Created in June 2013, Smarteo Water is an up-and-coming company in an expanding industry: the management of community water networks throughout the country. Founded in Paris, Smarteo Water relocated to Roncq, near Lille in July 2014. The company’s goal is to recruit 10 new employees in the next three years and to double its annual sales every year.
“At the beginning of 2014, we were awarded the largest contract in France to set up a remote meter-reading system for drinking water for localities near Geneva. It was at that time that we started thinking about leaving Paris so that we could increase our warehouse space at the lowest possible cost,” explains Loïc Charron, Smarteo Water’s co-founder and sales director.
Finding less expensive offices and a warehouse within one hour of Paris.
After looking at cities like Reims, Rouen, and Le Mans near Paris, we chose the Lille metropolitan area for three reasons:
- Warehouse space costs two to three times less than in the Paris region.
- Its proximity to the Port of Antwerp in Belgium, through which we import any non-EU materials.
- Its proximity to Belgium and the Netherlands for international expansion.
“In Roncq, we are right off the highway to Antwerp. We are located in an industrial area that has significant warehouse facilities available if we need more space in the future. Currently, we are using 220 square meters of storage ,” notes Charron.
Maximizing the relocation process and finding new markets.
“To get ready for our move, I was advised to get into contact with Lille’s agency, without really understanding the value added that the organization provides,” says Charron. The Smarteo Water director admits to being “pleasantly surprised and very satisfied” with the assistance that the agency provided, including:
- Finding a location that was a good fit with the company’s needs,
- Providing introductions to local decision-makers and other companies that could provide services to Smarteo Water,
- Sharing the Smarteo Water portfolio with local investors for assistance in its plans for growth.
Charron notes, “Lille’s agency’s knowledge of the local players and services available is extremely beneficial when relocating.”
About Smarteo Water
Smarteo Water is a privately-held company of four with very strong growth potential, active in a new market.
Smarteo Water provides intelligent solutions to municipalities and drinking water management for monitoring water use. The company helps clients with the following:
- Improved drinking water management.
- Distribution of water throughout the network.
The company equips water meters with a radio communication system; the information collected is sent to a server for data analysis. Consumption can be monitored in real time and accidents prevented. Smarteo Water also offers its clients connectivity via mobile apps.