We interviewed Mylivn-COO Benjamin Birker.
Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourselves!
Benjamin Birker, COO Mylivn: Mylivn is the “next gen social lifestyle” app from Munich, which will not only revolutionize the world of social media, but has also made its mission to become the European super app. Founded in 2016, we concentrated on product development during the first three years. Mylivn is now live with an iOS and Android version plus a beta version of our web app.
Rewarding creativity with the Creator Program
Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?
Benjamin Birker, Mylivn: Gone are the days of being worn down by the excess amount of content on social media or feeling like you no longer even see the content that’s actually important to you. Compared to other social networks, we give users a lot more freedom and offer functions and features that provide a new, customized social networking experience. It’s based on our channel system, which is much more interactive, to check the latest posts and stories. We’re also proud of our features – Group and Location Channels and Channel Collections – which our users can use to individually organize and select content. With Channel Collections, a user creates a new channel and adds selected users – like they’re creating a playlist. And let’s not forget our interactive map, where you can discover local posts and stories or build your own footprint.
Because we also believe that creativity should be appropriately compensated, content creators have the opportunity to qualify for our Creator Program so they can – much like YouTube – monetize their content in a new, independent and fair way. Because influencers then no longer depend on collaborations to earn money with their content, our Creator Program brings back the aesthetic appeal and authenticity that have been missed in the dreariness that is now social media.
Mylivn wants to bring aesthetic appeal and authenticity back to the dreariness that is now social media
In addition to satisfying the need to communicate, Mylivn wants to satisfy mobility, shopping and service needs over the long term as a super app. We also approach the delicate matter of data protection differently, because as a German company, we view privacy differently, have higher standards in terms of data protection and strictly adhere to European directives.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Benjamin Birker, Mylivn: On the contrary: A hybrid of Instagram and YouTube – but in an improved and more user-friendly form combined with a super app – doesn’t exist yet.
Available in 55 languages by the end of 2020
Munich Startup: How is business going?
Benjamin Birker, Mylivn: Our seed financing round came in at 7 million euros. Mylivn is already available in 23 languages, our users come from 78 different countries around the world. Our goal is to be available in 55 languages by the end of 2020 and to expand our presence in our main markets, Europe and America. The Mylivn team is located in Munich and includes more than 40 employees – with new support coming in on a monthly basis.
Munich Startup: What does Munich mean to you?
Benjamin Birker, Mylivn: Munich is a match for the Berlin startup scene in all respects – Bavaria gives its founders excellent support in this area. Particularly when it comes to recruitment in Germany and abroad, being located in Munich is often an advantage for us, because Munich is more attractive to many people due to its high quality of living compared to Berlin, for example. What we do find difficult, however, is the continued rise of the cost of living in Munich – especially in terms of rent. If we had one wish left, it would be: less red tape.
Munich attracts employees with its high quality of living
Munich Startup: How will your startup become the next unicorn?
Benjamin Birker, Mylivn: Regardless of how a unicorn is defined in startup lingo, we’ve already been a unicorn for quite some time: No other social lifestyle app unites as many innovative, unique and impressive features as Mylivn. There’s no global big player in the field of social networks in Europe yet – and most certainly not a social lifestyle super app from Germany. Our app not only meets the user demands that are most important right now, but also provides a lucrative benefit for the industry. Just like a unicorn stands out from the herd due to its exceptionality as a rare mythical creature, we also stand out from the crowd thanks to our unique DNA. The only logical result from that would be to also make it into the professional unicorn category over the long term, i.e. having a valuation from investors of at least one billion US dollars.
Munich Startup: Hiking or beer garden?
Benjamin Birker, Mylivn: Hike to a beer garden!