April, 30 2020 bm|t Investee Partner Pamyra secures new investment round

INTERVIEW WITH FOUNDER FELIX WIEGAND: “WE ALMOST ONLY THINK IN WEEKS”.

The com­par­i­son and book­ing plat­form Pamyra.de today announced the clos­ing of a new invest­ment round. The Ger­man logis­tics start-up was again able to con­vince both exist­ing and new investors and raise fur­ther growth cap­i­tal. “As a part­ner for the dig­i­tal dis­tri­b­u­tion of freight for­ward­ing ser­vices, Pamyra con­tin­ues to pur­sue a busi­ness model based on part­ner­ship with freight for­warders on the one hand and ship­pers on the other,” explains Chief Finan­cial Offi­cer (CFO) Dr Lasse Landt. “With Arne Ander­ssohn as a for­mer top man­ager from the for­ward­ing indus­try with more than 30 years of expe­ri­ence at com­pa­nies such as Dachser or DB Schenker and Toni Sonn, the founder and CEO of the CaseK­ing Group, with years of deep expe­ri­ence in online retail, we were able to com­ple­ment the team absolutely per­fectly with a view to the next steps.” The round is led by Tech­nolo­giegrün­der­fond Sach­sen (TGFS), which had already joined Pamyra in 2018.

With the new invest­ment round, Pamyra.de suc­cess­fully secures cap­i­tal for the expan­sion and fur­ther devel­op­ment of the dig­i­tal logis­tics plat­form founded in 2016 by Felix Wie­gand and Steven Qual for the sec­ond time in a row. In the cur­rent inter­view, founder and CEO Felix Wie­gand pro­vides insights into start-up life, reveals tips for other founders on how to deal with investors, and talks about what’s next for Pamyra.de in the com­ing months.

How would you explain the con­cept behind Pamyra.de to your grandparents?
Felix Wie­gand: We enable com­pa­nies that ship pal­lets to com­pare the prices of freight for­warders online via our plat­form and then book the best ones.

Has the orig­i­nal idea of Pamyra.de changed since its foundation?
Felix Wie­gand: Yes, because at the very begin­ning we wanted to bro­ker empty runs, but then we had to learn that freight for­warders them­selves some­times don’t know where the vehi­cles are at the moment and how much capac­ity they still have free.

How exactly has Pamyra.de devel­oped since it was founded?
Felix Wie­gand: Every­thing is get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter. Turnover is increas­ing, new ideas that com­ple­ment the exist­ing mar­ket­place are emerg­ing and the Pamyra brand is becom­ing bet­ter and bet­ter known.

Where does the com­pany stand today? Are you sat­is­fied with the entre­pre­neur­ial devel­op­ment of the last few months?
Felix Wie­gand: We are now one of the top start-ups in the field of logis­tics plat­forms. The prod­ucts devel­oped in the last few months are tak­ing shape and freight for­warders are look­ing for­ward to them and are also will­ing to spend a euro or two on them. How­ever, as always and every­where, there are things that could go better.

Were there moments or sit­u­a­tions where you thought “That’s it! The idea is doomed to fail”?
Felix Wie­gand: No, and for­tu­nately that has never hap­pened. Maybe that’s also due to my founder gene and the fact that “noth­ing is impossible”.

How did it feel to receive a large injec­tion of funds after all the “prepara­tory work”?
Felix Wie­gand: You would assume that stress falls off you, but that was­n’t the case. After the round is before the round and the run­way is lim­ited. So even imme­di­ately after the invest­ment round, you have to work hard to achieve your goals.

Do you have a good tip for other founders after com­plet­ing the first financ­ing phase? What do you have to bear in mind here?
Felix Wie­gand: The finan­cial plan should show in detail how long the run­way is and you should think care­fully about what the next investor story will look like. Because that is what you have to work towards quickly. The sooner you can prove trac­tion, the bet­ter the val­u­a­tion will be.

Has the spirit of the com­pany changed since the investors joined?
Felix Wie­gand: Basi­cally, every­thing has remained the same for our team. The straight for­ward men­tal­ity has always come from me and not from the investors.

What areas are you cur­rently focus­ing on in the com­pa­ny’s development?
Felix Wie­gand: Now that the mar­ket­place is work­ing, we are devel­op­ing the first SaaS mod­els to become more and more sys­tem-rel­e­vant in the future and to secure our lead.

How are you posi­tioned inter­na­tion­ally and what are your fur­ther plans for internationalisation?
Felix Wie­gand: Offer­ing Pamyra in other lan­guages is obvi­ous, but not planned until the next round. Accord­ingly, we are not pay­ing much atten­tion to this topic at the moment. The DACH mar­ket cur­rently offers huge oppor­tu­ni­ties, which we are devel­op­ing with the high­est pri­or­ity, then grad­u­ally expanding.

From the inter­na­tional back to the local: What is spe­cial about the Leipzig start-up scene for you personally?
Felix Wie­gand: Unlike in Berlin, you can still get vis­i­bil­ity here with­out col­lect­ing 10 mil­lion euros. The net­work is good and peo­ple sup­port each other. Another pos­i­tive aspect is the low staff turnover.

How do you expe­ri­ence the social and polit­i­cal appre­ci­a­tion as a founder in Germany?
Felix Wie­gand: When I reflect on social esteem, I have the feel­ing that it has declined some­what in recent years. When I started Pamyra six years ago, it was dif­fer­ent. But that is my per­sonal per­cep­tion, which is cer­tainly also region­ally influ­enced. In the mean­time, we are based in the west of Leipzig. Here, you def­i­nitely get more pos­i­tive feed­back for an idea to save the world than for a com­mer­cial busi­ness model, and that’s a good thing. Politi­cians are cer­tainly aware of the rel­e­vance of young, inno­v­a­tive com­pa­nies. We have ben­e­fited from a wide vari­ety of fund­ing pro­grammes over the last five years. With­out these, Pamyra would not exist.

What could still be changed or improved?
Felix Wie­gand: Politi­cians have announced a lot and only imple­mented parts of it. That frus­trates founders, of course. Instru­ments like EXIST and INVEST grants are cru­cial for many young com­pa­nies and urgently need to be main­tained and expanded.

What is your vision — where do you want to be in three years?
Felix Wie­gand: We almost only think in weeks. A month is already a lot of time for us. In three years we will be the mar­ket leader in our niche. Our cash flow is pos­i­tive and we are sys­tem-rel­e­vant for many freight for­warders in DACH. And the most impor­tant thing is that com­pa­nies or pri­vate indi­vid­u­als no longer waste unnec­es­sary time ask­ing freight for­warders for quotes.

Last but not least: How do you man­age to recruit good employ­ees and tal­ent at Pamyra.de?
Felix Wie­gand: We use exter­nal help for this. We invest a lot in the search for tal­ent. Unfor­tu­nately, it is often the case that we can­not pay the salaries of a cor­po­ra­tion, which is why we have to score points with other things when we first get to know each other. For exam­ple, three times a week we have home-cooked lunches in the team, often veg­e­tar­ian and pre­pared by our Feel Good Man­ager Mukki with ingre­di­ents from the sur­round­ing gar­dens. We try to use staff accord­ing to their strengths and desires so that they can get through the day in a good mood. Our loca­tion in an old wall­pa­per fac­tory, in the midst of free spir­its and artists, sur­rounded by parks and a river, also con­tributes to the fact that peo­ple would rather come along on the jour­ney with us than work for some­one in a dull office. Besides that, we also offer the usual start-up bells and whis­tles: a room with a half pipe for skat­ing and doing yoga, fruit, cof­fee, flex­i­ble work­ing hours, nice col­leagues, table ten­nis, a dart­board and much more.

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Mareen Eichinger | macheete
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