Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourself!
Steffen Hopf: Julep is a marketplace that brings together podcasters and advertising customers. What’s special is that we offer podcasters not only monetization, but also production and hosting — all from one provider. Advertising customers also benefit, because they have the opportunity to easily, digitally and transparently book their messages in podcasts.
Julep is backed by an experienced founding team that has already successfully established several companies. Many members of the team know each other from working together previously, for example at Prosiebensat.1. Naming all the founders would probably be a bit much here.
But just to name two: Marcus Englert (54), former Digital Director of Prosiebensat.1, who is now active as an investor, serial entrepreneur and honorary professor at Macromedia University. Then we have Sebastian Weil (41), who is also an investor and serial entrepreneur, who founded Studio71, the multichannel network of the corporation. Anyone interested in learning about the entire team can take a look at www.julep.de.
Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?
Steffen Hopf: There is a wide range of podcasts, with new additions every day. Many podcasters, however, aren’t able to capitalize on their work properly. Our goal is the democratization of the podcast market. We want to give every podcaster the opportunity to earn money with their content.
At the same time, we solve a problem faced by advertising companies, because until now, they didn’t have any options for easily booking ads on a scalable basis in several podcasts.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Steffen Hopf: It isn’t in the US or UK, but it doesn’t exist in this form yet in the German-speaking realm. Our USP is that we’re the only marketplace in Germany that has access to the local advertising market and local podcasters in addition to local market expertise.
And don’t forget, we also run our own studio and support podcasters in every area of service: From production, to technology, distribution and even increasing their reach. That in total is unique here in Germany.
Julep: “People are listening to podcasts more than ever before”
Munich Startup: What have been your three biggest challenges so far?
Steffen Hopf: Programming and setting up the platform at record-breaking speed — we’re talking about just a few months from the idea to its launch. It wouldn’t have worked if we hadn’t all already known each other for so long. We work well as a team.
And the second challenge — won’t surprise anyone — is obviously corona. We’ve also noticed its impact on the advertising industry. With targeted offers, for instance in the area of eCommerce or home entertainment, we’re supporting our customers during this difficult period.
Munich Startup: How is business going?
Steffen Hopf: For the services just listed, advertising is predestined for podcasting. People are listening to podcasts more than ever before. Smartphones are within reach, a mobile store is often just a tap away. You just have to be creative about how you approach it.
In the three months since launching, we’ve been able to get 95 podcasters and more than 20 advertisers on board with our product, such as Deezer and Sonos.
Munich Startup: What do you think about Munich as a startup location?
Steffen Hopf: Munich is an ideal location for startups. The scene is very active. It’s also home to large media companies who are all potential partners for us. We’ve already concluded a marketing partnership with Sport1, with others soon to follow.
Munich Startup: When do you like to listen to podcasts most?
Steffen Hopf: We love podcasts — because you can listen to them anywhere: while doing chores, on the way to work, out jogging or sitting on the couch in the evening. And that’s exactly when we all listen to them too.