Co-founded by Romain Torres, Freshr keeps you connected to the news on Messenger, Facebook’s chat service. This conversational chatbot provides news in line with the user’s requests, and targets a highly connected audience: Millennials! Since 2017, over 100,000 users follow the morning news via the application. And every month, over 6 million messages are exchanged on the platform. It is a very promising start. But who is hiding behind the chatbot?
Romain, tell us how Freshr was born?
The way we consume news has changed; news is everywhere these days, and we wanted to offer a way of staying up to date without wasting time. Freshr is a robot you can « talk » with on Facebook Messenger, as if you were chatting to a friend! It asks you questions to ascertain your interests and, depending on the answers you give, it will send you a personalised account of the news, directly to your inbox!
You have a talent for finding good ideas, as we saw with Freshr. How would you say your time at emlyon business school has influenced your work?
Creating a company while studying is not easy, especially since our premises are in Paris. The great thing about emlyon business school was that I was able to free up my time by condensing my classes on Monday and Tuesday so that I could spend the rest of the week in Paris.
Being at emlyon also allowed me to gain some initial experience in some excellent companies, which prepared me for when I started my own.
What does being an early maker mean for you?
No matter how you go about it, whether you create your company or not, in my opinion, it is about knowing what your goals are and giving yourself the means (as soon as possible) to achieve them.
What is most exciting part of leading the double life of a student and an entrepreneur?
In order to achieve my goals, life is pretty fast paced, and never more so than when I return to campus. I like this ultra-condensed pace of life where time flies and a travel a lot.
And the most difficult in entrepreneurship?
Me and my team members are very ambitious, and we want to go very far in this project. To respect these ambitions, we have to work tirelessly and make sacrifices; the nights are short and we don’t spend much time with our loved ones. Returning to campus also allows me to unwind and rediscover a student atmosphere!
If you could have any business partner join your start-up tomorrow, who would you choose?
I already have the best possible partners! ;)
If Facebook ceased to exist, which social media platform would Freshr migrate to?
Freshr is almost already a social network in its own right: users interact with each other by commenting on news, editors exchange to create the best content… Our role is simply to allow passionate editors to inform curious users. The platform doesn’t matter!