Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourselves!
Hæppie: Hi, we’re Felix Simon, Nico Wandschneider and Thomas Kombrecht, three marketing enthusiasts with more than 30 years of experience in the marketing of complex B2B services. We met while working on joint customer projects for IT companies – and it was during those projects that we kept noticing how time and resource consuming the sales processes are in this area. We thought it was crazy: Innovative solutions to catapult customers into the future were being sold with sales methods from the ancient past. With Hæppie, the first digital sales assistant, we’re finally escorting these sales processes into the digital age. Felix and Nico have pitched their tents in Munich and Thomas completes the group with his Northern German accent.
“We see that as a massive waste of resources”
Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?
Hæppie: The digital buying journey still has some significant gaps. Particularly in the field of complex IT services. You might find some marketing automation to reach out to customers, and a CRM so the sales team can focus on the best opportunities. But what happens in between the two, in the big gray zone of presales? This is where the services have to be explained by professionals in basic terms, where the basics of the connections have to be established, where generic value has to be explained….and all of it hundreds of times for every customer, every day. Calls are arranged, PDFs are shared, emails are sent, presentations are set up and so on. And all of this effort often doesn’t even result in a sale. We see that as a major waste of resources. It’s basically begging to be automated. So we rolled up our sleeves, combined our knowledge of sales processes with the challenges in the IT industry and looked for creative technological solutions. The result is Hæppie – the first digital sales assistant that makes companies and customers happy. It was about time.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Hæppie: Okay, then show us that it already exists. No, but seriously, we’re defining a new category: virtual selling solutions. It’s obviously marketing, but if you give us a moment, we’ll show you how you can close the gap between marketing automation and customer relationship management and all those fancy sales tools out there. There are certainly also creative platform solutions to bring supply and demand together for freelancers and agencies. The people involved might certainly like it, but it won’t make them hæppie. We’ve yet to see a virtual sales assistant. But that’s not a problem – that’s what we’re here for.
Beta customers understand the solution quicker than investors
Munich Startup: Was there a point when you nearly failed?
Hæppie: It’s not always easy to explain the complexity of B2B sales to outsiders. For example: within minutes, our beta customers understood what our solution has to offer and how it helps them organize their sales processes better. They were excited about the idea and were immediately ready to support us in developing the solution with their cases. Investors, however, can still have a difficult time understanding it, to be honest. But we’re working on it.
Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?
Hæppie: What we see on the horizon gets our hearts racing. In one year, we want to have a solid three-digit number of customers, the first partners to sell our solution with additional services to their customers and an ecosystem where new creative add-ons are constantly being created. Maybe we’ll already host the first Hæppie Conference? And after that, in four to five years? We’ll think about those questions while at the press conference for our unicorn valuation. In all seriousness: A market share of 30 percent in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for offering services such as agencies, consulting, IT service partners, would be a dream. And after the first pilot projects beyond our core market, we of course hope to take the major leap onto the international stage.
Proximity to excellent universities is very important
Munich Startup: What do you think about Munich as a startup location?
Hæppie: We work from different cities across Germany – so the issue of where to found the company was quite open ended. Munich won us over because it has excellent funding conditions, an outstanding startup community and, above all, plenty of talented individuals who are helping us make Hæppie one of the top solutions in the years ahead. We want to grow quickly – so the proximity to the different universities of excellence is a significant factor for us.
Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?
Hæppie: We’re here to stay and are motivated by the idea of really making a change. We’ve demonstrated our staying power for more than one and a half years. That should have us covered for the first ten years.