Kilian Veer, Partner
Making a real impact in the business world requires a solid startup –– not a glamorous one
As megatrends such as the sharing economy have made phenomena like car sharing the new norm in major European cities, the number of fleets is growing rapidly. All these vehicles must be constantly cleaned, maintained and may require a workshop –– some of the most annoying and time-consuming tasks for many fleet operators.
When we founded Ben together with EnBW, the goal was a sustainable business that gives EnBW reach into the mobility sector beyond providing charging infrastructure. This is precisely where Ben's business model comes in. It is an all-in-one fleet service, a digital platform that offers a comprehensive and integrated solution with services such as on-site cleaning, maintenance and repair. All services can be managed either on a one-time or recurring basis using a convenient web app. In addition, the app provides status updates and insights into maintenance cycles of each vehicle.
Our biggest challenge in building Ben was to prove stamina. After our launch, a major competitor was destroying prices in the market. However, we firmly believed that a fair pricing model was in everyone's interest, so we stayed strong and confident. Our perseverance paid off: Ben was eventually able to take large market shares from said competitor.
Knowing that Bridgemaker is among the few company builders who have built successful ventures many times and experiencing first-hand that we work in a results-oriented manner, EnBW trusted us from the very beginning. This allowed us to launch Ben freely and quickly. Ben is based on a simple idea that required first and foremost operational implementation and excellent sales. By balancing opportunities and risks, we were able to scale quickly.
Another major milestone was the investment of the Swiss-based insurance company Baloise in Ben’s A round 1 ½ years ago. With now two strong strategic investors on board, Ben has advanced its internationalization and is preparing to position itself as a SAAS middleware in addition to its operational excellence – Ben is full throttle into the future.