French startup Teester hits play on user-generated video reviews
How the platform empowers customers to create testimonials about products they love
French founder Julien Chevalier spent 15 years in retail—during which the e-commerce landscape changed dramatically. With the rise of social media and video platforms, people began relying on product reviews from fellow customers instead of messages from the companies themselves. Julien saw this up close in his previous role as Director of Ads MarketPlace at Cdiscount, one of the largest e-commerce sites in France, where products with video reviews drove more sales. This led to Julien’s aha moment: why not empower consumers to create their own video testimonials about the brands they use every day? Julien doubled-down on his idea in 2016 by launching his startup Teester with his partner and CTO Matthieu Charron. Teester is a platform that helps brands drive more sales with trusted, authentic, and engaging videos made directly by their customers. Teester helps brands identify the right customers, and then help them make high-quality videos with streamlined, drag-and-drop tools and automatic editing and optimization baked in.Today, this 40+ person startup is the leading user-generated video platform in France, with big ambitions for the global market. Top brands and retailers are leveraging Teester to deploy customer video reviews, including Disney, Decathlon, MAC Cosmetics, ManoMano, Petit Bateau, and Somfy. As Julien puts it, consumers have become the “masters of communication, information, and technology.”
Even as the world came to a standstill amidst the pandemic in 2020, Julien saw the need for Teester to better service customers and brands. “During COVID-19, e-commerce became the main channel to buy products and services for consumers in lockdown,” he said. “With stores closed and no salesperson to advise customers, video became a key decision making tool for online buyers. We actually saw a spike in retail video views, with a 59 percent increase on product pages, video galleries, and Youtube during the first month of the pandemic.”
In 2019, the Teester team was selected by Google’s MarTech Partnership Development Program in Europe to explore how Google products might help the startup scale. From there, Teester joined the Google Cloud for Startups program, which provided tailored technical mentorship and product support as well as $100K in Google Cloud credits to accelerate their growth. Google experts introduced the Teester team to a certified partner (SFEIR) to help modernize their infrastructure, and commercial advisory to help unlock even more credits after graduating from the program. “We learned a lot from Google for Startups—the Google team helped us to make the right product choices,” recalls Teester CTO Matthieu Charron. “Google Cloud for Startups is a great program for any founder who needs to get their business off the ground with powerful tools and advice.”
Teester still uses an array of Google products to fuel their growth, from Google Workspace for team collaboration to Firebase to store user sign-ups. They also leverage a variety of Google Cloud offerings; in particular, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) helped the team overhaul and scale up their infrastructure. GKE seamlessly plugs into Cloud SQL to automate all their backups and capacity increases while securely storing all of their business data. and they rely on Google Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN) to deliver content anywhere in the world.
Armed with the people and products he needs, Julien’s excitement for the future is palpable: “Teester started out 4 years ago with just an idea. Today a team of 40 passionate people are working together to grow our product which is now used by major brands around the world. Bringing these people together and seeing where we are today—and where we want to be tomorrow—that’s the best part of being an entrepreneur.”