Kris

Krzysztof Marszałek

rst-it.com

Hi Niels. Can you say in a few words what your startup is about?

Niels bettertaxi

Niels Beisinghoff

Bettertaxi.de

Hi! With BetterTaxi you can book your cab anywhere in Germany and soon worldwide.

by Krzysztof Marszałek — 27 JUL 2015

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What's your story so far and what made you want to launch a startup?

Niels bettertaxi

NB

Bettertaxi.de

I am a trained lawyer with Master and PhD in international law. I was a management consultant in the Middle East (e.g. Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Saudi) for a while and an expert in IT strategy and eGov consulting. Then I wanted to change the world with the first global and sustainable ground transportation company. I wanted to leave a better world to my children. I was thinking that all rides can be booked online everywhere. All rides can be CO2 compensated. And all rides could be shared.

Is your app on AppStore already?

Niels bettertaxi

NB

Bettertaxi.de

Yes, our iPhone and iPad app is available for download from AppStore or you can check www.bettertaxi.de

How important is app design to you? Are there any apps that you consider good looking and "well designed"?

Niels bettertaxi

NB

Bettertaxi.de

The app design is very important. I had to learn that the hard way. The first design we had in the store was not so good and especially the UX was tricky. The implementation with RST is a huge step forward. But until we reach world class designs such as Uber, we need to grow and get more financing....

  

Did you get inspired by other startups which in your opinion are doing it the right way? Can you name them?

Niels bettertaxi

NB

Bettertaxi.de

I am inspired by booking.com. The idea is simple and the execution is key.

What do you think about the German startup scene? How has it evolved over the past few years?

Niels bettertaxi

NB

Bettertaxi.de

The German startup scene is evolving. We worked in both Berlin and Munich, which are among the two major German startup scenes. Berlin is very dynamic and might have 10 times more startups, but those few startups in Munich concentrate on making money and they rarely do any networking events.

How did you assume there is space for your product on the Germany/Munich startup market?

Niels bettertaxi

NB

Bettertaxi.de

The market for electronically booked rides is evolving in a very dynamic fashion. In San Francisco the market of electronically booked rides is three times bigger than the classical taxi market thru hailing and telephone calls. That means that soon the German market alone will have a size of 1 billion or more. There is enough space for several players. It does not seem as the winner is taking it all. And Uber did not really succeed in Europe as yet.

Cost-wise, was outsourcing to a Polish company a good decision? Can you tell how much it cost you to develop and MVP?

Niels bettertaxi

NB

Bettertaxi.de

We did an extensive procurement process and asked several companies in Germany, Poland and Ukraine. We excluded Indian providers as we thought that those are too far away. The cultural and geographical proximity to Poland was also a relevant factor. We were very happy with the services of RST. The decisive factor was not only the price but also the experience in the field. We were impressed with the outcome and the price was even below of what we expected.

What were the biggest surprises or challenges when working with a Polish software house?

Niels bettertaxi

NB

Bettertaxi.de

As with any software development, both internal and external, we were a little behind schedule, which was largely due to us. So this was not a disappointment. We had a good process of signing up RST, good negotiation and good delivery. Really, we were not dissapointed at all.

Do you think it makes sense to visit the outsourcing company in person before starting the cooperation?

Niels bettertaxi

NB

Bettertaxi.de

Yes, I think it is important to sit together at least once, better twice. Luckily RST came to visit us in Berlin.

What in your opinion should be taken into consideration while selecting a software house?

Niels bettertaxi

NB

Bettertaxi.de

The price is not the most important factor. Experience and the gut-feeling/personal chemistry are more important.

How much did it take from your first conversation with the investor until you saw cash in your account?

Niels bettertaxi

NB

Bettertaxi.de

When the process is fast, I expect six months, unless you are that 1 out of 1000, like Facebook.

If you were to start the whole venture again from scratch what would you do differently and why?

Niels bettertaxi

NB

Bettertaxi.de

Start thinking about the profitability first and build faster, test faster. It takes quite a while until you have found the product-market fit, which we now have found.

What online management tools can you recommend to other startups?

Niels bettertaxi

NB

Bettertaxi.de

Jira, Olark, MailChimp, Gmail, Paymill and Placetel.

Thanks for the interview, Niels.

Questions? Comments? If you are considering launching your own tech startup, feel free to drop us a line below or pop me an email at k@rst-it.com. We're ready to help.

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