Limonetik helps NU! manage the success of its connected fridges
Paris-based start-up NU! is expanding because of skyrocketing demand for its connected refrigerators. The company has asked Limonetik to integrate all types of electronic meal vouchers in response to user demand.
Off to a promising start three years ago when the company first introduced its connected fridges to dispense meals, NU! is going stronger than ever. NU! fridge orders really took off in Spring 2020, following France’s first COVID-19 lockdown.
“We have tripled deliveries of connected fridges and now manage a fleet of 50 units installed in France, though mostly in Paris, where we started the business,” says Aude Camus, NU! co-founder and CEO. “Since July we have expanded to ten other cities, including Lyon and Bordeaux. We’ve begun installing our products in Switzerland and Luxembourg.”
The Parisian startup with a 10-person staff was founded by Antoine Asfar, Aude Camus and Mayeul Nicolas who wanted their company to have a neutral carbon footprint. The concept came to fruition when the three engineers with very different specialisations met in Asia. The initial idea naturally evolved as they developed a solution to offer catering that values zero-waste and meets the needs of businesses who want to provide their employees with a wider variety of healthy meals using local products.
Hence the creation of the connected, self-service NU! fridge. In practical terms, the machine automatically dispenses food and drinks (up to 100 meals per NU! fridge) in reusable glass jars and drinks. Ergonomic, easy to use, and smartly designed, this system has done away with queues. It communicates remotely using maintenance and management software. Real-time data informs the NU! team through back-office software of the system status and the supply levels of the fridges. Customers, namely business caterers who want to promote their products and gain notoriety, are kept in the loop.
“Our customers have access to every NU! fridge through a software interface that’s fully developed in-house,” says Aude Camus. “This way they can see how many of their products have been sold over time. Our team is able to intervene remotely in the event of a problem.”
Handling a variety of payment methods through an API
Two years of R&D were needed to develop the first NU! self-service fridge in lunchrooms, corporate restaurants and other public spaces. Completely designed and manufactured in France, the fridge relies on a system of automatic, connected shelves connected via remote monitoring and maintenance software. Developing the product was half the battle. Then came the payment part. Paying with meal vouchers is commonplace at companies. The difficulty for NU! is the sheer number of payment methods, especially since new solutions have been disrupting a market that was once monopolised by only a few major players.
“To convince our customers—whether businesses or caterers—we absolutely had to integrate multiple payment methods along with electronic meal vouchers. Otherwise, we would never have had the success we have today,” says Aude Camus.
NU! contacted Limonetik, a major player in the world of payment and marketplace solutions. “We had to rely on an application programming interface (API) capable of integrating all possible payment methods including the newest and most exotic. Limonetik’s API helped us respond quickly to our customer demands and thereby avoid spending months of additional development. Plus, we can quickly and easily integrate any new payment method as soon as our users request it. This is a valuable time saver, especially since our business activity is growing rapidly and short delivery times are a key to success.”
“The ultimate challenge was to deliver the NU! fridges—sometimes in less than a fortnight. Without Limonetik, the crucial issue of payment would have caused major delays. We went from 18 fridges to more than fifty and one city to three in less than six months!”
5, rue Bouchardon 75010 Paris, France
Share capital of €428,228.00
Business registration number: 501 862 015