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How start-ups are shaping the digital future.

A red Mercedes-Benz Vito drives through the inner city in Singapore

Young entrepreneurs have recognised the opportunities that digitalisation has to offer and use these for their own innovative ideas. MYVAN has accompanied five start-ups that are conquering the market with digital solutions.

Digital transformation: an opportunity for start-ups.

The transformation from analogue to digital is fully underway. Technological progress can offer start-ups, in particular, major opportunities and advantages. Creativity, technology and the desire to constantly improve drive the booming scene. The companies benefit from developing new markets, accelerating processes and strengthening innovativeness and competitiveness. MYVAN introduces five start-ups that have jumped onto the digital trains and succeeded.

A man looks into an open Mercedes-Benz van holding shirts on a garment rail

The laundry delivery service Jonny Fresh returns fresh laundry to its customers within 48 hours.

A man and a woman stand in front of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The start-up Thermondo has effectively integrated digital technologies into heating installation.

A man opens the sliding door of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The online grocery retailer RedMart delivers groceries directly to its customers’ door in Singapore.

The lettering music.chalks.lids points to a finca in Spain

Precise location information with what3words: This finca in Spain has the location name “music.chalk.lids”.

A man stands in front of a black Mercedes-Benz van

At PaulCamper, every camping enthusiast can find the right vehicle for their next journey.

Young companies are revolutionising the markets.

Young entrepreneurs have a good eye for new trends and demands. One example is the London start-up what3words. The idea is to divide up the world into 3 m x 3 m squares and assign every single one a unique three word address. This creates a grid consisting of 57 billion squares and ensures that locations can be specified more precisely than ever before. How often does a navigation system guide someone to the wrong destination, does a courier deliver a package to the wrong address, or someone wants to pass on a location but there is no exact address? The amazingly simple system from what3words is setting out to revolutionise the conventional address system. Mercedes-Benz has used the software since 2018. It can be operated using voice commands.

Start-ups are the masters of digitalisation.

Digital transformations enable rapid advancements on every level. In particular, start-ups benefit from this. They generally have an easier time of flexibly integrating new concepts and technical innovations into their company processes. The digital start-up Thermondo has developed its own algorithm called “Manfred” for optimising internal processes. This vastly simplifies planning new heating installations. The software enables just-in-time production, almost eliminating warehouse costs.

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Offering customers added value.

Given all of the stress of day-to-day life, the important things are often neglected. Jamil Khan, Vice-President of Operations at RedMart, has taken this to heart. With his online grocery store he aims to make his customers’ life easier. The RedMart app developed in-house is an effortless and rapidly usable tool for online shopping. A list of previously authored articles, one-click payment and a reminder function for re-ordering essential articles simplifies the ordering process. The founding duo from Jonny Fresh is active in an entirely different business but with no less digitalisation. The two have specialised in dirty laundry. The service from Jonny Fresh can be booked conveniently online, via the app or over the phone. The laundry is collected from the desired location and returned, washed and ironed, within 48 hours.

No money, no go: financing for entrepreneurs.

Succeeding as a start-up not only takes a new idea and a good concept but also enough capital and a long-term financing model. In 2013, Dirk Fehse founded the camper van rental company PaulCamper with his own Mercedes-Benz van. In the first three years, the start-up financed itself through bootstrapping. In 2016, Dirk convinced the Brandenburg State Investment Bank of his concept and received 1.2 million euros in capital to expand his team. He also succeeded in gaining further investors for his project in 2018 to continue expanding into other markets. Digitalisation has given rise to entirely new forms of capital acquisition such as crowdfunding or peer-to-peer lending in addition to classic financing from major investors.

Six financing options for start-ups:

  1. Bootstrapping: This form of financing is based entirely on own capital.
  2. Peer-to-peer lending: Private individuals grant other private individuals personal loans without using the bank as an intermediary.
  3. Crowdfunding: Groups of people can financially participate in or donate to projects, generally online.
  4. State subsidies: Entrepreneurs can apply for subsidisation programs throughout the world.
  5. Contests: At diverse competitions, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to present their concepts and take home major prizes if they win.
  6. Work investment: Experts offer their knowledge and receive shares of the company as compensation. This method is especially important during the initial phase of a start-up.

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
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