Munich Startup: What does your startup do? What problem are you solving?
Alaiko: In rapidly growing e-commerce shops, the operations and customer service departments often face the greatest challenges. Usually, the answer to rising order volumes and increasing process complexity is more staff in those departments. This is exactly where Alaiko comes in, as our mission is to solve these problems by revolutionizing e-commerce logistics for fast-growing brands.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Alaiko: While classic fulfillment providers only take on the logistics of an online shop, Alaiko offers a modern, integrated approach. This starts with a fulfillment network that can cope with unlimited growth and provides state-of-the-art warehousing and lightning-fast delivery. Combined with Alaiko’s Logistics Operating System, which includes comprehensive operations management and automation, we offer logistics performance at the highest level. In addition, customers of DTC brands (Editor’s note: Direct-to-Consumer) can be proactively informed of the status of their orders at any time—even during shipping—and manage them independently, which takes an immense workload off the customer service team. So, thanks to Alaiko, online shops can grow more efficiently and at the same time offer an outstanding shopping experience, which is what sets them apart from the competition in the fiercely competitive e-commerce market.
Munich Startup: What is your founding story?
Alaiko: Our founders Moritz Weisbrodt and Gabriel Thomalla have known each other since their university days and have already successfully built several companies together. After founding Kaia Health, an internationally successful e-health startup, they experienced the logistics challenges of growing e-commerce businesses first-hand with their first own DTC brand. That’s what prompted them in April of 2020 to found Alaiko and build a solution that will help many other shops.
Alaiko plans international expansion
Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Alaiko: The first challenge was to find the right logistics partners for building Alaiko’s fulfillment network. We needed warehouses with adequate digitalization and the necessary service level to meet the needs of successful e-commerce brands. Anything less was out of the question.
Moreover, we founded Alaiko at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, many of our employees had to start out remotely. Despite all of these obstacles, we were able to move into our beautiful new office on Stiglmaierplatz in March 2021, and caught up on some well-deserved team events.
Most recently, we are pursuing some very ambitious goals: We want to keep developing the Alaiko platform, expand internationally, and further widen our network of logistics partners. Of course, that means we are constantly on the lookout for top talents to help us achieve all that.
Munich Startup: How is business going?
Alaiko: We started out with Alaiko in April 2020, right when the e-commerce market was beginning to benefit from the COVID crisis. We felt the effects directly, and some of our first customers, for example Wingguard (the face mask that current Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach wore in public) really got off to a running start. For us, it was a stress test to show that our solution stands up to order peaks, so it is perfectly suited to making scalable growth possible. Today, we are supporting more than 150 e-commerce brands and want to use our series A funding of 30 million US dollars to keep on growing rapidly.
“Munich was the perfect place for us to found our company”
Munich Startup: How have you experienced Munich as a startup location so far?
Alaiko: Munich was the perfect place for us to found our company. It has an outstanding network, especially in the B2B environment, and thanks to the universities it also offers a first-rate talent pool. And thanks to the city’s great quality of life, we have been able to convince a lot of employees from other cities to move here for Alaiko, or to at least visit regularly.
Munich Startup: Hidden champion or shooting star?
Alaiko: So far, we have deliberately stayed somewhat “under the radar.” For one, to give us time to work with our customers on perfectly adapting the Alaiko platform to the needs of e-commerce brands. For another, to build a team and create the necessary structures to allow for the kind of growth we have in mind. Naturally, due to our Series A, we are now attracting more public attention. But in everything we do, we will continue to focus completely on developing new solutions for e-commerce logistics and on our sustainable growth.