Emile Karam, Thomas Reynaud and Mylène Romano – Garantme

They have just launched flat rental guarantee offering for international students in France. In one month, 150 incoming students have applied to their services from all over the world: India, China, Korea, Marocco, Gabon, the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain…

Thomas Reynaud : We are glad to finally help students find accommodation. Because our clients are so satisfied, we have decided to launch a Garantme Ambassador Program for them to sponsor their own friends, who will benefit from a €50 discount on the guarantee.
In the meantime, we are delighted to witness landlords’ and real estate professionals’ warm welcome to our product. The guarantees we provide them with for free are unprecedented: €36,000 in rental revenues per year with a full building, analysis and certification of renters’ files.
This is the result of an intense 8-month work to convince partnering insurers, GALIAN and MMA to bear a new type of risk in the housing sector. Now that we have a strong insurance product available, we have to strengthen our notoriety with universities, student residences, and real estate agents. This will help us enlarge our network of partners and scale.
Can you tell us about the creation and development of your company? When did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
TR: Emile and I met during our Major in Entrepreneurship when we were students at HEC Paris. What was originally a school project soon became a life project as we received more and more support from mentors, investors, and of course potential partners and clients.
The ideation of the project dates back to February 2017. We then validated our concept on the field during 2 months as part of the Startup Launchpad. Summer 2017 was dedicated to prospecting insurers and building the platform and the scoring algorithm. Autumn 2017 was dedicated to building the insurance product.
Why did you decide to enroll at HEC Paris? What advantages did it offer you?
TR: As a préparationnaire, HEC Paris is the objective. It brought me a lot, personally and professionally. The two years on campus are a perfect occasion to invest time in associations and students club where I learnt about myself and what I wanted to do. The gap-year was an opportunity to discover what I did not want to do. Finally, Emile and I both agree to say that the final year was fantastic because we met people who inspired us and motivated us to build our own company.
What is your favorite memory from your time at HEC?
TR: There are so many good memories at HEC. Most of them are linked to shared moments with friends on campus on during travels. But there is one special moment: probably the day when we won the campaign for the Junior Entreprise. It involved so much effort and emotional investment during 4 weeks that everyone burst out in joy.
What is your contact with HEC alumni today?
TR: HEC Alumni is at the centre of a company’s onset. We benefit from the network of alumni on a daily basis, be it for advice or for introductions.
What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs?
TR: For us, the key is to be on the field, always… First, it makes you challenge every preconceived idea that you might have about the market. But most importantly, it makes you meet new people, who with their own perspective bring you more in five minutes than anything you might have done in your office in 5 days.
Key figures
6 millions: it’s the number of people who do not have sufficient financial guarantees in landlords eyes in France. Our aim, is to help them all change housing as easily as others do.
36,000 €: it’s the amount of rental revenues that we guarantee thanks to GALIAN and MMA to every landlord
0 € : it’s what it costs to landlords to use our rent guarantee
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