(Hanover, Germany, 3 September 2013)
Hanover-based start-up CouchCommerce has raised a seven-figure sum in its initial quest for funding. In addition to Hannover Beteiligungsfonds (HBF), which belongs to hannoverimpuls, the Venturepreneurs Organisation (including founders of Zanox, Autoscout24, blau.de) were also involved in the first round of financing.
CouchCommerce excels with its focus, unique to the market, on advanced web-app technology for online shops. As a result, without prior installation app quality for online shops is achieved directly in the browser for the first time and on all operating systems. Compatibility with all smartphones and tablets is also guaranteed. One of the company’s goals is to expand the CouchCommerce.com SaaS platform which has already steered 500 merchants towards mobile commerce and is growing rapidly. It also wants to use the financing to create an open source development standard for e-commerce web apps. The standard will be published on CouchCommerce.org and based on AngularJS, Google’s web-app technology.
“In addition to the current turnkey mobile commerce solution for small and medium-size online merchants, the vision of creating an open source development standard for customised shop web apps and the experience of the CouchCommerce founding team convinced us this was a good investment”, comments Dr. Peter Wolff, Director of EnjoyVenture, HBF’s management company. “In the future, CouchCommerce won’t just be an attractive option to operators of online shops, but will also let developers and agencies tap into new opportunities. As partners of CouchCommerce they will be able to develop tailor-made web apps for their customers, based on the open source development standard. CouchCommerce will then be able to support major brands and online merchants too”, adds Dr. Wolff.
Alexander Ringsdorff, founder and director of CouchCommerce GmbH explains the company’s vision: “This first round of financing allows us to take a key step towards an e-commerce platform for web-app technology. Only about two per cent of all online shops worldwide are adapted to embrace the PC’s successors such as smartphones, tablets or smart TVs. Consequently, the demand for technologies that support the new gesture technology is enormous. Because 20 to 30 per cent of surfers use these new devices – the majority of them at home on their couches. In this case, mouse and keyboard are outdated and no longer used to fill shopping baskets”.
“By making this investment, we’ve managed to firmly anchor a high-potential start-up from our own network to Hanover as a business base”, explains Ralf Meyer, director of hannoverimpuls. “It’s a superb success story for Hanover as a technological bub and for the regional IT industry”. Over the past 18 months, founders Nadine Schmitt, Kai-Thomas Krause, Felix Hanos and Alexander Ringsdorff have put together an excellent team of 14 which has already won three founders’ prizes. In addition to Germany, since May 2013 CouchCommerce has also been available in England, France, Italy and Spain.
The SaaS platform, belonging to Hanover-based CouchCommerce GmbH, automatically and swiftly transforms online shops into web apps for tablets, smartphones and smart TVs. The web apps are displayed directly in the user’s browser instead of the online shop and are gesture controlled. For merchants this translates into higher sales figures due to compatibility with all relevant smartphones and tablets and the low costs involved with entering mobile commerce. CouchCommerce GmbH was founded in February 2012. Experienced entrepreneurs like the founders of Autoscout24, blau.de, Zanox, Qype and 9flats.com are some of the start-up’s business angels.
hannoverimpuls GmbH is the business development organisation belonging to the City and Region of Hanover. Under the umbrella of Invest-Impuls it manages two regional investment funds: hannover innovation fonds (hif) for the seed-funding phase and Hannover Beteiligungsfonds (HBF) for the start-up phase. Furnished with capital amounting to 28 million euros, no other region in Germany offers young technological enterprises such generous financial support.
Invest-Impuls only provides equity in conjunction with other investment partners. hannoverimpuls is on hand to help search for suitable co-investors, whether these are private or institutional partners like the German government’s high-tech start-up fund (HTGF). EnjoyVenture Management GmbH offers professional funding management to start-up companies.
EnjoyVenture is a funding management company, run by entrepreneurs, for seed-phase and start-up financing of innovative technology companies. As an industrial adviser and investor, EnjoyVenture believes active coaching, close liaison with network contacts and management support are core aspects of its role. Long-standing entrepreneurial, financing and industrial expertise and the associated networks set the EnjoyVenture partners apart. Since it was founded in January 2000, EnjoyVenture has helped 50 new companies and has in-depth experience in structuring spin-off financing from corporations and technical and scientific institutions. The seven members of the EnjoyVenture team currently manage four venture capital funds worth 50 million euros in total.
About the Ventrepreneurs Organisation
The Venturepreneurs Organisation is an NPO (non-profit organisation) which was founded in 2007 by venture capital company ACTIVE VENTURE PARTNERS. The non-profit organisation’s goal is to link up international entrepreneurs who regularly make investments at the early stages to ensure that experience gained is constantly shared.