All kinds of business models are emerging in Hamburg’s start-up scene and the range of ideas seems endless. Commerce and service start-ups are making waves in addition to food start-ups who account for over 12 per cent, according to the Hamburg Startup-Monitor by the Hamburg Startups. The food sector includes start-ups with innovative products that cater to vegan and super food trends and others selling food online. The icakeyou start-up is at the interface between food and commerce. Hamburg News spoke to one of icakeyou’s co-founders.
Hamburg News: Mr. Jerani, you and the brothers Norman and Janis Winzer run an agency that develops software and internet services in Hamburg. Developing an online platform seems obvious. But how did three businessmen come up with the idea for baked goods?
Jerani (laughs): Well, we all love eating cakes and tarts regularly. Finding the perfect cake for a certain occasion was not always easy given the offers in the various shops. My partner, Norman Winzer, eats mainly vegan food. And that cannot be found in every shop. So we hit on the idea for icakeyou. The customer can find a wide range of sugar and lactose free as well as vegan products on the web page. Given the diverse, unusual kinds of tarts, anyone can find something there.
Hamburg News: Your web page does not list prices or members’ fees. How is icakeyou financed?
Jerani: icakeyou is presently in the beta phase and our agency has financed the platform until now. We wish to replace the prototype with a new version that has more functions in autumn. To this end, we are currently in talks with potential investors. We are planning a new rating tool and a payments system on icakeyou for the relaunch. We also want to monetise our business model. We will charge a commission for every sale reached on our platform as part of the new version.
Hamburg News: Both commercial and private providers can offer their wares on icakeyou.net. Doesn’t this amount to unfair competition for confectioners and bakers?
Jerani: Professional providers and amateur bakers do compete with each other on icakeyou. But commercial providers profit from the web page. Many confectioners and bakers often lack the know-how or capital to set up an online platform for their business. That is simpler with icakeyou. Our new version will give confectioners and bakers even more room to present themselves and their businesses. I am also convinced that commercial and private providers meet different customer demands. Someone seeking a wedding cake, for instance, wants a top standard and will opt for a professional provider in future.
Interview by Christin Apenbrink