LabLabee: $1.4 million to revolutionize telecommunications training

13 December 2022


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La belle Histoire is a series of articles featuring entrepreneurs and their teams – the main characters – starting from where it all began – the genesis – and sharing with you the stages they went through – the epic -. What’s next? They’re still writing it.

On this September afternoon, Samir takes a break. The last few months have been tough, but the two founders have held on. LabLabee continues to grow and announces a €1.4 million round of financing. Behind his round glasses, Samir’s eyes sparkle. He begins his story with characteristic humility.

The genesis

His story begins in Algeria. The son of teachers, Samir has a passion for learning and passing on his knowledge. Passionate about computers and electronics from an early age, Samir dreams of becoming a developer. While choosing his academic path, he met Wary Nichen, PhD in telecoms (now a comedian). It opens his eyes to the telecoms: “a perfect blend of computing and electronics for remote communication”.

The message got through. Samir embarks on a telecoms engineering course in Algeria. He joined his first science club and met Mahfoud, Club President, who was also the son of teachers and a computer enthusiast.

Mahfoud introduced him to the MOOC(Massive Open Online Course) principle, and together they signed up for the first MOOC on electronic circuits. It’s 2011, and it’s the start of a long series of 32 MOOCs that Samir will follow over the next five years.

In 2016, Samir joined the Ecole des Mines de Rennes in Brittany, specializing in Internet of Things (IoT) and Telecoms. During their studies, Samir and Mahfoud created their school’s first Alumni Day, and took part in a number of events, including Startup Weekend, Web Week, a Google Hackathon and more, they launch several projects and the creation of several training programs in IT, telecoms, networks and the cloud: the start of a fruitful collaboration.

Over the next few years, the two friends made a career for themselves.

Mahfoud continues to develop his experience in educational technologies (EdTech) by joining the start-up Quizzito as a developer and then CPO (Chief Product Officer) to encourage children to read through gamification.

Samir spent 5 years working for start-ups and industry giants such as Capgemini, Orange and Mavenir. At Mavenir, he operates in an international environment as Tech Lead for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. His professional desires are evolving, and it’s time to launch his project.

The epic

The arrival of new technologies is transforming telecoms. 5G is coming to Europe, and infrastructures are evolving. Training is the next challenge.

The France 2030 plan calls for an investment of 1.4 billion euros over the next few years in training for the professions of the future. The telecoms professions are under pressure, with skills shortages hampering deployment.

“The telecom cloud market is undergoing a major transformation, but industry training hasn’t kept pace,” explains David Guérin, Director at Brighteye Ventures.

Existing training courses are expensive, highly theoretical and not really relevant to real-life situations. Talent needs support.

Concept validation

In 2020, Samir began an in-depth study of the various telecoms training solutions available. Training courses are too theoretical and struggle to get people on board. For his part, Mahfoud agrees and answers Samir’s call to come up with a solution. This is the starting point for LabLabee.

For 6 months, Mahfoud brainstormed on the product and Samir pitched LabLabee: a telecoms training platform with practical case simulations, which would enable engineers to acquire new skills in a more efficient, cost-effective and engaging way. Samir will be interviewing over 200 managers on the relevance of his concept. Feedback is unanimous: the need is real. LabLabee is now on a mission to rethink telecommunications training.

The platform

LabLabee gives studentsaccess to immersive environments based on Telco Cloud technologies such as 5G and OpenRAN. In concrete terms, the platform provides a learning-by-doing experience in realistic operational environments called “LABs”. Users learn, for example, how to configure a 4G network or 5G antennas, or how to deploy an OpenRAN network in a cloud environment.

The advent of open-source software has enabled LABS to be developed rapidly – in just one month, compared with eight months previously – and has reduced production costs by a factor of 10.

LabLabee also optimizes the energy consumption of labs: since they are stored on a Cloud, when they are not in use, they are temporarily deactivated and no longer consume energy.

The launch

In September 2021, they start work on a first version with a large customer base. They start recruiting a small team from their own funds.
The decision to accelerate is necessary in view of the craze. Mahfoud and Samir devote themselves 100% to LabLabee and launch the first version and the commercial offer.

Fund raising

Against this backdrop, LabLabee begins its roadshow. The response was overwhelming: led by Brighteye Ventures, with the participation of Accel Capital, Kima Ventures and e& capital, the financing round was quickly completed. LabLabee raises 1.4 million euros.

Many renowned business angels, including Anne Tavares, Program Director at Nokia, Sébastien Pahl, Co-founder of Docker, Patrice Nivaggioli, Global Service Provider Innovation Lead at Cisco, Tambi Jalouqa, CEO of Propeller, as well as numerous friendly angels from the telecoms, investment and IT sectors, are taking part in the operation.


LabLabee’s vision is to build the first “Cloud Gurufor telecoms, and make access to networking and telecoms technologies as easy as accessing an IT development environment.

Following this fund-raising, LabLabee has built up an international team of 20 motivated people with expertise in different fields, and has also expanded its community with 12 experts from the telecoms sector taking part in the start-up’s growth.

The challenge now is to put the platform in the hands of industry giants, schools and their students. The signals are green. LabLabee is on the radar.

Sana Chennoufi


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