Please, explain your idea a little more detailed.
In a first step, we focus on large, brick-and-mortar retailers, bring our technology to their stores, thus turn each store into a micro-location.
Then, we sell our SDK to any app that wants to interact with these micro-locations. For example, a consumer opening a price-comparison app in a store, will receive a special offer for that store while opening the app.
Milo is paid on a per-contact basis. Each time an action within a partner-app is triggered, Milo receives money.
For now, our customers are large retailers and companies with retail-focused apps. In the future, we want to expand to none-retail locations and apps.
Could you introduce your team?
Pirmin Rehm and Malte Schulze founded Milo, we met on the very first day of studying at the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel. After finishing our studies, we ventured on learning about entrepreneurship on our own and joined forces again in 2011 in Berlin to work on StylesClub, a Facebook fashion app.
After having ridden the “Rollercoaster of Entrepreneurship” together once, we decided to do it again.
We are joined by Jürgen Specht, a super experienced CTO, who we are lucky to have been working with since StylesClub. He worked for Rakuten Ichiban in Japan and launched more than 200 web- and mobile services around the world since 1993.
When did you start working on the project?
We started working on Milo Networks back in January 2013. Pirmin Rehm was busy scaling a Rocket Internet company and Malte Schulze consulted companies in the German Mittelstand, so they spend their weekends on the idea.
It needed a couple of months and what the start-up lingo refers to as “pivots” until Milo Networks was born.
Tell us the funniest moment that your funding team shares?
When a friend pointed out that pitching the idea of using sounds that no one can hear to build a micro-location network, is pretty much the definition of a start-up ponzy scheme. The similarity to the famous tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is uncanny.
Why are you better than your competitors?
We know what we want and we know our strengths and weaknesses, therefore must not fear the outcome of a thousand battles.
Milo’s approach to enter the micro-location market differs from our competitors, so does our business model.
First, We believe reach is key in our market, hence, we focus on a solution that is applicable to retailers with hundreds or even thousands of locations.
Second, we spend a lot of time focusing on retail clients and really understanding what they need and want.
We hope this clear focus and our experience with retailers helps us.
Who is your role model and why?
We both look up to famous entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and especially Sir Richard Branson, but, since having worked for German Mittelstand companies, are equally impressed by the achievements of these family run businesses.
Often overlooked and sometimes never heard of, these companies build world-leading products over generations and are largely responsible for Germany’s image in the world.
What’s your favourite Startup (in general)?
We like companies with a simple and solid product, who don’t compromise on quality. Therefore we are big fans of Everlane and American Giant. Claiming to build the greatest T-shirt or sweater in the world is bald, but they have done it. Malte is also a big fan of Upcload and Vicampo, both companies are run by incredibly smart, inspiring and authentic people.
Why did you choose the program?
Milo fits perfectly to Axel Springer. Some referred to us as building an offline Zanox: Adding locations as “publishers” and apps as “advertisers” while Milo is in the middle bringing both parties together.
Hence, the decision to apply for the program of the company that bought Zanox, has strong ties to offline retailers and the close links to the valley, really wasn’t that hard. Getting in was.
How do you like it so far?
It has been only two days, but the first impression is great. We love the AS PnP-team and the other companies in our batch.
What stunned us the most is the extent to which Axel Springer seems to be committed to innovation and adopt some start-up DNA into its own values.
Name 3 words that display your expectations towards the program.
Learn, apply, repeat
Where do you see yourself in three month? And in a year?
We want to turn several large retail stores into micro-locations and integrate our SDK with at least one partner.
Our vision is to become the largest micro-location network in the world. We will not have achieved that by April 2015, but we aim to have the most micro-locations in Germany by then.