Founded in 2015 by Steeve Broutin and Yann Browaeys, Rapidle has become the French market leader in Click & Collect solutions, allowing local businesses to easily create a personalised online store, website and mobile applications.
Puratos plans to fuse the startup with Bakeronline – Rapidle’s Belgian counterpart that Puratos purchased in 2018 – to create a larger digital platform in France. The amalgamation of the two will enable Puratos’ hosting base to jump from 750 artisans to over 5,000 businesses within the next three years.
The objective is to meet the increasing adoption of digital solutions by local businesses to increase their turnover – a legacy of lessons learnt during lockdown – and also to develop the French market for Bakeronline.
Tech partner of choice
“The merger of Bakeronline with Rapidle reinforces the Puratos Group’s promise to encourage and support bakery, patisserie and chocolate professionals in their digital transformation,” said Sophie Blum, chief marketing & channels officer for Puratos.
“We want to be the technological partner of their choice in our industry, thanks to innovative, effective and simple solutions.”
Added Maxim Sergeant, founder and CEO of Bakeronline, “France has many dynamic artisans. Through the combined efforts of Rapidle, Bakeronline and Puratos, we will enable them to focus on product creation and innovation while growing their business. We want to be vectors of innovation.”
According to internet domain name registry AFNIC in its study on artisans (Sondage du Monde des Artisans et de l’AFNIC), 100% of local shop owners are convinced that it is essential to have an online presence today. Although growing at a steady rate, the pandemic really accelerated the importance and urgent need among artisans for digitalisation.
However, change is often easier said than done, and digitalisation comes with many obstacles, including budget, technical, availability and most essentially, time, which strongly conditions its success and the development of turnover, according to AFNIC.
“Over the past two decades, online presence has become a strategic pillar for many companies in multiple sectors to maintain and grow their business,” said Sergeant.
“It is from this need that Bakeronline was born, almost 10 years ago now, to allow local businesses to easily create their personalised online store, website and mobile application so that they can deliver their products to a greater number of customers in the most convenient and simple way.”
Largest global e-commerce platform
Bakeronline – founded in 2012 as Bakkersonline and a part of Localtomorrow NV – was set up by Sergeant while studying commercial sciences at Ghent University. The groundbreaking concept earned Sergeant Ghent’s Student Entrepreneur of 2015 and in 2018, was united with Puratos to set the tone for digital transformation of bakers, pâtissiers and chocolatiers. The Bakeronline tool enables artisans to design their own online and instore setup.
The merger with Rapidle will allow Bakeronline to strengthen its presence on the French market, and is another step in its goal to become the largest global e-commerce platform for bakers, pâtissiers and chocolatiers.
“As a shareholder and co-founder of Rapidle, I am very pleased with this acquisition by Puratos, which will allow Rapidle to continue to develop and innovate for the benefit of current and future customers,” said Broutin.
Belgium-based Puratos – founded in 1919 – is an international provider of ingredients and services for the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors, with a footprint in over 100 countries around the world.