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Théo Siffrein-Blanc
Focus | 5 avril

Leather 2.0
De Rigueur combines high-tech and elegance. Overview of its strategy by Adrien Deslous-Paoli, its founder.

 © DR
It was one of the big attractions of the last CES in Las Vegas. The start-up from Lyon made an impression with its Connected Sleeve, a connected case enabling to charge smartphones with no wire via electromagnetic induction.
“The idea is to mix two worlds: the one of French craft industry and the one of the embedded electronic intelligence. We observed a lack of convenience in elegant products and a lack of elegance in convenient products. We wanted to reconcile both”, his founder Adrien Deslous-Paoli explains.
The story started in 2008, when he found an overnight case which belonged to his great-grand-father. “I thought the format was very convenient, notably to put my keys and my cellphone without spoiling the shape of my pockets and all my friends were complimenting me on my style”, he remembers. He thus had the idea of bringing this product up-to-date and to launch his connected and made in France leather working brand.

B2B as a priority

Targeting a clientele of urban and connected 30 to 45 year-old men, the startup first opted for a B2B strategy: “We first target premium airline companies, luxury clubs and hotels which want to offer their clients a unique experience notably through these luxury conveniences. The idea is to first build a legitimacy to these actors before tackling the B2C market”
The 25 year-old entrepreneur, graduated from the EDHEC, also plans on using partnerships with other brands to sell his technology. According to him, this model has many advantages: “it would allow us to reduce the marketing costs, to benefit from effects of scale and to reverse the power balance with retailers: once we have become renown this way, the sellers will be the ones coming for us”.

A soon universal technology?

The electromagnetic induction technology seems ready. The Connected Sleeve and De Rigueur enable to fully charge a smartphone twice. And the phone itself, recharging via a USB plug, holds the charge for fifteen days. As for the manufacturers, Samsung, LG and Microsoft have already equipped their last smartphones with this technology. For the Apple and Sony terminals, De Rigueur provides chips making them compatible.
Currently in its pre-industrialization phase, Connected Sleeve was announced for September 2016. Despite the interruption of their Kickstarter campaign –because they could not obtain the targeted 50,000 euros – the brand should meet its deadlines. The product is already available in pre-ordering for 99€. After the case, the technology should integrate overnight bags and travelling bags offered by the brand.
Besides, a judicial opportunity gives the entrepreneur even more reasons to believe in his innovation: in 2014, Brussels voted the standardization of cellphones’ chargers.“The measure will be effective in 2017 and the electromagnetic induction has every chance of becoming the next mandatory norm for all manufacturers”, he claims.
Crédits photo : DR
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