Got €100? Local products marketplace Regioneo leverages participative investment

[France] French start-up Regioneo launched a participative investment program yesterday to help the company raise the €200,000 it needs for development. The company has already raised more than €20,000 by merely turning its users into investors and allowing them to invest directly on their site.

Regioneo’s e-commerce platform provides local producers a marketplace to sell their products online. Thus, the once inaccessible independent foie gras producer can now sell directly to consumers, by opening an online boutique with Regioneo. And for producers that don’t have internet access, Regioneo offers to take care of the boutique and simply relay online orders to the producers.

By allowing users to make an investment in the company starting at €100, founder, Marc Thouvenin, hopes not only to secure funding but to develop a community of brand ambassadors for Regioneo – who will naturally be listed alongside investors Pierre Chappaz (of Wikio and Kelkoo) and Rafik Smati (of In addition, the investment model hopes to provide a win-win situation for the company and for its users; by financing the company’s development, users and producers should in turn benefit from the results. This model secured €17,500 on Monday and generated an additional €3,500 from 20 participants in the first 3 hours on Tuesday.

The company’s team has grown to 15 people since its official launch in April 2009. The site – which is currently available in French – will be released in English before the summer and in Spanish and German before the end of the year. Regioneo has additional international development plans for 2011, including plans to introduce foreign producers to the platform.