The Baqend high-tech start-up is holding talks with several media companies in Hamburg about a possible venture into publishing, Felix Gessert, co-founder of Baqend told Hamburg News in an interview. Since 2014, the company has been making headlines with caching technology that accelerates the upload of websites and apps. So far, indie developers, start-ups, agencies and software companies have counted among Baqend’s customers. Now, the founders Malte Lauenroth, Hannes Kuhlmann, Florian Bücklers and Felix Gessert are eyeing publishing. “Fast upload times are extremely important for news websites. You must be able to access breaking news in an instant,” said Gessert.
Caching technology – “Backend-as-a-Service”
Baqend uses algorithms to tackle slow webpages and apps and launched the “Baqend Cloud“ service in February 2016 to this end. The cloud offers caching technology as “Backend-as-a-Service“ meaning a developer uses Baqend’s interfaces and modules to programme apps and webpages. “Baqend Enterprise“ offers the software to companies with existing infrastructure. According to the founders, websites running on Baqend upload faster and between 2.5 to six on average.
Two new venture capital investors
Baqend was formed based on five years of research in the Faculty of Computer Sciences at the University of Hamburg. Developing API algorithms in Baqend that make automatic, intelligent decisions and accelerate the loading time of apps and web pages was central to research. Baqend flourished initially thanks to a so-called EXIST grant for founders from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). From early 2015 to November 2016, the start-up was funded by an InnoRampUp programme from the Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank (IFB Hamburg). Two experienced venture capital investors recently joined the team and are inputting their know-how. “That helps us enormously now that we are tackling a new market,“ Gessert stressed.
Baqend saves Thinks presentation on “The Lion’s Den”
Thinks design agency, for instance, turned to Baqend before its successful pitch on VOX TV’s “The Lion’s Den” show. The agency managed the ensuing, albeit sudden rush on its online shop without downtimes thanks to Baqend. Several founders’ prizes have meant Baqend is constantly under discussion. During the IT Strategy Days in spring 2016, Baqend presented the best pitch and in May the company reached the final of the Hamburg Innovation Awards followed by a nomination for the Startups@Reeperbahn pitch last autumn.
Baqend now includes Chief Sales Officer
The eleven-strong Baqend team consists mainly of computer specialists and most recently a Chief Sales Officer. Commenting on the new position, Gessert explained: “Our sales division has grown organically so far. Now, we are actively seeking new customers.” The founders are now gearing up to tackle the e-commerce sector. However, the sector presents far more complex challenges than news websites. But Gessert remains undaunted: “That will be our next big deal,” he said confidently.
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Interview by Christin Apenbrink