Munich Startup: Who are you and what does Wirelane do? Please introduce yourselves!
Constantin Schwaab: I’m Constantin, 43, the CEO of Wirelane. I’m the former founder and CEO of Kinoheld, a market-leading platform for movie tickets. Before the ticketing sector, I was the founder and CEO of Plain Energy, a Europe-wide PV-plant developer. Right after completing my studies in political science at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Geneva and Barcelona, my career as a founder began. I started out as the founder of one of the largest European eCommerce sites for its time, which was sold to the listed company Loyaltouch in 2007.
“Charge. Pay. Done.”
Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?
Constantin Schwaab: Charge. Pay. Done. We make electromobility simple and accessible to everyone. With our holistic approach comprised of hardware, software and support services, we can flexibly respond to the requests and demands of our customers.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Constantin Schwaab: Some companies have already done some important groundwork when it comes to charging infrastructure and established themselves as genuine pioneers in a very early market phase. Nevertheless, the needs of electromobility are changing quickly. To give an example, a regulation in Germany now requires billing to be performed according to the German Measurement and Calibration Law. Many charging points of the first generation will therefore have to be decommissioned. New companies are entering the field and are offering the much sought-after all-in-one solutions which, in addition to installation and maintenance, often also include operation and even financing.
Moreover, we’re also breaking new ground and want above all else to make payment as easy as possible. That includes innovative payment options like contactless payment with a credit card or, even easier, with a smartphone. The highlight is that it isn’t necessary to register with a charging network provider beforehand which – unfortunately – is still common in the industry.
A combination of structure and freedom
Munich Startup: What have been your three biggest challenges so far?
Constantin Schwaab: Definitely one of the biggest challenges in a young company is finding the right balance between set structures and enough freedom for creativity. At the moment, we foster a business culture that makes it possible for every employee to contribute their unique strengths. To give an example, we just strengthened our team with two absolute experts from the hotel industry to improve our ability to respond to the requests and challenges of this sector. Especially now with corona, it’s all about focusing on the future. We’re also launching a new product in the market this year, which needs to be prepared properly.
“This year will be the breakthrough for electromobility!
Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?
Constantin Schwaab: We feel confident that this year will be the breakthrough for electromobility. Falling prices paired with ranges that just keep increasing have more people deciding to go electric. This year, we want to make a holistic system for electromobility available to as many customers as possible. That includes our hardware, software and service. In five years, we want to be the market leader in the hotel business.
Munich Startup: What do you think about Munich as a startup location?
Constantin Schwaab: Munich is a fantastic city that offers all the ingredients for success. On the one hand, Munich has an established international presence and attracts talented people. On the other hand, the startup scene is very lively and you come in direct contact with many investors.
Wirelane: “The mobility transition is a marathon”
Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?
Constantin Schwaab: The mobility transition is a marathon and not a sprint, so staying power. Despite so much already being accomplished, we’re still at the beginning of a new era. For electromobility to enter the mass market, there are still some small obstacles that need to be overcome. And we’re giving our all to work on just that and are certain that the future will be electric.