Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourself!
Veit Blumschein: We’re Veit Blumschein and Daniel Nolte, founders of Lanes & Planes, the business trip portal that went live in 2017. Our time together started back in 2008 when Daniel Nolte and I founded the mobility and travel portal ‘fromAtoB,‘ which was acquired by Tank & Rast in 2017.
At Lanes & Planes I’m — in addition to my duties as CEO — responsible for product development. I met Daniel Nolte while we were both studying at RWTH Aachen, where he completed his studies in computer science. That makes him our CTO at Lanes & Planes and he is also responsible for product development and our innovative software.
Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?
Veit Blumschein: It was personal need that gave rise to the idea. I commuted between Aachen, Berlin and Munich for two years, which meant I had to regularly organize travel connections. The digital process for organizing a trip took too long in our opinion and we felt it was far from mature in our digital day and age.
A comprehensive travel management platform
According to a current VDR report, companies spend up to 1.5 hours per trip on managing and organizing business trips for their employees. Lanes & Planes is the first travel management platform that brings all of the processes involved in a business trip together, including travel expense reporting, ERP interfaces and even accounting.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Veit Blumschein: With a 40 billion euro market in Germany alone, of course many providers have tried to solve the problem. But none of them have managed to give companies a comprehensive solution. And that is precisely our unique selling point: end-to-end booking processes. Our comprehensive solution includes searching, (re)booking, travel expense reports, apps for on the go, transferring travel data to downstream systems for accounting, reporting and integration of travel guidelines in all processes, which allows Lanes & Plans to cover the entire booking and accounting cycles. With our comprehensive travel management solution, our customers save up to 30 percent off their direct and indirect travel expenses.
Munich Startup: What have been your three biggest challenges so far?
Veit Blumschein: The biggest challenge was definitely finding partners and investors who shared our “product first” vision for Lanes & Planes — and not just with lip service like “yes, product is important,” but who also gave us the necessary time and the money to develop software that lives up to our vision of an end-to-end solution instead of wanting to force us into five different markets with an unfinished product.
Munich Startup: How is business going?
Veit Blumschein: We just recently completed a 10 million dollar Series A round of financing with Battery Ventures. This round of financing is based on our unique and comprehensive end-to-end platform, which is considered the best solution on the market not only by our customers, but also by our investors.
Target market Europe
Our current target market will remain the European market in the year to come since it is a strong market with an annual potential of 150 billion euros. Our new investment options will be predominantly used to continue rapid customer growth and optimize our product offer.
Munich Startup: How do you view Munich as a startup location?
Veit Blumschein: We were located in Berlin with our last startup and made a very deliberate decision for Munich. While there are more affordable locations in Germany, what I personally like about Munich is that we get things done instead of just talking about it. The move from Berlin to Munich wasn’t difficult for me personally since I was born and raised in Munich and went to school here, so it was more like coming back home.
Munich Startup: Get up early in the morning or pull all-nighters?
Veit Blumschein: Definitely get up early in the morning! But it’s not like I really have a say in that since my seven-month-old son basically decides for me.