Munich Startup: Who are you and what does Fible do? Please introduce yourselves!
Paul Pizzinini: Hi, we’re Andreas Mall, Simon Peter and me, Paul Pizzinini, we’re all 28 years old and the founders of Fible.
Fible is a platform for people who don’t enjoy the extensive planning that independent travelling requires. In contrast to conventional travel guides, complete travel routes are created by travel bloggers and shared with the community. Thanks to its clear presentation and a host of technical and digital options, Fible offers the perfect basis for enjoying unique trips without needing to invest too much time in planning.
We founded Fible in early 2020 – but our journey together started much earlier than that. Andi and I have known each other since our school days and founded the Munich-based camper van rental company Camperboys in 2016. Simon got on board a bit later on and has been indispensable ever since. We all studied economics and specialized in different areas: Andi takes care of finance, Simon has operations under control and I’m responsible for marketing and strategy.
Fible wants to simplify complex travel planning
Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?
Paul Pizzinini: Planning independent trips on your own is, despite or perhaps because of new digital opportunities, more complex than ever before. Travelers visit an average of 28 websites during 76 sessions to plan just one trip. That often involves travel blogs and other forms of user-generated content, because above all else, an independent trip should be unique, authentic and second to none. But many explorers still end up in the same spots – #overtourism. Due to the time-consuming and complex processes involved, more than two thirds of travelers feel stressed by travel planning, and more than one third of all trips are cut short or are never even embarked upon.
Unfortunately, a central platform for travel blogs with all of the advantages that we’ve gotten used to doesn’t exist yet: detailed search and filter options, review and recommendation features, direct contact with bloggers or the ability to directly book the entire trip.
With Fible, we’re building that central platform for travel blogs by offering travelers authentic content along with the features mentioned above. At the same time, we help travel bloggers by taking care of all of the technical work involved in their blogs.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Paul Pizzinini: Platforms that aggregate the content of all travel blogs to increase transparency for advertisers do already exist. But the focus on travel planning falls by the wayside. There are already some companies that have identified the problem and take care of all of the planning involved in independent trips. These internet travel agencies stand out compared to classic travel agencies due to their clever technologies and individual offers, which has made them extremely successful. That’s certainly a good offer for honeymoons, but due to the high prices, it’s less suited for people who want to travel several times a year, sometimes spontaneously, and are looking for completely new adventures.
Three very different challenges
Munich Startup: What have been your three biggest challenges so far?
Paul Pizzinini: The following three areas were the most difficult:
- At a relatively early stage, our technical co-founder left and moved back to Norway. As a company with a digital product, that was obviously a major shock at first. We’re collaborating with freelance developers at the moment and are looking for a CTO – get in touch with us!
- As a platform, we’re also impacted by the famous chicken-and-egg problem. But we’ve found some good strategies for how to deal with it productively and overcome it.
- The question that remains is what’s the best way to monetize the model. There are some promising approaches, but we currently depend on external resources.
Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?
Paul Pizzinini: The first version of the mobile Fible app is available for free for iOS and Android.
In one year, Fible should be the number one place to go for independent travelers in German-speaking countries. Moreover, publishing content on Fible should be more lucrative and simpler than on your own travel blog.
The travel assistant could also help combat overtourism
In five years, the large number of users and volume of data should provide transparency about capacity utilization in tourism. That will take the pressure off highly frequented regions while strengthening economically weak regions.
Munich Startup: What do you think about Munich as a startup location?
Paul Pizzinini: Munich is an excellent location! You have Werk1 and Media Lab Bayern here – big shout-outs! – who believe in us and give us tremendous support. Munich is also the ideal starting point for short trips – which means we’ve been able to test Fible ourselves on a regular basis!
Munich Startup: Hidden champion or shooting star?
Paul Pizzinini: Fible thrives based on how well-known it is, so definitely a shooting star!