Munich Startup: What does your startup do? What problem are you solving?
Darius Göttert, Spreadly: With Spreadly, we make digital business cards for companies. Or, to be more precise: We’ve developed software that makes it as simple as possible for companies to switch from paper business cards to digital business cards in the form of a QR code, link or NFC card.
This solves several issues: On the one hand, you have the classic problem that nearly 90 percent of paper business cards are thrown away before they’re even saved as a contact. Then you have the challenge, for example, of how to get the contacts into your CRM after a trade fair. We use connectivity to solve the problem, for example, by scanning the other person’s Apple or Google wallet so you have all of their contact details right in your phone. This includes their telephone number and email address, as well as social media accounts, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. You might also be given the office location or even the option of booking an appointment. As a result, you get a lot more information about the other person than if you had just exchanged telephone numbers.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Darius Göttert: It’s true, there are already some other players, there has been significant development especially in recent years. In essence, however, we do two things better: First, we’re making it easier than ever for companies to introduce a digital business card for all employees. For example, we have an Office and Google Workspace link, which allows companies to create a template for all employees. Employees are connected and immediately have a ready-made digital business card. Regardless of whether the company has five or 500,000 employees, it takes less than half and hour for everyone to have a digital business card.
Companies can completely customize Spreadly’s solution
The second point is that we offer the broadest range of functions in the market. Spreadly offers a white solution that a company can completely customize. It starts with corporate design and continues with building blocks for text and goes on to references and important information that should be on the page. Integration is also an important component. For example, we offer a link to CRM systems, such as Hubspot or Salesforce, as well as appointment booking directly through Calendly.
In addition, we also offer physical cards for people who don’t want to give them up. One option is to have a paper business card with a QR code printed on it that links to the Spreadly website. With the QR code, a person can directly save the contact data and book appointments. They can also visit the website whenever they like to access the latest information, for example, to see if the person’s position or telephone number has changed. What we do is enhance the paper business card in its range of features. We also offer NFC cards made of wood, metal or plastic. Ideally, it will be the last business card you ever purchase.
Munich Startup: What’s your founding story?
Darius Göttert: Spreadly is the result of a lengthy process. It all began with our CTO Florian, our techy. He’s the one who built all the software. He started developing an alternative to Linktree as a hobby, i.e. a one link solution that is GDPR compliant – because Linktree is not. When the software was done for the most part, he approached me, because we already knew each other from Academy Consult, a student management consultancy. It’s where startups such as Celonis, Presize, Remberg, Vestigas, and many others were created.
“Studies expect the greatest demand in 2026/27”
He asked me if I wanted to join Spreadly and take over the business side of things. We quickly realized that our Linktree alternative had a lot of potential, but also that there was an even more exciting market for the basic features we had. Our research has shown that digital business cards have seen an increasing number of search queries and users in recent years, and studies expect the greatest demand in 2026/27. We then started talking to lots of people: Potential clients, agencies, friends and potential investors gave us a lot of input on what the ideal digital business card needs.
Once we had built the requested features, we officially launched Spreadly and started to focus on user acquisition. Our current CSO Etienne then joined us. We met him through Academy Consult, too. He started with us as a sales manager and was able to asses Spreadly’s potential. And since we wanted a third founder anyway, we got him on board as well. So now Flo can focus just on tech, Etienne does sales and I can concentrate on all of the other business-related topics.
Spreadly relies on a strong network
Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Darius Göttert: A major challenge was generating the first users. Not necessarily to earn money, but to get feedback and continuously develop the product more than anything else. We faced the challenge by proactively writing to a lot of people in our network. And thanks to the student management consultancy, thanks to START Munich, and thanks to other startups in Munich that we’re connected with, we’ve been able to ask many contacts for feedback. The beauty of our product is that when people use it, other people then see it. As a result, new people automatically discover it.
The search for the ideal supplier for our NFC cards was also a challenge, especially when you have three different suppliers, because you offer cards made of wood, plastic and metal. At least in the beginning, it took significantly more time than it might have been worth for the individual card.
Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?
Darius Göttert: In the beginning, we thought long and hard about where we want to go with Spreadly. We then made a clear decision that we want to achieve very strong growth and move in the direction of becoming a unicorn. This includes closing a funding round in the low seven-digit range next year. It helps that we’re now in German Entrepreneurship’s Master Excellerator program, which is specifically designed for that purpose.
From digital business cards to networking assistants
In the long term, we want to become the global market leader for digital business cards with Spreadly. We’re launching in Europe now, but already have customers on every continent except Antarctica. To achieve that, we want to use our digital business cards to build the first digital networking assistant. In other words, we want to develop a personal CRM that helps build better relationships in the long term, for example, by reminding you to make a phone call or to go to lunch with contacts you haven’t spoken to for months. And then even in ten years, you’ll still know where you first met someone and who you can meet for lunch with when you’re in a different city.
Munich Startup: How have you experienced Munich as a startup location so far?
Darius Göttert: For me, Munich is Europe’s Silicon Valley, and the city has developed rapidly in recent years as a startup location. Munich offers us many opportunities for drawing on networks and know-how. One the one hand and especially for us as students, there are initiatives here such as Acadamy Consult, START Munich, Manage and More and the CDTM. And then you have accelerator programs, such as the Master Accelerator, locations like Werk1 and startup hubs like Munich Urban Colab. We also receive additional support from our universities, Flo is at LMU, Etienne at TUM, and I’m at FOM. With all that, I think we can master almost any challenge with our network.
That’s why it’s important for me to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has supported us – in the Munich ecosystem and beyond. Without them, Spreadly wouldn’t be nearly as far along as we are today.
“Spreadly will define the next few years for us”
Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?
Darius Göttert: I don’t think we’ll be doing this until we retire. And that’s not because we don’t see the potential or because we wouldn’t enjoy doing it for a very long time. What’s important to the three of us is to build something, and there might be a point where there aren’t any major innovations left to make. That means we will have reached a zenith where we can find other exciting projects and take on new business cases. It’s going to take some time until we get that far, however, and Spreadly will define the next few years for us. But I’m pretty sure we’ll make an exit at some point.