One of France’s First Technology Startups

Avanquest Software’s story is part and parcel to the history of technology businesses in France. The company was founded as BVRP Software in 1984 by two college-age friends, neither of whom ever imagined that thirty years later it would have become one of the leading consumer software publishers in France – and worldwide – present on every continent with offices from Paris to Shanghai by way of San Francisco.

Avanquest Software was one of the first technology companies to be established in France. Its first commercial successes were products called Directory (personal file management software) and Compatest (computer compatibility testing software). We were at the dawn of the microcomputer age, and the future couldn’t have been brighter.

A turning point came in 1995. Avanquest Software, which at the time had annual sales of only €3 million, launched WinFax, which became a worldwide bestseller and standard for sending and receiving faxes on PCs. In 1996 this success opened the way for an initial public offering on the Paris stock exchange and our first international office, in Denver, Colorado.

Local Business Takes on the World

Since then Avanquest Software has surpassed €100 million in annual sales, with 80% of that achieved outside France. All of this was possible through international expansion, with the Group opening additional offices in the United Kingdom (1998), China (2002), Germany (2003), Italy (2005), Bulgaria (2010) and Canada (2011). In 2007 the Group strengthened its international position by acquiring Nova Development in the United States, one of the world’s largest broadline publishers of consumer software products.

Other acquisitions ensued, including that of MicroApp, France’s leading consumer software publisher, in 2011. These acquisitions enable Avanquest, with its 530 employees at 12 sites worldwide, to offer its 25 million customers an expanded portfolio of software across a wide array of categories.

Avanquest has established itself as one of the three largest consumer software companies in France by offering products across a broad spectrum of niches – from image editing to learning to home design to casual games – and across all key platforms – Microsoft Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows Phone. (Source: Top 250 French Software Creators and Publishers, Syntec Numérique. Ernst & Young, September 2012.)

A Complete Realignment around Online Ambitions

A new chapter began on May 15, 2013 when Pierre Cesarini became the new CEO of Avanquest Group. Under his leadership the company has devised, implemented and begun successfully executing against, a brand new strategy with an aim to bring the group into a new cycle of value creation in a constantly evolving digital marketplace.

As part of this strategy the group has identified its future growth drivers in two high-growth markets: Personal Digital Creation and Connected Device Management.

Personal Digital Creation: Historically, Avanquest is the no. 1 publisher of home graphics software. But Avanquest has now parlayed its strength in offline graphics software into a highly successful network of five Web-to-print websites that allow consumers and small businesses to create high-style personalized products, ranging from holiday photo cards to custom mobile phone cases. At the same time, Avanquest has anticipated an important shift in consumer behavior by pursuing a complementary mobile-to-print strategy that includes its successful FreePrints app for iOS and Android, available in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany. FreePrints is the easiest and most affordable way to print photos from smartphones.

Connected Device Management: Backed by its historical expertise in utility software and synchronization tools, Avanquest is taking advantage of opportunities offered by the boom in connected devices to offer – for the first time – a cohesive solution for the management of all connected devices (PCs, tablets, mobile phones … even cars!) through the Cloud.