The first time we talked about Leetchi on TechCrunch was back in February – only 3 months after its official launch in November 2009. At the time, the young company created by 27-year-old Céline Lazorthes had just raised funding with Kima Ventures and 360 Capital Partners. Some of France’s hottest business angels, like Oleg Tscheltzoff and Xavier Niel, are also investors. And now the company is about to celebrate its first birthday on November 19th with 1.2 million euros in the bank.
Along the same lines as YCombinator‘s WePay, Leetchi’s platform facilitates group payments and purchases. And coincidentally, WePay – who raised $7.5 million back in August – is also backed by some rather well-known angel investors, including Max Levchin, Ron Conway and Dave McClure.
For Leetchi, this funding completes the 450K€ seed round and will go towards developing marketing efforts and reinforcing the technical team. The company has doubled in size since February and should grow to be 15 people by June 2011.
As far as the platform goes, Leetchi is also planning to release a number of nice new features. Integration with Facebook Connect will be available shortly and one-click and recurring payments should launch soon as well. The team also recently added the possibility to transfer money collected via the platform to individuals. Feel free to try it out and send it all my way.
And not to worry if you notice Leetchi’s platform looking a bit more like Billmonk or even Eventbrite pretty soon. Lazorthes is planning to attack a number of new B2C segments, including bill-splitting for roommates, contributions collections for associations, online ticketing for events and additional services oriented towards a younger age-range (14 to 18 year-olds). For the moment, the site and the services are all in French given the local aspects of the business. But not to worry – an English version is definitely coming up as Leetchi is aiming to become Europe’s leading platform for group payments.
For any non-French speakers, Leetchi’s corporate motto “les bons comptes font les bons amis” translates to “good accounts make good friends.” Looking at their investor list and the recent additions of Catherine Barba and Ronan Le Moal to the board, I’d say the team probably knows what its talking about. In addition to celebrating it’s birthday with money in the bank, Leetchi will be counting down to 2011 with some 25 B2B customers, including one of the major e-commerce players on this side of the Atlantic. Not too shabby for a 1-year-old.