Rafael Wenzel is a serial entrepreneur that has built 3 unicorn companies. His latest one is Jokr which is a grocery and delivery platform that provides hyper-local product delivery services. The company has raised close to $500 million from top tier investors such as FJ Labs, GGV Capital, or Greycroft to name a few.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Ralf’s perspective on freedom and the value of embracing it.
- The recognition of the economic value that technology can generate.
- The significance of identifying market opportunities and creating innovative solutions to meet customer needs.
- How broadening operations to multiple countries allowed him to gather data, test different markets, and iterate their business model for increased success.
For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
About Rafael Wenzel:
Ralf Wenzel is the Berlin- and New York-based founder and CEO of JOKR, the global platform for instant grocery and retail delivery at a hyper-local scale. Email [email protected]
Ralf has an almost 20-year track record of building companies up from scratch, bringing their products to consumers globally, and leading diverse teams. Prior to
founding JOKR, he built three companies, including foodpanda, one of the world’s most successful food delivery businesses across 40 countries, which he later merged with Delivery Hero and led through an initial public offering. He also built Skrill, the first e-wallet and leading online payments company in Europe, and Tocororo Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. Ralf previously operated his businesses with a focus on emerging markets, particularly in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. He has also served as Managing Partner at Softbank. Wenzel holds a degree in computer science from Berlin University.
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Connect with Rafael Wenzel:
Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro: Alrighty hello everyone and welcome to the deal maker show. So do that we have a really amazing founder. You know we’re going to be talking about building scaling financing taking companies public you know everything that you can think of and he’s done it multiple times. In fact day he’s done it very successfully so multiple times. Is built a 3 companies that have become unicorns and I think that we’re gonna be learning quite a bit from his experience so without further ado. Let’s welcome our guest today Ralph Wenel welcome to the show. So originally born in East.
Ralf Wenzel: Um, thank you so much for having me alejandro. It’s a pleasure.
Alejandro: Berlin 79 as part of a family that was very active in the political side of things so give us a walkthrough memory lane. How was life growing up.
Ralf Wenzel: Lay up. Life was ah very very different. Ah back in the days. Um I was born in East Berlin literally grew up behind the the berlin wall which separated people which separated systems. Um, which separated. Um, basically consciousness believes um and and many other things so it was an anti-human um anti anti-social um type of um construct that was that was built and that was that I was reminded at every single day. Being able to see the other side of Berlin from literally like our apartment. Um and always seeing the contrast between how we lived in East Berlin um versus to how people were living in West Berlin and then when the wall came down and eighty nine and Germany got ah reunited. Um, after the reunification people moved together. Um people rebuild relationships. Um and people embraced a completely completely different level of freedom I think that must have been to a certain extent also um a moment of realization and a moment for many people like myself to say. Why don’t we embrace that freedom that we’re being given um, let’s not take freedom for granted, let’s not take it for granted that we’re able to craft to create to build. Um and I think looking back that must have given at least like a very strong impulse for.
Ralf Wenzel: Um, later on starting to to to build my own companies as well.
Alejandro: So computer science out of all things you know that’s why you ended up studying why computer science.
Ralf Wenzel: Well I was growing up in a very ah strong and very intense. Um, what was born into very political family. Um, that basically had political mandates. Um, in in different in different parts and in in different directions and hence political movements. Um and everything that especially Germany has been through historically um has been exposed to a lot of um, basically subject opinions. Um. Beliefs and and and philosophies um whereby many of them where where we’re failures and we’re were historic mistakes and hence I wanted to get exposed to something that is um that is more binary that is more scientific that is scientifically proven that consists of. 0 and one and that doesn’t consist of like subjective interpretation of whether something is is right or wrong. So I was I was having a strong ah willingness to study something that is more again, scientific more technological and at the same time. Ah, the end or the mid 90 s to towards the end 90 s um, where an era where um internet technology and internet overall was at its at its very beginning. Um and had shown to many people that were exposed to the intersection of ah of a free world.
Ralf Wenzel: Ah, the new free world that evolved um after the reunited Germany in combination with the new technology that the internet was was hinting at and was giving a first sighted um was a perfect combination for me to say there is something incredibly interesting. Ah starting which is the internet. Um, and at the same time I wanted to do something that is more scientific and hence um, studying computer science was um for me personally at that point of time the right response to um, everything that was going on in the world.
Alejandro: So Talk to us about because obviously you know why you were doing computer science and and you started to see like how you could you know engineer things and you know the use of technology and things like that eventually you get together with a group of friends and and you get into the venture World. So How did that happen. Will catch through that.
Ralf Wenzel: Yeah I think a few things just evolved um by by coincidence. But um, during my studies um together with friends of mine from university we already started to build technology while studying. We started to program content management systems websites and and ah, many different other technology components and and software solutions and we got into selling them and we we realized well there is um, value being created. Um, if you code there’s value being created if you. Um, bring source code together. You make it work you create a digital product that makes life easier that allows you to organize and structure things and and and deal with information differently and the recognition of being able to generate value out of that. Um, was was a first experience. Um, and the first milestone that made us realize wow there is something that is not only scientific, but there’s value creation. There’s economical value creation attached to it. Um, and at that point of time at the end of the 90 s early two thousand s that were only like a very very few groups of of entrepreneurs. That we’re looking into starting something in and around the internet. Um, and at that point of time ah technology talents were um, even more rare than what they are today and hence. Um.
Ralf Wenzel: Basically those students that were exposed to a computer science degree or that we’re basically in the process of getting a computer science degree were often being approached. We’re often being reached out to by those business people that came from like ah ah the interesting business schools that were. Basically trying to build something but they didn’t have the technological capabilities and hence the group of friends that I’ve met in the early two thousand s was a group of people that came from business school had an idea and they were looking for someone that um basically was exposed to technology new technology. Um, and could lead the technological developments for for at that point of time still the idea at incubation. Yeah, where Jumba was ah supposed to become a basically company.
Alejandro: Because in Jamba what were you guys doing with Jamba.
Ralf Wenzel: That would serve mobile network operators and would allow mobile network operators to monetize and to create value and revenue out of the so-called value added services. So for everything that is not voice right? We all know that mobile network operators at least back in the days made ah the majority if not all of their money. By simple, simple phone calls. Um and the evolution of of Data Networks made it possible to use mobile network operator structures to also monetize um, other contents than just voice. Um, be it ringtones be it games be it news alerts be it horoscopes be it? Um, basically different applications. Um, but there was no technology solution for it. Um, there was no experience on on how that could get ah accomplished and back in the days in the early two thousand s Japan. Still like 1 of the countries that in terms of like mobile services and mobile data solutions was the front runner and the most innovated country in that regards and Japan had shown us. Ah back in the days what is possible in terms of services that can get um basically. Distributed and commercialized and promoted through the the mobile networks and assjamba was meant to become that type of company that would allow mobile network operators to monetize on these value addded services to create a platform which allows to offer mobile contents news alerts games and so on.
Ralf Wenzel: Um, and then later on apart from the b two b business. Um, the business would have pivoted and adjusted or opened up a separate b two c channel which ultimately ended up being the core part of the business of offering mobile contents ringtones games applications to customers directly. Ah through um, all kind of like direct response type of advertising um, which was a proposition that we expended into more than 40 countries including China the us all of Europe Latin America and many other countries of the world. Ultimately a big success story before the era of smartphones which obviously disrupted everything. Um, and um, that success story was something that we could monetize on when when exiting it and when selling it to the combination of News Corp and and very sign only after a few years of of having started that business
Alejandro: I saw that north of 200000000. It was reported so really good stuff now in this case, you know it was obviously um, a strategic buyer on the next one that you did which was say money bookers which was the first day equality in Europe. You know it’s ah it was a different day you know approach on getting the transaction done because it was more on the with a financial acquirer with a private equity firm. Obviously they they you know great took says the company you know, ended up being sold and you know publicly listed but I guess. I guess the questions here that I have you know is what were you guys essentially doing there with money bookers and how was that transaction different from what you experienced with Jamba for example.
Ralf Wenzel: I think there were similarities as well as differences similarities in the in in in respect to money bookers which later on basically you rebranded into paysafe um being a proposition that was sitting on a completely new technological evolution. Which was the possibility to create um an online variation of a banking service of a payment service. Um a digital alternative to things like western union um, and other money transfer or or money remittance businesses. And in fact, moneybookers being the first company in Europe. That was given in getting access to the so-called Imani License the first time an imani license got issued at that point of time by the british government. Um back in. Um, think it was like 6007 if I’m if I’m if I’m not mistaken, but um. Different to the jumba business and um also to many other businesses you build businesses with a technological conviction with a conviction on the product with a conviction of what the product can do and how the product can impact. Everyone’s lives and how a product can. Um, create customer adoption loyalty retention and ultimately generate sustainable value. However, financially and in terms of the necessary financing and exit possibilities or refinancing possibilities.
Ralf Wenzel: You have to always navigate and adjust yourself to the to the environment. Um the early two thousand s were very very different to um, basically kind of like like like years like I don’t know 2006 2007 and then everyone knows that 2008 has been an incredibly difficult year. Ah, with a big financial crisis and in fact, we attempted to ipo moneybookers in 2008? Um, but had to pull the Ipo plans one day before listing um given the severe financial crisis. Um, that happened um with ah ah basically the entire stock market. Ah, collapsing and we had to afterwards find a way to ah navigate our business continue building the business in a very profitable way in a more profitable way without the possibility to gaining access to more financing. Um, but shortly after um, there has been the opportunity. Um, to exit and sell the business to a private equity firm that both ensureed capital into the company to further build on the value proposition as well as creating an exit path for early shareholders founder management and others involved. So um, the the business was. Similarly, ah technological um technologically um, initiated and with a strong technological motivation. However, access to financing um, access to an exit opportunity and also the way how we had to navigate financially.
Ralf Wenzel: And financing and fundraising wise has been very very different.
Alejandro: So then after this transaction is done you decide to pack up the bags and go to Singapore why Singapore.
Ralf Wenzel: I think similar to the other businesses. Um I’ve always looked into what creates an opportunity for a specific value proposition for specific products vis-a-vis a specific geography. Where the adoption for for for that type of business model might be larger might be more probable. Um, and and of ah of a more attractive and of a bigger market opportunity and back in the days. Um in countries like. Ah, the okay or also the United States there would have been already ah food delivery services online food delivery services companies such as Graup or just eat that would have aggregated restaurants and menus onto their site. Um and allowed customers to. Buy and and and select dishes to get them delivered to your doorstep without however, taking care of the full user experience without controlling the last mile without getting involved on the logistical element but acting purely as as classified as marketplace type of businesses. So we back in the day is thought. Um, there’s a way to do that better. Ah food. Delivery is is a reality people have been using food delivery for decades if not even for centuries flyer-based mostly paperbased everyone still recalls the amount of like restaurant sushi and Pizzaf fliers that we would have found in our letterbox every single morning so food delivery has been a.
Ralf Wenzel: Ah, reality for a long period of time the convenience of getting things delivered is something that is part of a very very large secular trend. It’s a mass market opportunity. However, existing technology players had not resolved for the full user experience yet. Because there was not. They were not getting involved in logistics and and really controlling the experience end-to-end and ensuring like a faster and more reliable service proposition and second of all that proposition. The online food delivery proposition has not been available in other parts of the world and cross-checking a little bit that thesis. Against market opportunities throughout the world I realized that especially in Southeast asia a market that is ah that consist of a lot of like um, very dense or densely populated cities a market that is very food exposed that lives food as part of the culture. Market where um, the convenience and the habit of um, ordering food for delivery is even more exposed than for instance in western europe the non-existence of other players and the opportunity to create a better platform that would not only allow ordering online but that would also build the logistical infrastructure behind. All of those factors together made us um launch and and and builds and then also expand the business initially throughout Southeast Asia under the food punder brand um, and after having reached like market leadership in and a lot of those markets we would have expanded further west. Um.
Ralf Wenzel: Into markets such as the Middle East eastern europe even Russia back in the days. Um, until we kind of like got back to Germany Berlin where we then basically found the opportunity to join forces with another company um under the delivery hero umbrella which later on became one of the largest food delivery platforms worldwide. And with the opportunity of the then consolidated business to ipo and to um, use the ipo exit as one of the basically most successful exits um of in 2017 when we publicly publicly listed the company.
Alejandro: Yeah I mean when the company was publicly listed. You know it was originally valued at 2000000000 and then two billion euros and then upon the listing you know the market priced. It. You know twice as much at four billion Euros ah raising one billion Euros at the offering. Which is a really remarkable so I guess on on on that journey. What do you think were the um, the most a you know the the most important ingredients the 3 most important ingredients for that to happen I mean when it came to. To the keys of the success of of this business. You know what would you say those were attributed to.
Ralf Wenzel: I think one of the keys of success for that business and in fact, for many other businesses. Maybe even all of the businesses that we have built since then and up until today is the fact that we um, expend it relatively rapidly. Into many different countries of the world to test and validate to which extent your conviction your value proposition your your your product that you have built um generates adoption. Generates value generates growth and also generates sustainable or profitable growth. You can only model um the the probability of success to a very limited degree via Xl sheets and at the end of the day and especially for highly innovative companies in the technology segment. You have to test you have to test you have to learn you have to iterate you sometimes go 2 steps forward to actually go 3 steps back? Um, and then to start all over again and starting with a broad mandate whether it was on the food delivery side on the payment side or before even. Ah, with the jumba business going into many different markets of the worlds with ah limited costs um testing the waters comparing countries comparing cities comparing customer groups gives you access to um, accelerated learning.
Ralf Wenzel: Gives you access to a lot of data and allows you to then pivot and adjust towards the channel the country the city or the intersection of customers markets cultural environments and product propositions that. Um, obviously could theoretically still fail but the probability of failure is being significantly reduced if you start with a very broad funnel and then you tailor it down to ah the segment and that part of the business that um performs. Best.
Alejandro: Now for you. It was interesting because after you completed the chapter with a with a liberal hero here and the company went public then you decided to go to the other side of the table. And you essentially became a managing partner at the sopan group working there alongside the marcelo cloy launching their funds that they did there in Latin America where you guys were deploying 5000000000 or so I guess what kind of perspective did it give you to be on the other side of the table here.
Ralf Wenzel: I think when you start building companies. You always build companies together with a team together with partners together with ps um, it’s never the responsibility of a Ceo c o o of a senior manager. But successful companies are only getting built with very experienced broad very talented and very complementary management teams and in fact, um, management teams that are where that are bigger and broader and to the extent possible. You have to be on ilevel you have to be partners.
Ralf Wenzel: And think while doing that we realized um and I realized that there’s a lot of great people out there. A lot of great people with great mindsets. And in fact, we built companies that did not only consist of very strong, very complementary management teams but we also built businesses with. Thousands of of people working as part of those businesses so we had in some of our companies thousands if not even tens of thousands of of people that are working from countries like I don’t know Taiwan saudi Arabia Egypt Argentina Canada. Ah, Sweden Poland and many others and they’ve been part of a very entrepreneurial mission. They were part of creating something new. They were part of starting something from the ground and many of them. Um throughout their individual professional journey decided to build their own company at 1 point of time. Ah, they left once they had accomplished certain milestones for themselves they left and they they took their learning experience as part of our companies as a motivation as an experience to then build their own businesses and given that I knew these people I wanted to support them and he and there. Selectively it decided to um, not only support ah mentally and with advice and and and expertise but also support them financially so I started to become like an angel investor very early on now more than fifteen years ago since we exited our first company.
Ralf Wenzel: To support others to create something similar to what I am creating to be part of that ecosystem to enjoy the beauty of building for innovation and for customer convenience and for making the world become an easier and more convenient and more sustainable and a better place. Um, and hence I got. Pretty much exposed to that and hence um when Softbank opened up the opportunity for me to to join them softbank at that point of time. The largest technology investor in the world. It was obviously a great opportunity to get in touch. Not only to those. Basically entrepreneurs that were part of your own network but basically to some of the biggest entrepreneurs of the planet that have built um, massive companies. Um, and that allow you to basically access and experience an expertise level. But also a boldness in terms of how much they think they can impact everyone’s life and and um and will’s destiny. Um that it was an an incredibly appealing ah proposition. Um and a very attractive um opportunity for for me to join the other side. Not building but being able to work with many many others that are building ah trying to support them trying to learn from them trying to bring them together trying to build partnerships um making investments supporting them to grow evolve and mature. Um, and.
Ralf Wenzel: Um, and that across many different geographies but with a particular focus on Latin America which has been um since I was a child um and having lived in and Latin America for a long period of time myself has been a continent that has grown very close to my to my heart. Um and a continent that I always wanted to do. More business in that I could potentially imagine live in at one point of time and hence the particular focus um of Softbank to Latin America um through the softbank latin America fund at that point of time and probably like still up until today. The largest technology fund that ever existed um determined to latin america was for me then the perfect personal opportunity.
Alejandro: And obviously you know 1 thing led to the next extent. So back ended up becoming an investor in your you know latest company because as they say once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur so tell us about Joker how that saying Joker you know the idea come knocking and. Ah, what point do you decide? It’s time to get going at it again.
Ralf Wenzel: Yeah I think given the experience and given the time at the softbank latin America fund having worked with many different um latin american entrepreneurs but also understanding inside out the ah the landscape the opportunities the the the strength and weaknesses of. Latin american ecosystem and the opportunities there in a very very different cultural environment as compared to western europe or the us or many other geographies of the world. Um exposed me and and and and the rest of the team that was working with me on the Softbank side and that has been working with me. Um, basically for a long period of time or on other companies to the opportunity similar to what we have done on the food delivery side to create an ecommerce company overall that can be faster even more convenient even more sustainable and even more personalized. Than the likes of Amazon or mac carolibra to name a latin american equivalent so on the one inside there was the conviction really that all existing ecommerce solutions are a little bit stuck in the maybe not in the 90 s but maybe in the 2010 s or so that have not adjusted to the need. For faster delivery more reliability more personalization more tailored than more local brands and higher sustainability standard. So on the one side the conviction that a different and the better Amazon is possible from a product proposition and on the other inside the gap.
Ralf Wenzel: In the latin american ah market environment um of um, a well-fulfilling ecommoce experience again similar to back in the days when we build food delivery in Southeast Asia or across the asian continent where we thought there’s a lack of offering. The opportunity to create a great platform that is better than the platforms and other parts of the world but where the platform could meet a big market opportunity. So similar to that we started um a next generationion ecommerce company initially focused on groceries similar to how Amazon started with books. Um. Few years ago or like initially now it’s already like I don’t know twenty years ago so a next generation ecommerce proposition that aims to be faster more personalized more sustainable more profitable more locally adjusted to what people really need and when they need it. Um, to generate efficiency through that thesis exactly what is it that customers need and when to build data algorithms that look into which type of customers to what type of sq use at what point of time to the hour of the day um and build it in a vertically integrated way that allows us to. Build and control and manage the entire user experience from procurement directly from farmers or producers managing our own stock and inventory and our own warehouses up to delivering the specific product to the customer doorstep. So 100 % control of the end-to-end journey.
Ralf Wenzel: Um, and we started that business in Brazil as our initial market a market that probably belongs to or is nowadays one of the remaining last remaining underpenetrated emerging markets that is um, basically creating a huge opportunity to build. A multibillion company. We expended also on other markets of the world. We went into other latin american markets. We we tested the waters in Europe with a small business in the us as well similar to what we have done before broadening the funnel going into many countries as possible in a digestible way learning adjusting. Thinking about like where does this proposition yield the highest return not only from a short term but also from a long-term perspective where do you solve a problem in um and the most feasible way. Um, and that led us then to the conclusion that Brazil. As one of the largest domestic markets worldwide is the market that we should exclusively focus on hence we adjusted the the business to be 100 % focused on Brazil where we’re thriving where we’re growing still by 15% months over month where we are um on a. Clear path to profitability where we have been able to um conduct a new financing round even despite the more challenging macroeconomic times being no fully financed to profitability. Um, and we have a great team on the ground. Um that is that is building for.
Ralf Wenzel: Indeed a next era of ecommerce.
Alejandro: And you guys have raised quite a bit of money. You know it was a reported tool that the the last day around you know, which happened in I think it were you guys. It was announced in February that the company was valued at one point three billion so I mean really really spectacular stuff now. You guys have been raising on ah on a tough market too. So I think that that has given you some insights and there’s probably a lot of founders that are listening right now and wondering how the market is out there for raising money but can you tell them.
Ralf Wenzel: I think raising money is um, something that is always incredibly difficult and um, which um is becoming like even more difficult if the if the macroeconomic environment such as today changes and. Ah, imposes its difficulties on on investors and and and the overall ecosystem I think what we have found and what I found over the last more than 20 years of of building businesses is number one um the the benefit the strength um of. Of building personal relationships I think nothing goes um, further and and nothing is more impactful and nothing is more powerful than building strong personal relationships with key investors with potential strategic partners. Potentially with part of your customers as well and obviously also with your own um employees and your partners and we have found that especially those. Um also investors that you had built the strongest relationship with that you have created trust understanding. Appreciation. Um, um, like mutual trust appreciation and and for um and that you indeed had like a strong personal relationship that those are the type of investors or partners that would support you and in the in the even most difficult times so having investors.
Ralf Wenzel: Needs to be to the to the to the degree possible something that is built up on strong personal relationships. There are those type of investors that are rather transactional and obviously most investors per se would be just transactional. They would invest based on certain criteria. Potentially they sit on your boards they give advice they participate in board meetings. But they’re always usually applying like a financial ruster right? A financial metric on on how they deal with ah every respective company and and and found and management team. However, if you go beyond that point. And if you select those that you think you can build a very trusted and indeed like personal relationship with that personal relationship creates then in the most difficult times that level of understanding appreciation and commitment that others potentially do not have. And personal relationships. Yes, help you to navigate very difficult times that’s number 1 the second thing is that we’ve found that. Um there’s always in every business there’s strategic interest and there should be strategic interest and um. Strategic interest can be leveraged and and and utilized for investment purposes as well because you would have a key supplier. You would have a key customer. You would have potentially a key competitor in a different country. You would have a company. Um.
Ralf Wenzel: Is doing something very similar to what you are doing um connecting with those looking into um, looking into what can be accomplished together What type of partnerships can be pulled off and potentially then using those type of partnerships to deduct. Um, an investment relationship out of it as well has been a second very important. Um Important Avenue Um, and we have done that with many different companies by having Partners Suppliers operational um basically Partnerships in place. Um, try to build more and more of those like operational partnerships. Also here very important to explore the personal angle. The angle of a personal trusted relationship. Um, but operational partnerships that can then potentially be um, led to investment partnerships as well. Which in combination with like strong. Relationships with certain like financial investors allow you to navigate. Um your financing needs or fulfilling your financing needs sometimes in the even more difficult macroeconomic times.
Alejandro: So ralph imagine you were to go to sleep tonight and you wake up in a world where the vision of Joker is fully realized what does that world look like.
Ralf Wenzel: I Think we’re living in a world where a lot of the day-to-day activities. A lot of the things that are surrounding us how we consume or purchase foods how we fulfill our daily needs. Ah, we resolve on our mobility requirements How we resolve on um, anything that that that is important for for a human being the basic needs I think all of that is um, still unsustainable as we know. It’s um, ah very manual and often like very very inefficient and I think the world and Joker Aims to be part of it um has the opportunity to get significantly more Data-driven. Automated’s more efficient and more sustainable. Um.
Ralf Wenzel: Think we don’t need um technology um and invest billions to bring us to Mars I think we don’t need to have um innovations such as like a self-building chair but we need to look into how do we resolve more efficiently and more sustainable. Our basic needs of um billions of people that live that live on this planet where I think the intersection of data and technology which some people refer to as artificial intelligence but at the end of the day. It’s the intersection of technology and data um can have like ah, an incredible contribution. So I think um joker works at its core with data and technology trying to predict what customers really need and when and where and organizing supply chain and procurement around it I think that in essence is something that I could envision for other industries as well and I think for. Entrepreneurs of of today’s generation or the future I think it’s not necessarily even though it might be appealing to look into technologies of a different universe. But I think we have to resolve on this universe and I think just taking day-to-day use cases but looking underneath. And seeing how can we disrupt on what’s sitting on a layer in between I think over the last twenty years. We’ve been rather resolving through technology on the user interfacing layer right? We looked into how can we better communicate through Whatsapp Twitter Facebook and other means of communication.
Ralf Wenzel: We looked into how can we better advertise with Google with like marketplaces how can we better sell and distribute to customers. So we looked pretty much over the last twenty years Twenty five years since the beginning of internet into resolving on the more superficial level. I think the opportunity for the next 10 to 20 years is now going one step further and resolving technologically on the on the bucket underneath what sits underneath different use cases. How can we resolve on business automation. How can we resolve on supply chain. How can we resolve on business. Um basically other production industrial agriculture um ah type of use cases through the use of data or the intersection of data and technology.
Alejandro: So we’re talking about the future here I want to talk about the past real quick with a lens of reflection. You know imagine if you were to ah be able to go back in time into a time machine and you’re able to go back to that moment where you were starting computer science and wondering you know. What to do you know on the venture side of things and you’re able to sit down with that younger Ralph and you’re able to give that younger ralph 1 piece of advice before launching a business. What would that be on and and why given what you know now.
Ralf Wenzel: I think maybe especially in the european ecosystem. Um, we tend to be a little bit more conservative. We tend to be more afraid and I wonder what is it that we should be afraid of. Um, we’re afraid of failure. We’re afraid of basically not succeeding. We’re not, we’re we’re afraid of not having access to means of financing or to be able to afford our living I’ve come across. My own journey and I’ve come across the journey of many other fellow entrepreneurs and I think there’s no reason to be afraid we initially and when I was much younger, um, looked into the building of businesses in an extremely non-bullish way. Very careful. Very conservative. Um I’m not saying necessarily more profitable but rather like smaller. Let’s test it let’s see where that works. Let’s be careful how much we want to disrupt. Let’s be careful how much we want to change um and many other entrepreneurs as well as ourselves our own team. Um, and me personally have proven ourselves over the last twenty years there’s nothing to be afraid of don’t be afraid of failure because failure and and and success is the is the same thing just um, being looked at from a different angle. It’s.
Ralf Wenzel: different interpretations of the same thing which is the creation. The crafting the evolution of things. So if I would be able to go back I would potentially tell myself don’t be afraid think bigger think bolder you get the support. You get the people um, nothing is ever easy. Everything is a fight. Need to fight incredibly hard to make things work. You have to give everything to it. You have to work the majority of your time. Um, but I think um, especially for the basically some ecosystems in the world. There’s an opportunity to think bigger to innovate boulder. Um. And to really think about like disruptive solutions which is by the way what the world needs the world doesn’t need adjustments the world really needs. Um, basically bigger moves and bigger changes in order to rescue itself.
Alejandro: I Love that route for the people that are listening that will love to reach out and say hi. What is the best way for them to do so.
Ralf Wenzel: That’s a good question but I would say Linkedin is a great way to get in touch with me I don’t have a Twitter channel. Um, but yeah feel free to reach out while Linkedin and happy to connect.
Alejandro: Amazing. Well Ralph. Thank you so much for being on the deal maker show today. It has been on on earth to have you with us.
Ralf Wenzel: Likewise Thank you so much for having me.
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