Leankoala & koality.io
Why did you start your start-up, which problem do you address and how do you solve it?
"You go after your core business, we take care of your web business".
Our vision is that there is never again the moment when you realize that sales or reputation have been lost because your own website is not working properly. Our software Leankoala takes over the 24/7 monitoring of websites and ensures that from uptime to the shopping cart everything is technically always running. This allows you as an operator*to take care of what you like to do best: make customers or users happy, generate sales, develop products. If something does not run as it should, we sound the alarm. Wehave been pursuing this mission with Leankoala and our newest product koality.io for three years.
How did you come up with the idea of founding your start-up?
Quite classical is the idea was born from our own needs in practice. Nils and I have been working in the fields of marketing/performance and web development for a long time. Everyone, from the individual entrepreneur to the corporate group, has the challenge that far too often mistakes are made that bring along business critical moments like loss of sales. This is often only discovered when the damage is already there. Examples of this are the website/landingpage is down, is not considered safe, links are broken and more ... the list is endless, because there are many visible and invisible elements that can cause this.
What is special about your business model, what do you do differently?
The business model of our Software as a Service solutions koality.io and Leankoala are monthly subscription models. What is different with us is that we do not charge per user, but on a per-domain basis. It is important to us to ensure that as many employees in the company as possible use the solutions or benefit from them.
What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome at the beginning?
Nils and I are not only co-founders but also married and have children. Since I myself come from a family business, I was very aware of what you get involved with. Therefore, it was important for us to start a company with the right idea in which everyone can contribute and develop their strengths. This is definitely the case with Leankoala. However, in the beginning it was not easy in professional communication and professional environment not to take things personally. People act differently in their jobs and we first had to learn to deal with this. Now, of course, we have long since become a well-coordinated team.
What was the most valuable advice someone gave you during your start-up phase?
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Not advice but a valuable quote to go with us. It can be taken in so many directions from product to team to overall communication. It was written by Maya Angelou (American civil rights activist).
What are your milestones?
Bidstrapped started at the beginning of the first milestones was the idea to transform the idea into a stable and scalable product. We started with the first paying customer. Next milestone was the innovation support of the city of Hamburg InnoRampUp over 150k, which automated the product technically even more. In 2019 the seed round with our first investors.
Current milestone: Mastering Corona and the pivot in the form of our latest product koality.ioOutlook
: Bringing partners on board, scaling marketing & sales and conquering new markets
What have you learned so far?
Starting a start-up is a rollercoaster ride. With a lot of ups and downs and you have to celebrate and hold out. The learning curve is immense.
The important thing is that you always have to keep your eyes open for what's going on around you, but you must never lose sight of your own company, your team and the product.
What would you recommend to other founders?
Be open, ask for opinions and evaluate them for yourself. Make decisions, even if they are tough - sitting out is rarely an alternative. Build
a reliable network. Give something back and get involved as a mentor, speaker or similar. Do not take yourself too seriously.
Where do you see your startup in 3 years?
In three years we want to have achieved a lot. Leankoala and koality. io should become the first point of contact when it comes to monitoring websites. At the forefront is the development of new markets in the form of target groups and growth beyond the DACH region. Concretely, so much may be revealed, it is already strongly moving towards e-commerce with exciting partners at our side.
Do you still have a social life despite having founded a start-up?
Of course! You also have to let go in your thoughts and do other things from time to time, this brings new impulses and inspiration. We are also parents and it is important to us to be a role model for our children and to be there for them.
However, even in the private sphere much fits our start-up. What we do professionally, we do with passion and this coincides with leisure activities (networking events, friends from the area, companions, codes on the sofa, writing blog articles during a conference stream).
Do you have a role model and if so, who is it?
It is not a specific person. We are inspired by people who are not only passionate about what they do, but who work hard for success and stay with it.
Who would you like to have dinner with and why?
Michelle and Barack Obama, both are exciting personalities and leaders. At the same time it would certainly be a fun evening.
Who is the mastermind on your team and why?
There is no such thing as the one mastermind. As a Tech- or WebDevelopment product Nils is of course in charge of Leankoala. But we couldn't exist if it weren't for our diverse koala team, which completes the product and company with its different strengths.