I met him four years ago when he was still leading Hivency, an influencer-brand matchmaking platform. Even if I hadn’t invested in that venture at the time, I was blown away by the entrepreneur. Talented, with rare energy, and last but not least, extremely pleasant in business, he achieved a successful exit with Skeepers in 2021. And we had always kept in touch.
After his exit, Dorian decided to keep going.
Why? Because he already had the next idea, the problem he faced every day while developing Hivency needed to be solved. When there’s a market gap in the SalesTech segment, an entrepreneur like Dorian can’t let it slip away.
The problem here is the lack of outbound sales culture, and when you combine that with a hybrid work environment, it becomes a double problem!
And that’s how Zeliq came about! With providing a SaaS solution that will help companies resolve this pain.
It’s 2023, during an informal catch up call.
Dorian is telling me about the project, and he also announces that he’s currently closing his seed round with all the former investors from Hivency. He wants to move fast, not waste time on the fundraising to focus on the product, so he didn’t approach many VCs.
I slow him down and tell him that Maxime and I make decisions very quickly. And if he’s okay with it, I’m eager to see his pitch deck. 15 days later, we became the lead investor in their round.
What convinced us (and quickly) can be summed up in these three points:
- Seeing a top-notch sales like Dorian venture into the SalesTech industry makes perfect sense. With Zeliq, he really wants to build a huge company.
- With his partners Victor (former CTO of Pumpkin) and Guillaume (one of the pillars of the Hivency adventure), they have a strong entrepreneurial experience to develop a product, recruit, manage, and that’s priceless.
- In Europe, SalesTech is at least five years behind the US, where the market is very dynamic (hello Apollo, salesloft!). Companies know that to sell well, they need the right tools. They are willing to pay around 3,000 to 4,000 euros per salesperson annually to equip them with the best sales enablement tools. The market is enormous, and Zeliq wants to move fast on this.
The beta will be available in June. The product is amazing, and you can really feel that it’s designed by high-level sales pro who know exactly what the market expects.
Oh, and yes, for Dorian and his team, the market will be primarily in Europe (not just France). It’s worth mentioning that with Hivency, he also has this “scaling to Europe” experience. And that’s something we like! Everything is ready to accelerate!