, targeting more than 3 million spectators.
This year, our VOGOSPORT video solution has been certified by FIFA for our VAR, VAR Light and VOL systems. We have equipped the Estonian football federation with a full combined audio and video VAR solution for their 1st League championship.
Recently, we signed a 5-year contract with EHF (European Handball Federation) to provide the Men’s and Women’s Champions League with a VAR solution, equipping the 32 clubs across Europe.
10) Can you provide some information about your target market and its size?
We target mainly sports markets.
Our audio solutions VOKKERO also equips field teams in the industry and audio-visual market; they need to use audio communication that filters noise and allows them to discuss while protecting their ears.
11) How do you acquire customers or users, and what is your customer acquisition strategy?
Word-of-mouth is very important. We get in touch with national and international leagues, federations and event organizers. We also attend trade shows and are active on the internet and social media to generate relevant leads for our commercial teams.
12) What are your main revenue streams?
Services that we provide to leagues, federations and event organizers, for example, the French Rugby League, the European Handball Federation, FIFA, the French Football Federation, CONCACAF, etc.
13) Have you received any funding or investment for your start-up? If yes, can you share the details?
Yes, we have been supported by BPI and regional funding in France.
14) How do you plan to scale your business in the future?
We commercialize our products and services through our own teams in France, the UK and the US and are working through more than 50 distributors worldwide. The objective is to extend this network to continue to grow.
15) How did customers/users find out about you?
Internet, social media, word-of-mouth, direct approach, etc.
16) What is your target audience?
In sports markets, federations, leagues and event organizers
In industry for on-field teams: railways, construction, noisy manufacturing, energies, security and safety
In audio-visual: technical teams organizing events, shows, plays, etc.
17) Regarding your marketing strategy, do you use social media, and if so, is it in-house or outsourced?
We tackle social media in-house.
18) How do you handle feedback and incorporate it into your product or service development?
We work hand in hand with our customers to understand how they work, what their specific requirements are, their needs, and how we can best meet them.
19) What is the biggest missing feature, meaning the one thing that customers/users keep asking for?
Ergonomic, easy-to-use tools that have been used by major stakeholders.
20) Are you going to internationalize? If so, how are you planning to expand internationally?
80% of our sales are outside France; we work through our subsidiaries, distributors and resellers.
21) How do you ensure the security and privacy of users’ data?
We have a DPO and meet RGPD regulations. We also secure our cloud, servers, etc.
22) Are there any patents or trademarks associated with your start-ups?
Both our audio VOKKERO and video VOGOSPORT solutions are patented.
23) How do you plan to build and maintain customer loyalty?
Meeting customers’ needs and working hand-in-hand with them to adapt our products is the best loyalty lever we can build.
24) How do you approach customer support and handle any issues or complaints?
We have an in-house technical team that operates our solutions and provides technical support and after-sales services.
25) How did Coved affect your start-up?
For 2 years, sports markets were extremely difficult: no competition at all at first, then without any spectators; we worked to develop other businesses and went through COVID.
26) How is artificial intelligence (AI) affecting your industry and your company?
AI is becoming key in video and audio solutions to provide users with “intelligent” solutions. For example, we work at integrating AI into our video replay solution for medical teams in order to help them detect head injuries and concussions and optimize the diagnosis and treatment of them.
27) How did you hear about our blog?
Through the Vivatech trade show