WeMaintain was founded in 2017 by myself, Benoît Dupont, and Tristan Foureur.
With offices in Paris, London and Singapore, WeMaintain is aiming to transform the building maintenance industry, combining field expertise and technology to provide building owners and managers with real-time data, smart maintenance and a next-generation customer experience.
The combination of our proprietary cloud-based technology, IoT devices and skilled maintenance engineers has had a big impact in the regulated maintenance market. This has helped us to win major contracts such as with Keolis Amey Docklands (KAD), operators of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), British Land and WeWork’s full Paris portfolio and Wokspace’s London portfolio. Additionally, we acquired fire alarm solutions company Shokly, to further expand our building solutions offer.
Ultimately, WeMaintain’s mission is to put the best of people and technology at the heart of the built environment. Our aim is to continue to use technology to bring transparency to the maintenance process, and enable both owners and managers to better understand and capitalise on their buildings. We also want to give back responsibility, time and recognition to lift engineers and empower them with the technology and data to optimise building management.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
I was working in a law firm in Shanghai helping entrepreneurs to set up in China when I met my co-founder, Benoit, who was working for one of the leaders in the lift industry. We then met Tristan, our third co-founder in Bangalore, India.
We all saw there was a huge opportunity to deploy technology and optimise user experience within the maintenance market, as well as accelerate the advent of smart buildings. We also noticed how little diversity there was within the maintenance sector and how for the longest time, the engineering profession had been undervalued.
The industry has been dominated by main players since the start and we felt there was room for innovation. Innovation comes from use of technology, diversity of genders, backgrounds, interests, experiences and ages, and that’s a big part of what this industry was missing.
Benoit had worked for world leaders in the elevator industry for ten years, including two in Europe and eight in China. He was able to see from the inside how the very profitable models of industrial groups were coming to their end both socially and technologically.
With this in mind, we had the idea to create an alternative in a market. We wanted to break these industrial silos and launch a solution that meets customer needs more and empowers engineers by leveraging technology.
Even though we as founders come from different backgrounds, we all agree that what sets us apart is the human-centric (rather than machine-centric) approach that WeMaintain embodies.
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How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?
Over the course of five years, we’ve significantly grown our team and expanded our building solution to include fire alarm systems.
We’ve been backed by investors and VCs. In total, we’ve already raised EUR 40M.
We’ve been able to expand from 70 to 130 people throughout 2021 in spite of commercial buildings closing over the lockdowns. Having earned the trust of office users, property managers and engineers. In 2022, we already have 150 people and need to keep hiring.
We have deployed geographically- when opening our branches in the UK and in Singapore – and vertically on new segments (fire and safety, doors, escalators).
WeMaintain is quickly establishing itself as a global alternative, reducing the number of breakdowns by three within a six-month maintenance period and carrying out 72% of callouts within under two hours – half the four-hour industry average.
What can we hope to see from WeMaintain in the future?
Last year we opened a new office in Singapore, which has one of the most sophisticated built environments in the world and have already struck a deal with Singapore public procurement platforms.
Looking further ahead, we want to expand globally and into more French cities and UK cities. We also want to invest in IoT research and development and create solutions for more regulated building operations and become a leading global player in the smart building sector.