Odoo, a double Walloon unicorn
It's a story that began to take root in student accommodation in Louvain-la-Neuve in the early 2000s. Founded in 2004, Odoo has now become what is known as a unicorn, a technology start-up that is not listed on the stock market but has a valuation of over $1 billion. It could even be called a double unicorn because it exceeds €2 billion.
Located in the UCLouvain science park, Belgium's Smart Valley, Odoo, the business management software company, is one of the flagships of Walloon technology. It joins Collibra (Brussels) and Combell (Ghent) in the very select club of Belgian unicorns. Its IT solutions are exported to Europe, the United States and Asia-Pacific.
Its flagship products are software used for accounting, inventories, human resources management, marketing, website creation etc., all the essential tools for the development of a company. With 7 million users worldwide, it goes without saying that Odoo is profitable, with annual revenue growth of 60-70%.
If until now, customers and prospects were found in SMEs, Odoo sees itself playing in the league of large international companies. For the moment, the biggest investment made by the firm is in human capital, "salaries make up 80% of expenditure, 1000 people hired in 2020," says Fabien Pinckaers, the happy Manager of the year at the head of Odoo.
And to think that it all started in student accommodation in Louvain-la-Neuve during the founder's studies as a computer engineer! A bit like our very own Belgian Steve Jobs.