Daniel Bartel (2nd from left) is one of the co-creators, along with Sebastian Ballweg and Marcus Goesser, of Autonetzer, an online platform that allows private owners to rent their car to others, following the idea of collaborative consumption. The cars are fully covered by Autonetzer’s insurance, owners can fix the price and decide if they rent by the hour, by the day or by the week and prices for the user are more convenient than an average car rental. The system is community-based and allows both owners and users to rate the experience.
How did you come up with this idea?
Well, we met at Startup Weekend Stuttgart. Sebastian and Markus have experience in business and they already had the idea. I have a sales and service management perspective, so we thought it would be a good fit. The idea is not to put more cars in place but give a better use to the ones that already exist. We believe that collaborative consumption is the future, even in Germany where people love their cars!
So far, what have being the greatest obstacles that you have encountered along the way?
The hardest thing has been to find an insurance to make it safe and attractive. That took a long time! The way we have set it up, our insurance complements the owner’s insurance and covers the drivers and all potential damage to the vehicle so the owner’s insurance doesn’t suffer for it.
What made you get in contact with betahaus?
We started our business at the coworking space in Stuttgart. We love the idea of coworking and we believe coworking spaces are very adequate for our concept. We want to build a community, not just a platform. It’s nice to know the other users, the people you lend your car to and in coworking spaces people know each other, so it’s easier for them to lend their cars to others. Since betahaus is the pacemaking coworking space in Germany, it was obvious for us that we had to approach the managers to introduce our innovative mobility concept. Now we have a specific URL where betahaus users can rent out and borrow cars nearby at http://betahaus-berlin.autonetzer.de.
Is there anything you would improve?
I love the idea of betahaus: I believe it’s the future because it represents collaborative working, the fact that you can go to other cities and feel at home, meet different people everywhere. You don’t need to work in one office anymore and betahaus is your office worldwide. The only thing is that even though I understand it includes a lot of services besides coworking, the prices are ambitious for young entrepreneurs. Maybe it would be nice to have special discounted prices...
You’re a young startup, but do you have any advice for people creating their own startup?
I would suggest that they try to early prototype to show the product or service and let people experience it, give their feedback. A prototype opens a lot of doors, even if it’s not perfect. Failures and mistakes actually improve the learning process and give you a better chance of success.
So, what are your plans for the future?
For Autonetzer, grow the platform and make it more popular. I'm exited to use methods like Design Thinking in order to impove our plattform even further, so people can loan their cars even more convinient and earn money while doing something good for the nature. Bethaus-Users should definatley check out http://betahaus-berlin.autonetzer.de.
Eva Roig led the interview. She is part of the betahaus | Barcelona Team.
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Cost is a big one here. In regards to total transportation costs, the last mile comprises up to 53% of those - making it the least efficient part of the supply chain. Expectations of free shipping and next day deliveries add up to this.
Due to increasing digitalization and convenience services in every area of people's lives, the smooth and flawless process of getting the delivery to one's doorstep is exceedingly becoming what customers care most about. On top of that, for companies that package being delivered is an extension of their brand. The consumer is basically coming face-to-face with the brand, which makes it the biggest opportunity to heighten customer satisfaction.
If you live in a city and have even slightly observed your urban surroundings you’ve probably witnessed it first hand - urban congestion and crowded cities make it pretty tough to satisfy the growing demand and rising expectations of super quick deliveries. Add unpredictability in transit (like weather conditions), an incorrect address or remote locations, just to name a few, and you can see where this is going.
The worst part is, all those delivery trucks and vans that also produce a fair bit of emissions, are often only half full when they roll out for deliveries. This is mostly due to low drop sizes and stops along the route that are far and few between.
It’s not all hopeless though - Where there is a problem, there are solutions.
Same old, same old - isn’t always all that bad. Sometimes, all that’s needed are some new perspectives! The city of Utrecht, for example, implemented a zero-emissions electric barge nicknamed the “Beer Boat”.
Since 2010 it’s carrying beer and food to the city’s downtown restaurants by using waterways. Other electric barges in Amsterdam not only deliver but even collect organic waste, which is then turned into biofuel in processing plants! Isn’t that cool?
It becomes clear that cities, logistics, as well as urban planners, are equally part of solving the inefficiency of the last-mile. Tackling this mountain of issues calls for teamwork!
A centralized platform, hub or network for similar companies, could do the trick to fill up the delivery vans & trucks that are barely loaded. Parcels could be distributed more efficiently between different companies and their delivery vehicles.
Like a big pool of parcels from different companies with every single parcel going into that one van with the same route!
Delivery Driver Experience and Smart Delivery Vehicles are also areas with huge potential for improvement and innovation.
Ellie: Two years ago we adopted a new legal structure for Jolocom GmbH according to the purpose model of ownership, manifesting our commitment and dedication to building a self-sovereign organization. That means we can’t take VC funding or sell public shares of the company.
Volker: Jolocom is a community driven organisation – both in a tech sense but also much further beyond. We’re hugely involved in the DWeb community where we organize and attend events for the decentralized community. Every year we also help organize and attend the DWeb Camp in San Francisco, which brings together all kinds of creatives so this technology of tomorrow is built in a collaborative way.
Next to that on-demand experiences have become firmly embedded into people’s everyday lives - be it a mobile app to book a ride, send flowers to your loved ones or order lunch to your office. It’s all possible and has made premium features like real-time tracking a standard. The online consumer expects nothing less and certainly doesn’t like to wait.
Making that quick and instant gratification happen is another story though. Groundbreaking ideas and innovations are needed to tackle all these factors. Does your startup have one?
Volker: There is this really nice place, called Green Rabbit with salads and baked potatoes where I like to go to. Sometimes I just keep it simple and go to Lidl.
Ellie: I eat a lot in west.berlin cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.