Solustone: technology, stone and above all people

13 January 2021


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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 – to share with you the stages they went through – and the epic -. What next? They’re still writing it 😉

The story begins on the thirty-fifth floor of a New York building overlooking Central Park in November 2011. Young Sébastien de Lavison – known as Seb or Bast to his friends and family – looks furtively out of the window before plunging back into the figures scrolling across his screen. The Frenchman has been living his American dream for five years now.

After a successful internship, he landed what he thinks is the grail: a position in a revenue-generating activity at Natixis. Big salary, big responsibilities. After a difficult schooling, Seb repeats to himself as if to convince himself: I made it. But something is wrong, this routine is oppressing him. The Airbus A380 lands on the tarmac at Roissy Charles de Gaulle on this morning in January 2012. Home sweet home.


Many years after setting up his own events company, Seb has returned to his first love: meeting and supporting entrepreneurs in the development of their projects. They all have that thirst for independence that Seb has always expressed. The feeling is particularly good with a certain Guilhem Bertholet. At the end of 2013, Seb joined him to found Invox, a demand marketing agency based in Lyon.

“With Invox, I learned about the association, the development of a company and its difficulties,” recalls Seb with his characteristic smile at the corner of his lips. The adventure continues, Invox grows, and five years later the ambitions and desires of the two founders are no longer aligned. Like most important decisions, Seb makes them on the move. On this summer evening in 2018 on the TGV to Lyon Part-Dieu, Seb decides to change platforms, and leaves Invox.

Real estate

Seb fell in love with the real estate business four years earlier. First for the real estate agent Stéphanie, who would become his wife and the mother of their three children. Then for the apartments they buy together and refurbish at weekends. He “works with his hands”, and at the same time is witnessing the birth of “proptech” – an association of young companies innovating in the real estate sector.

The result of a series of meetings, the opportunity eventually presented itself. Seb founded Trackstone, a software start-up that references and analyzes all available real estate online in August 2018. The association brings together “great people” whose expectations quickly diverge. “With Trackstone, I realized that I still had a lot to learn about the association, business development and its difficulties,” Seb reminds us, aware that the learning curve is infinite and that, sometimes, history repeats itself. A week before making its fund-raising from business angels official, Seb is on a train from Montpellier Saint-Roch. The end of the road for Trackstone, as Seb parts company with its partners in August 2020.

The impact

The global pandemic is an ideal time for questioning. Seb reminisces about the last moments spent developing its SaaS. He thinks back to the discussions he had a few months earlier when he came to the Metropole de Lyon to present Trackstone. Impact. A word that particularly resonates with the man who wants to “go as far as possible to give back as much as possible and make himself useful”.

The planets align: Trackstone becomes Solustone, a social real estate company serving households and businesses in difficulty. Based on the principle of sale with option to repurchase, or réméré, Solustone temporarily buys the property of people in difficulty and helps them to regain their financial health. Tech for scalability, stone for expertise and people for impact.

Fund raising

The idea brings people together. The first business angels were quick to come forward, keen to invest quickly. Seb opens the door to a first round of financing. A meeting is scheduled for Thursday February 18 at H7 with the main stakeholders. Questions fly, exchanges are nourished.

– What’s the link between Trackstone and Solustone?
– How do you plan to bounce back after this past year of ups and downs?
– What guarantees do you offer?

Seb answers questions and supports his vision. For the first time in a long time, he felt perfectly in tune with his convictions. Solustone has positioned itself in an existing business, remortgaging, but which in reality is not at all fair. Solustone changes the game with a transparent approach and a carrying commission of 5%. The first recruitments serve this purpose: to secure operations and support people in difficulty with training and discussion sessions.

What’s next for Solustone? Becoming a mission-driven company. “There’s no other option, it’s in our DNA… it always has been”, says Sébastien, who is also taking part in the FOCUS Impact organized by H7, a 6-month program designed to help entrepreneurs address these issues. ESUS accreditation and B-Corp status will follow. Tech, stone and, above all, people.

Sana Chennoufi


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