Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourselves and you product/service!
Talkindly: The people behind Talkindly are the three founders Clemens Engelhardt, Carolina Waitzer and Dominik Waitzer.
Clemens was born in 1978 in Landsberg am Lech and – in addition to providing ideas – acts as an angel investor at Talkindly. He is a professor, lawyer and partner at the law firm Trustberg LLP in Munich and Berlin, which specializes in company law and venture capital. Clemens studied law in Munich, Heidelberg and Frankfurt, where he got his PhD in stock corporation law. Before working with Trustberg LLP, he worked on the management board of the Schörghuber Corporate Group for several years. Clemens is predominantly responsible for legal, management and strategic issues.
Carolina, who is the CEO, “face” and person who named Talkindly, was born in 1992 in Salzburg, Austria, and has lived in Munich for five years. Carolina’s focus is on marketing, the field she’s been working in for seven years. She started in communication for brands like McDonalds and BMW – and since her career as CEO and co-founder of DeSight Studio, also in the field of eCommerce, PPC and digital marketing for brands like Foamie and Maria Nila with a focus on Amazon. In her role as CEO of Talkindly, Carolina deals with operational business and product development.
Dominik, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Talkindly, was also born in 1992 in Salzburg, Austria. After completing his vocational training as a media expert in 2010, he worked in the digital industry. Originally active in the field of technical development and design, Dominik worked in international brand management for the eCommerce giant Rakuten in Vienna for several years. Dominik is responsible for technical product development on the one hand and for the strategic focus and internationalization of the company on the other.
Italian wine and synergies
The founders met – in a way more modern and fitting than ever – by chance on LinkedIn and quickly discovered over Italian wine that the chemistry and synergies were just right.
We founded Talkindly in late 2020 with the idea of reinventing (digital) communication and bringing together some of the qualities that we have all acquired in recent months – namely: the comfort of video communication and progress in digitization!
With Talkindly, (mostly) companies record personal video messages right in a web browser and share them with their business partners, customers or colleagues. This differentiates Talkindly from its competition, because you don’t need any software, apps or installation to use it, it’s extremely easy to use and the fact that the video messages are just links makes it possible to use Talkindly in virtually any scenario.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Talkindly: Like you are often told in kindergarten (in Austria, at least): “There’s nothing that doesn’t exist already.” And that is fundamentally true for Talkindly too. The question is what makes us special – so what makes Talkindly special?
- Talkindly can be used right on a computer or smartphone in a matter of seconds – without an app, without software and without any annoying setup.
- In addition to the topic of data protection, people happily avoid options like YouTube when they would like “something more personal” – with Talkindly, every message comes in its own color with its own logo and personal text message.
- Talkindly is “going in a different direction” and does away with things like communities and follower rates – we concentrate solely on the person sending the message and its recipient.
Munich Startup: What was your biggest challenge so far?
Talkindly: For Talkindly, definitely two things: Making an appointment with a notary during the Christmas season in lockdown – and also coming to a mutual agreement about how exactly to pronounce Talkindly.
Munich Startup: Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: How is business going?
Talkindly: That’s a bit tough to answer since we’ve only been on the market for a few weeks! However, Talkindly has had some prominent acknowledgement and is already being talked about in the corporate world. The special we announced for schools and kindergartens for using Talkindly for free has already been taken advantage of – but more information about that would take away the mystery of it all at this point.
Munich Startup: What does Munich mean to you?
Talkindly: As Clemens would say: “It’s Italy’s northernmost city!” For Carolina and Dominik, Munich has become (a new) home that they both enjoy and have learned to love. In addition to the fact that it seems Munich has been deemed the ideal “location for business,” it’s no surprise that Munich is one of the most livable cities in the world – for us, Munich combines the best of many worlds: A village flair paired with lots of nature and yet it still feels like a multicultural big city where (almost) anything is possible!
On the basis of our different characters alone, we deliberately distanced ourselves from seeing ourselves as “part of a specific scene” from the very beginning – nonetheless, you still often have the opportunity to meet and talk with interesting people in Munich.
Initial talks about an equity deal
Munich Startup: How will your startup become the next unicorn? Or will we be seeing you at an Epic Fail Night soon?
Talkindly: This is the perfect spot for a quote from Elon Musk: “When something is important enough, you do it, even if the odds are not in your favor” – accordingly, we haven’t even really thought about that (yet).
Not least because we’ve put our focus first and foremost on the company and the product without getting distracted by subjects that are irrelevant at this point. This much we can say: We’ve already had initial talks about an equity deal.
Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?
Talkindly: The vision of an (almost) perfect exit – an eternal legend in the startup world.
Because all three founders behind Talkindly have already worked as entrepreneurs for many years in a broad range of constellations, staying power is indeed part of everyday (working) life. All kidding aside: At the end of the day, a deal is only as good as the worst condition on the term sheet.