A true breath of fresh air! Foobot is bringing air quality monitoring to the masses. It all began with a simple idea and a lot of determination. Today, the company serves consumers and businesses in 45 countries worldwide.
We spoke with Jeremy Block, Foobot’s Business Development and Sales Manager, and Chloé Rossignol, Community and Content Manager, about how it all began, their outlook for the future and how TradeGecko helps bring them peace of mind.
Bringing fresh air indoors
Three years ago, CEO Jacques Touillon and CTO Inouk Bourgon partnered up to conceptualize what is today Foobot. Touillon was first inspired to create a revolutionary device to monitor indoor air quality by his child, who had been suffering from asthma. He combined his business and design knowledge with Bourgon’s engineering expertise to create their first device, AirBoxLab.
The idea was to go beyond the basic monitoring of CO2. They wanted to check for other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter and also chronicle temperature and humidity in the air.
This information was recorded in a cloud platform accessible from iPhones, providing unprecedented access to data on the air we breathe in indoor spaces. The objective was to eventually use the information to drive home automation systems or trigger treatment.
Starting from scratch
In 2013, Touillon and Bourgon started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in order to fund the development of AirBoxLab. Later, the pair introduced the Alima sensor to the market and, in 2014, they evolved their brand and product to Foobot. During this time of transition, the company managed to raise 2 million euros in funding!
The next generation
In essence, Foobot is like a guardian angel providing “good air and good vibes” for your home. The new product goes beyond simply monitoring indoor air quality; it also links up with home appliances and other devices, like Nest and Ecobee, to regulate air quality.
Upon launching Foobot, they manufactured 100 test units to see whether it would sell and, sure enough, they sold out in 3 weeks across 24 countries! This success was the start of Foobot as an eCommerce business.
B2B and B2C
The unveiling of Foobot as a direct to consumer product is ground-breaking. It allows people to manage their indoor spaces directly with a user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing and affordable device.
Yet, while Foobot sells direct to consumers, B2B is expected be a part of the business for some time as awareness about Foobot’s value and utility among the general population will take some time to build.
For Jeremy, this meant finding a solution that would allow the management of inventory from direct sales and distribution partners simultaneously.
It’s working…now what?
Managing inventory and sales across distribution partners, their own Shopify store and Amazon quickly became complicated. The need for an inventory management platform was very clear.
The Foobot team was running inventory and distribution from spreadsheets, which left room for error in the updating of files and slowed down productivity quite a bit.
TradeGecko to the rescue!
The integration of all their vending platforms needed to be done seamlessly so that the company could grow and focus on its products and sales without worrying about hiccups in workflows.
Jeremy started researching solutions and tried to understand how they could manage all of this alongside their growth. This is when he came across TradeGecko.
TradeGecko allows them to integrate Shopify and Amazon platforms while giving their wholesale customers the ability to order online through a Foobot branded online B2B store on the TradeGecko platform. It doesn’t get any more user-friendly than this.
Jeremy and Chloé agree that TradeGecko makes life easier across all functions – from logistics, to sales, to the CEO. “Everyone has simple, up-to-date access to the same information. Bringing in TradeGecko was fast and easy - life was instantly better.”
When asked what the biggest advantages of the platform are, Block says, “peace of mind – just knowing that everything is up to date”.
Plans for the future
Foobot is eagerly looking to conquer new markets in the future. They are focusing on the USA and Europe at the moment and are considering South American and Asian markets too. We can’t wait for Foobot to become a household name!
Find out more about Foobot here.
See alsoSuperlove Merino: growing their business with better inventory management