The Munich mobility startup Altermobili wants to reduce traffic caused by looking for parking spaces. The founders are not the only ones on the market with the idea. But thanks to their battery-powered ‘plug-and-play’ hardware and app, the startup knows when a parking space will be free before a car even pulls out of the spot. The startup has already successfully completed a crowdfunding campaign as well as pre-seed financing. Co-founder Ophélie Jaschke answered our Seven Questions.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
We are Altermobili, a smart mobility startup in Munich that was founded early this year. Our goal is to become a leading company in the field of sustainable mobility. Our focus is to reduce traffic caused by looking for parking by 30 percent. We also want to cut the amount of driving in half in areas where it’s unlikely to find a parking spot.
To manage that, we’re linking cars to form a ‘Connected Cars Community’ by using our little chip ‘Almo’. The hardware is installed in the car and connects with our smartphone app via Bluetooth. When an app user leaves a parking space with their car, we detect it and let all other Almo users know about the free space. Our solution is so smart that is shows someone is pulling out of a parking space 60 seconds before the fact. That means only our users know when another user will be freeing up a space.
Altermobili founders: startup experience times three
Our founding team includes Michael Jaschke, IT serial entrepreneur, László Török, a startup-savvy CTO, and me, Ophélie Jaschke, a US lawyer. My husband Michael has built successful companies in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data in the US and Europe. László officially joined the founding team this month. He brings a wealth of experience with him in software development for big companies and startups. And I did consulting work in US immigration law for startups in the US for fifteen years.
2. But that’s nothing out of the box!
A lot of startups have to listen to that objection — even in the field of mobility. In this day and age of climate change and diesel driving bans, it’s an area where everyone really wants to find a solution!
But what we’re doing — and especially how we’re doing it — is what makes us unique. Almo detects and shows parking spaces before they’re free. That gives us what might be called an ‘unfair advantage,’ because only our users know where a parking space will open up in the next 60 seconds.
The combination is what makes for success
3. What are the three main ingredients in your recipe for success?
That answer is clear — a combination of grit, experience and innovation!
- Grit: The US psychologist Angela Duckworth describes this term as a combination of passion and perseverance. We have that!
- Experience: All members of the Altermobili team have worked for startups and gathered fundamental experience in building companies.
- Innovation: We love innovation and believe that technology can essentially improve life. That is exactly what we invest a substantial amount of our time in.
4. Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: How is business going?
Our development has been surprisingly rapid. We’ve reached many milestones in the shortest amount of time and didn’t even have the time to pop open a bottle of champagne! We founded the company in January, completed our pre-seed funding in May, started our launch in June, entered into data partnership with Share Now in July and got László and Daniela (our experienced marketing director) on our team in August. We’ll be integrating Share Now in September and will then show our users thousands of additional parking spots each day. That’s fantastic!
Back to the roots
5. What does Munich mean to you?
After the seventeen years Michael and I spent in the US, Munich is home to us again. We are incredibly happy to live and work here. László also worked in London for three years before making his way back to Munich. Daniela left Mexiko to be closer to her family again.
Munich is extremely active in terms of its startup scene and offers our company a whole array of interaction and cooperation with other startups. The city is also home to many large automotive and car sharing companies that we could cooperate with.
6. How will your startup become the next unicorn? Or will we be seeing you at an Epic Fail Night soon?
What a question – a unicorn, of course! Startups shouldn’t just work for ‘world peace,’ but should also earn money. But a further objective is also important to us: We want to reduce the traffic caused by looking for parking by 30 percent here and in many other European cities. That is our company’s mission.
7. Hiking or beer garden?
That’s tough to say since Munich is great for both! But we did ask: Javi and László voted for the beer garden; Daniela, Sophia, Michael and I are for hiking: So it’s four against two for hiking!