Knowing how the traditional logistics players operate with all their strengths and what they do best, but most importantly knowing their weaknesses and their struggles Tobias Heyer and Philipp Schatz founded DepotCity. It is build up on that knowledge, with the sole premise of delivering a better, more efficient and accessible warehouse and fuilfillment solution.
As one of six participants of the DC-HUB Shanghai Start-up Class 2018 spending a month in Shanghai this September we talked to Tobias Heyer and Philipp Schatz.
Tobias and Philipp, you are the founders of DepotCity. Why did you decide to connect and work together?
We both met while working for a major logistic player in Germany. We connected well and figured out, that our skillset is quite complementary but our working moral and attitude matches perfectly. Philipp is our techy and the IT guy, Tobias more extrovert and thus our sales asset. A great foundation for a joint company.
What inspired you to start DepotCity?
Philipp helped a logistic startup which concentrated on last-mile deliveries. To do so he needed to find warehouse solutions for his clients. He quickly noticed how confusing and time intensive it is to find a proper solution. Following that, we offered great new features for a modern-day warehouse experience.
We decided to work together and founded DepotCity to offer a better solution. We not only started with an idea, but with our first clients.
Which problems does DepotCity solve exactly? And, which products and services provides DepotCity to solve them?
DepotCity consolidates the fragmented warehousing and fulfillment market into one platform: www.depotcity.de. To do so we certify our warehouse partners and integrate them into our service portfolio. Our clients enter their requirement on www.depotcity.de. We will find the perfect solution and calculate a non-binding price. If our offer fits the clients demands, they can book the offer instantly.
We established connections to the most common eCommerce and trading systems like Shopify, Magento and Woocommerce. This way we ensure a friction-free and efficient communication between the selling platform and our warehouse partner.
In other words, we offer an easy and transparent access to warehousing and fulfillment. Selling your products, or even the simple search for warehousing should not be a constant struggle. With DepotCity we offer an IT driven platform, that provides such access. Fast, easy and flexible.
Who are your main competitors? Which advantages do you provide compared to them?
In theory: everyone who offers warehouse and fulfilment solutions. In reality: Most providers do not have an efficient IT solution, nor our degree of automation. We do not see a competitor in Germany. Internationally there are only three companies with comparable concepts.
You are already in Germany with your service. Which other target markets do you like to reach and what are the main challenges to achieve that?
Our plug and play solution is applicable to every market. Our platform connects businesses and clients in need of warehousing and business operating warehouses. These needs are international and therefore not bound to any specific locations.
Are you looking for further investments? If yes, what is the most important thing prospective investors should know about your company?
Our major objective is to gain real value for our customers. That's our main motivation. We a relatively early and like the independence from external investors. If we figure out that we need external money to fuel our growth we are happy to talk about that option with the right partner.
You are now going to Shanghai with DC-HUB. What do you expect from this trip?
We see a big potential for Chinese clients who want to trade in Germany and naturally they need a warehouse solution. Our product enables our clients to be flexible with and local network of warehouses. Short delivery times combined with low risk warehousing.
We want to use our time in Shanghai to understand the needs and expectations of Chinese clients. An understanding that is best learned where the clients are.
What are your main goals for the next 12 months?
We want to increase our IT team, to accelerate our development. Furthermore we will have to hire a marketing manager. But most importantly, our focus is on our clients.
Thank you for the interview and have a successful trip to Shanghai!