Munich Startup: 12 years old, over 3,000 employees and several million euros in sales last year – can Celonis still be called a “startup”?
Remy Lacarovici: With our current size, we have now outgrown the common definition of a startup. However, the term is of secondary importance to us. We focus on our business, the further development of our software and on generating as much added value as possible for our customers.
Munich Startup: How has Celonis changed since it was founded?
Remy Lacarovici: Growth from three to over 3,000 employees means massive changes in almost all areas. This primarily affects structures and processes. Internationalization has also had a major impact on how we are now positioned.
However, our role in the market has remained the same: Celonis was a pioneer in process mining from the very beginning and – according to analysts – continues to be a pioneer and market leader in this area today. However, only a small percentage of the market has been developed. For us, this means that there is still a great deal of potential.
But what has changed fundamentally: In the early days, nobody knew Celonis and hardly anyone even knew what process mining was. We are now a well-known company and process mining has become an established software category.
“Taking a close look at entire process chains and their interdependencies”
Munich Startup: And where is your current focus?
Remy Lacarovici: Basically, we continue to focus on using our technology to provide our customers with the best possible support in becoming more efficient, more resilient and more sustainable. In terms of product development, our focus is on the latest generation of process mining, which offers customers many more possibilities. Put simply, process mining was previously only able to analyze and optimize individual processes. Now we can scrutinize entire process chains and their interdependencies. For example, if materials are delivered late, this naturally has an impact on production, the delivery of finished goods and, ultimately, invoicing. Our software effectively forms a digital twin of our customers’ organization, giving them a much better overview. The further integration of AI technologies, such as large language models, is also a current focus of our development work.
Munich Startup: With Celonis Labs, you have not only launched your own innovation center, but also founded several executive briefing centers. How does this fit into Celonis’ strategy?
Remy Lacarovici: The Celonis Labs are important for us to think ahead in terms of technological aspects and the use of new technologies that go far beyond current product development. They are therefore part of our corporate strategy and help us to be and remain a technological pioneer.
Celonis works closely with customers
The Executive Briefing Center concept is an important building block for close cooperation with our customers. They can test our software live on site, view practical examples and develop and try out individual application scenarios together with our experts. Close cooperation with our customers and personal contact are firmly anchored in our corporate culture, which is one of the reasons why we have created a dedicated area for this at our headquarters in Munich. I often attend such meetings myself and they are among my favourite appointments, as new and exciting approaches are always found there to realize added value with our customers.
Munich Startup: What challenges are you currently facing?
Remy Lacarovici: We recently presented the next generation of process mining technology at our Celosphere customer event. For the insiders among our readers: Object-centered Process Mining offers versatile new uses for end-to-end process analysis and is based on the Process Intelligence Graph – our latest innovation. Helping our customers to make the most of the new potential this offers is currently a focus of my work.
“Putting a stronger focus on sustainability”
Munich Startup: What milestones are you working towards next?
Remy Lacarovici: So far, our customers have been using our software to save costs by improving efficiency. One of the big issues for us is to focus more on sustainability. Because improved efficiency, for example in logistics, also means that fewer resources are consumed. To put it simply: If truck capacity or routes are better utilized, this not only saves costs, but also reduces fuel consumption and lowers CO2 emissions.
Munich Startup: Have the opportunities for young startups in Munich improved since you founded the company?
Remy Lacarovici: Definitely yes. The universities are still outstanding and students benefit from an excellent education. In recent years, support for young companies from the city of Munich, the universities and, in particular, institutions such as UnternehmerTUM has also improved significantly. There are also more established companies that are willing to work with startups.
Munich Startup: How do you rate the Munich startup ecosystem from today’s perspective?
Remy Lacarovici: The aforementioned triad of universities, funding and so-called anchor customers certainly makes Munich a very good location for founders nationwide. But in an international comparison – especially in terms of the number of successful startups and their scaling – there is certainly still room for improvement.