Christoph Fahle
February 27, 2012

Startup of the Week #26: Thriventures (Storage Room)

Storage Room is a cloud-based CMS (content-management system) for mobile and web applications, with which app developers can distribute, store and manage content. They no longer need to worry about creating a backend from scratch – something that would cost more time and money in addition to the creation of the app itself. Sascha has recently begun to work from betahaus.

Sascha Konietzke is the founder of Thriventures, and the director of its main product, Storage Room. Storage Room is a cloud-based CMS (content-management system) for mobile and web applications, with which app developers can distribute, store and manage content. They no longer need to worry about creating a backend from scratch – something that would cost more time and money in addition to the creation of the app itself. Sascha has recently begun to work from betahaus.

What exactly is Storage Room, and how does it work?

Storage Room is a content-management application for mobile apps. With Storage Room, developers can manage content for apps on various platforms. For example, if you were to develop a mobile game – let’s say a quiz like ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ - you would need a place to manage content such as the questions and their respective answers. This is where Storage Room would be useful.Agencies and developers that create apps usually have to develop the backend as well – in other words, the content management and storage systems themselves – and this can get quite expensive and time-consuming, as it requires them to set up and maintain their own servers, among other things. What they can do now is take StorageRoom’s web-based interface to manage, edit, and update their content. Developers can simply pull their content through an API from this CMS straight into their apps without the need for any additional servers.

What kinds of apps would find something like Storage Room especially useful? What are some apps that already use it?

For example, there are e-learning apps – vocabulary guides in particular – that use Storage Room and a lot of mobile games that use it as well. Storage Room is very flexible, and there are basically no limits regarding what kinds of apps can use Storage Room – even if you need to handle only a small amount of content, such as notifications, you can manage it through the Storage Room CMS, and save yourself a lot of time and money.

Storage Room is the main product of Thriventures, and, as it appears, the only one so far. Has Thriventures developed any other apps, and do you plan to develop any more in the future?

So far, Storage Room is our first and only product. I started Storage Room after spending many years as a freelance mobile app developer for different clients in the past. One problem I noticed quite often was that including content inside mobile apps is too hard – something my clients often requested. I tried many different ways of doing that, and each way somehow disappointed me. I asked around and found out that several other developers had the same problem, and so I eventually decided to build a solution, which is how Storage Room was born.

You’ve only recently started working from betahaus. So far, what are your impressions of the place?

I really like the open atmosphere and all the events at betahaus, such as the Beta-Breakfast, where I can meet new people. I actually plan to present my startup sometime next month. Unfortunately I cannot say much more about betahaus, since I only just started working here! But yes, I do like what I’ve seen and experienced so far.

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? 

Then head over to our Future Logistics Challenge! Applications are still open until September 23rd.

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 cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.

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