The Munich mobility startup Cluno offers car ownership as a subscription model that can be booked with an app. The three experienced founders behind the young company, Nico and Christina Polleti and Andreas Schuierer, already successfully founded easyautosale. Nico Polleti answered our seven questions.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
Cluno offers car ownership as a subscription model — a revolutionarily simple way to drive your own car without buying it. In just three minutes, you can book your own car with an app for a monthly all-inclusive package price, and the car is then delivered to the location of your choice.
I’m Nico Polleti, 37 years old and a graduate in automotive business administration. I started my career in 2004 at Porsche. After just four years, I became the youngest managing director of a Porsche Center in Germany. I founded my first own company — a car detailing company — back in 1999 when I was 18.
The Cluno co-founders are my wife, Christina Polleti, who has a degree in business administration, and Andreas Schuierer, who has an engineering degree. The three of us had already founded a startup together before Cluno: easyautosale (EAS). The company was absolutely in tune with the times because it simplified the complex process of the purchase and sale of used cars. EAS was successfully sold to Scout24 in 2016.
Have your car delivered to the location of your choice with a Cluno subscription
2. But that’s already been done!
We’ve been live with our concept since October, 2017. Before car subscriptions, buying or leasing were the only options — and both are very long-term and not very flexible. What makes Cluno special: It’s not just getting your own car that’s done digitally with an app. What we really want with Cluno is to digitalize the entire experience involving your own car. That’s something we don’t see offered anywhere else right now.
Because the minimum term and cancellation period for each car are just six and three months, you aren’t locked into a long-term commitment in contrast to buying, financing or leasing. The costs are also transparent and easy to forecast thanks to the all-inclusive price. You don’t have to worry about anything like repairs or changing the tires.
3. What are the three main ingredients in your recipe for success?
It’s important to have the right idea at the right time and a great team. As a whole, our success is based on three components: a highly motivated team, a clear and resolute focus and good timing.
4. Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: How is business going?
We have 55 employees and a 1,200 m2 (approx. 13,000 ft2) office. Since October 2018, we’ve registered 10,000 app downloads. We’re growing strongly in all areas: We now have 50 different car models from ten different brands and many partnerships with dealers and car manufacturers. Our customers come from all over Germany — from Garmisch to Flensburg — and are between 23 and 76 years old.
“Munich is ideal for our mobility and fintech startup”
5. What does Munich mean to you?
Munich is a super location for us. We already successfully established easyautosale here. Because OEMs (note from the editing team: original equipment manufacturers) are strongly represented in Munich, the city is ideal for our mobility and fintech startup.
Munich has a good infrastructure and a lot of talent, which is important for recruiting employees to continue to grow. We’re originally from Lower Bavaria, and Munich has become our home of choice. Munich has a great atmosphere and you meet a lot of good people here.
6. How will your startup become the next unicorn? Or will we be seeing you at an Epic Fail Night soon?
We’re going to become a unicorn by pursuing our vision as resolutely and enthusiastically as ever and by continuing to deliver excellent execution. Car experts agree that car subscriptions are the promising new form of mobility. As a digitally driven startup that is independent of specific brands, we are able to offer an attractive and comprehensive service and provide a contemporary customer experience. Car manufacturers are also interested in our model, as is demonstrated by our latest cooperation with Porsche. So, no, I don’t think we’ll be seeing each other at an Epic Fail Night.
7. Hiking or beer garden?
Hiking. And what’s really important: Don’t drink and drive!