After publishing my previous post, about working with Arnaud Saint-Paul and Smartsy Corp, I got a lot of feedback from people who has same problems with Smartsy (and people behind this company). I mean, I found a lot of guys who were working for same company, but never get paid. Some guys tried to go to court, but anyway, didn’t receive any money.
I’ve made some investigations, contacted some of them, we discussed their experience, their problems with getting money, etc. And now I’m trying to put it together, onto one page. I believe, I need some time to gather all details, so this page is going to be updated.
Disclaimer: This article is my personal opinions. No guarantee is given that the information provided in this article is correct, complete, and up-to-date. All the trademarks are the property of their respective holders.
Just in case, if you’ve started with this post, please read comments for previous post: http://igorartamonov.com/2012/09/working-with-arnaud-saint-paul-and-smartsy/#disqus_thread.
Smartsy Corp is a startup, that was previously called Smartpaper, and Smartsystem, and was working in France. Now in US. Smartsy is a mobile app for iOS and Android + web application based on Grails.
First company was Tokidev, you can find this information even on official site – http://www.smartsystem.fr/. I remember when logo of Tokidev was published on Smartsystem website, but now it’s erased nearly everywhere, but they forgot about one small paragraph in the bottom of one page:
Or you could also Google for https://www.google.ru/search?q=tokidev+smartsystem, you’ll see a lot of proof.
As I understand, after having a talk with Alexandre Mainsonobe (owner of Tokidev), they were working for about 6 month on Smartsy project, for free, as partners. Until the moment when they have realized that on paper all rights belongs to Smartsystem, and Tokidev just doing a free work.
As I understand, Tokidev asked for money for this job, but Smartsystem didn’t pay, and tried to get all sources of written software. There was a complicated situation, they were in trial (successfully for Tokidev), etc. I even have a copy of papers from court, but it’s very hard for me to read “juridical french language” :( As I understand:
- Smartsystem owes money to Tokidev
- Tokidev can’t use Smartsy / Smartsystem / Smartpaper / Smartforum names in any way, and should remove any mentions from all sites
- Smartsystem didn’t get sources (but they still had an old copy)
At this time Eric Seulliet has registered a brand new company Smartpaper/Smartsy (see http://www.societe.com/societe/smartsy-534315080.html), and keep ‘working’. Old company owes money, but new company doesn’t. Good job.
I must notice that Tokidev keep original app, under another name. Actually, I don’t think that they’re going to make business on top of this code, probably just keeping it in portfolio.
A new company, Smartpaper, didn’t have all sources, only some parts of old code. So they tried to reverse engineer non-existing parts. Gerard Ayache and Eric Seulliet has been looking for other consulting agencies for this job.
At some point there was Ekito. They’re saying that after spending some time on working with Smartsy/Smartpaper, they’ve got similar problems, didn’t receive full payment, and now on trial. We’ll see.
we have not been fully paid and have definitly stop working with them, several months ago,
And as a result Smartpaper has renamed to Smartsy, a brand new company. And moved to US, as Smartsy Corp. To continue their business here.
Seems that there are about 10 extra partners, who were working on same project. Server side developers, iOS developers, Android developers, designers, etc. Some of them has been working just for few weeks, or days, until realized that it’s not a tech company, and they will never receive any money.
I had the same problems with Smartsy. I heard quite all the projects collaborators i knew complaining of unpayed bills. I didn’t heard that they paid anyone except in cases of legal procedures.
I’ve contacted to few, and found that all of them had problems with payment. I didn’t find anyone who received all money. Now I’m receiving emails from different people, related to this company, and all of them just saying that they have same problem. Nobody ever said anything good, just angry to this company and to this people.
As I said before, few month ago I‘ve started working for Smartsy Corp. But after few months of work I realized that they aren’t going to pay. They still owe me the money, and don’t care about making payment. Just ignoring all my messages. Just told me that I can sue, but it’s useless, because Smartsy Corp don’t have any money in a bank.
Current Smartsy Corp
What interesting, if you take a look at their Angel List page (https://angel.co/smartsy), you’ll notice, they they hired 2 marketing guys, and have one attorney (Ben Griebe at this moment, but I remember that there was another person). What most interesting, they don’t have any tech guy. Yes, it’s very tech startup, that have attorney, but nobody cares about technology. Isn’t it kind of weird?
But they really cares about having attroney. And now it’s obvious why they care: Arnaud Saint-Paul, for example, hired a law firm to threaten to me, want to remove this post, other people tweets, all links to the post, etc. Instead of paying for the job.
Now I’m not sure that their goal is to make a product. Running real business? Not sure. How they’ll do it without real software development? They don’t respect software developer, and even more, they’re fighting against software developers.
Ayache, Seulliet-Quinet or Saint-Paul?
What is also strange, that most of the people that I was talking about Smartsy, don’t know Arnaud. But all of them knows well and has been working with Gerard Ayache and Eric Seulliet.
Who is the real owner of this ‘business’? If you take a look into official websites (search for ‘Smartsy Corp’ at http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/), you’ll get following:
|Entity Name:||SMARTSY CORP|
|Entity Address||2000 UNIVERSITY AVE|
|Entity City, State, Zip||EAST PALO ALTO CA 94303|
|Agent for Service of Process||ARNAUD SAINT-PAUL|
|Agent Address||440 N WOLFE RD|
|Agent City, State, Zip||SUNNYVALE CA 94085|
At least we can be sure that owner of ‘US branch’ is Arnaud Saint-Paul. Btw, owner of French companies, both Smartsy and Smartsytem, is Eric Seuilliet-Quinet (see http://www.societe.com/societe/smartsy-534315080.html and http://www.societe.com/societe/smartsystem-518231279.html). So organizers are Arnaud Saint-Paul and Eric Seuilliet-Quinet. And, as I know, Gerard Ayache (but I can’t find any public confirmation).
I didn’t meet with Gerard Ayache and Eric Seulliet. They even ignored email about unpaid invoices, following discussions, etc. Just ignored. Just don’t care.
But, I met Arnaud. It’s hard to talk with him, he never answered to direct questions about payment. Lied to me few times about payment, that money will be very soon, that they just have a problem with bank, or problem business partners, or something else. Said that he, personally, don’t have bank account, credit cards, friends, and have only $200 for his life, at all, and can’t pay for the job, etc. So, I can only say that his words are worthless, and it was just waste of time :(
It’s still the question, who are other people (from website, angelist, etc), how they are involved. I’m telling about Jose Comboni, Bertrand Scache, Paul Dunay, Isabelle de Montagu, Robert de Monts, Andre Blanadet, Christian Detlefsen, etc.
I found that Arnaud Saint-Paul and Eric Seuilliet-Quinet are owners of few companies, were hiring software developers, and a lot of this developers said that they didn’t receive payment for their job. Some of developers has taken legal actions against company, but as a result owners were registering a new company instead of old. Old company owes the money, new company continues to work as usual. Few consulting agencies and/or individual developers can confirm this.
To be continued…
If you have more information about Smartsy Corp, Smartsystem, and way of doing “smart” business by Arnanud Saint-Paul, Eric Seuilliet-Quinet or Gerard Ayache – let me know, by leaving a comment to this posts and/or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have your own blog, write a blog post and give me a link, I’ll publish it here.
UPDATE – at 2 Jul 2013
Nothing changed. No money.
UPDATE – at 23 Jul 2013
Finally, Smartsy Corp paid for the job I did for them. Year later after job was done, and dozens of emails and calls.
Thanks to my blog, it’s only reason why they has followed agreement. So, if you’re going to work with this guys – be prepared.