Financial coaching app Elyxir
What is the idea behind Elyxir? To create a new financial coaching app to enable people to access quality asset management advice. For non-specialists, we're talking about modelling every possible option when faced with an investment or savings decision in order to identify the most efficient strategy. It may sound simple, but it's a major differentiating factor for clients.
Here are some examples of questions put to Elyxir and its responses: Should I buy property or continue renting and, if I buy a house, what will the impact be on my disposable income? How can I save for a decent pension while continuing to enjoy a pleasant standard of living in the meantime, and therefore what type of financial products should I invest in given my financial profile? How can I pass on my inheritance by optimising the transaction?
Elyxir was created by Hadrien Devichi and Vianney Chevalier, who still work for Societe Generale subsidiary Lyxor Asset Management. The former is an engineering graduate from Polytechnique and the latter an engineering graduate from the CentraleSupélec research institute. No point in asking them about their career paths, as both of them are fully focused on their project, in which they strongly believe as they have both put their careers to one side to found an internal startup. Elyxir is one of the first internal startups launched in the Group before scaling up with Internal Startup Call.
What makes this app different from the others?
"There are numerous online simulators, but they only give you information, not advice", says Hadrien. "If you want to purchase a second home, the question you should be asking is not what interest rate can you get, but rather is it compatible with your resources and worthwhile for you given your other projects such as a pension".
Convergence of interests
Although they didn't realise it, they both had the same idea of a financial coaching solution. So a Societe Generale member of staff advised them to join forces to launch this joint project. And that's what they did a few months later when they pitched their idea to Lyxor Asset Management's senior executives. And the response? Their project was validated under one condition: the two intrapreneurs were given six months to get back to them with an ironclad dossier… and here again it was mission accomplished!
The Elyxir adventure thus began in early 2017, and barely a year later it was launched among a B2B target. "There are eight of us in the team based on the Plateau in the Dunes near Paris, a space provided by Societe Generale and dedicated to startups", emphasises Vianney. "Two wealth management consultants, also Group employees, have just joined us on a part-time basis. They had submitted a similar project to ours in the framework of the Internal Startup Call organised on a worldwide level by Societe Generale. Those responsible for this intrapreneurship programme quite logically suggested that the two of them join us."
For Vianney and Hadrien, time is a valuable ally. Indeed they had a year to prove their project's viability. So they went for it, as any startup would. "We began to market the solution when it was 80% operational", says Hadrien. "I never would have validated it beforehand, but today it seems totally natural to me. Developments will keep pace with our first contracts, and our partners fully understand this".
Elyxir is targeting the efficiency of an immediate benefit for the client with a principle that is based on modules – real estate, savings, asset transferral – to which increasingly complex features will gradually be added. "Our strength lies in our ability to incorporate opportunities for improvement almost in real time", points out Hadrien. Although the internal startup is targeting Group companies during its launch phase, its long-term ambition is to win over new clients from across the financial sector via a simple pledge: to perfectly understand a personal situation in order to recommend the most suitable strategy.
Giving more meaning
Hadrien and Vianney see Elyxir as a way of giving more meaning to their work, the goal being to put the end client's interests back at the centre of the banking business. "Every day people make decisions that will influence their lives for a very long time without necessarily being able to control every aspect of their choices. Vianney and I want to provide our contribution – however small – to these people's lives, as I feel that this lies at the heart of our business".