Familonet-Gründer: Michael Asshauer, Hauke Windmüller und David Nellesen © Bartosz Ludwinski

Familonet start-up based in Hamburg eyeing B2B market

1.8 million users of app worldwide - Familonet expanding business model

The Hamburg-based Familonet has launched on the B2B market. Around 1.8 million users have registered for its successful app, which eases communication in families and small groups. The key word is geofencing. The app sends messages to members of a group as soon as someone has arrived in a designated place. Unlike other location-based services, Familonet’s app is precise, does not use more electricity and saves phone batteries. Now, B2B clients are eyeing the software as well.

Application in location-based marketing

The co-founder of Familonet, Hauke Windmüller told Hamburg News: “We provide the localisation technology in the shape of software that other developers can integrate in their app.” There all kinds of possible applications for the technology as most of the apps on the market use location information for their services. “Our technology is of interest e.g. to location-based marketing. If a potential customer is nearby, a business can send them a discount voucher in a push message. That works only if the person has agreed to such an agreement on using their data.” A large German bank is now among the company’s clients.

Privacy instead of live-tracking services

The University of Hamburg formed Familonet in 2012 as a spin-off. The students Hauke Windmüller and Michael Asshauer had developed the idea for the app in an entrepreneurship seminar and brought David Nellessen, a computer scientist, aboard later. The Familonet founders hope to stand out with their location-based approach from extensive live-tracking services used by their rivals in the United States. The Familonet is not overly controlling and instead boosts users’ privacy, which has met with approval mainly on the European market.

Promoted by ESA

Familonet won the 2014 MobileTech Award and the Webfuture Award as one of the most innovative German mobile companies. From November 2015 to February 2017, Familonet was part of the Business Incubation Centres at the European Space Agency (ESA).

The 13 strong Familonet team work in an office Hamburg’s Sternschanze. The app is one of the company’s three pillars. Apart from B2B enquiries about targeted used of their software, the founders receive orders to develop entire apps. But the Familonet app remains an important business sector and is widely used in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The app is popular in other markets as well. Hauke added: “The app is currently available in 16 languages. We have many registered users in the U.S., Brazil and Turkey. “

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