Jan Hendrik Ansink (Founder, CEO) © Anne Schönharting
What inspired you to found your startup?
I had problems myself with my contracts and I realised that almost everybody feels incapable of dealing with them. No one wants to take the time and effort to manage contracts and everything which comes along with them. But with more than 400 million running contracts in Germany there is so much saving potential which we do not benefit from for purely organisational reasons. This led to the idea of developing an online service which brings order to all consumer contracts in just a few clicks.
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
First of all success means customer happiness: building a product which solves a common problem, which is actively used by a great number of users and which users are very grateful for. Also, success is to have a dedicated team with passion for their own product.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
Well, probably hundreds of things – I don’t know where to start. Hindsight is easier than foresight. This is what makes it so different to work at a startup and also why it makes so much fun – one might say it is almost addictive. You are learning and testing every single day until it works out there.
What problem does your product solve?
Volders organises contracts. Our digital service helps consumers in digitizing their analog contract files and allows them to manage their contracts. By that users save time, money and stress knowing they always have full control over all their contracts. Changing service providers, getting alternative offers, terminating or extending contracts – users can handle all these tasks with Volders, quickly and easily.
Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?
The brand Volders has established itself as a contract assistant in one year. In 5 years our service has become the No. 1 B2C solution for managing contracts in Germany and counts more than 2 million users. In 10 years we will have expanded to other markets and adjusted our service to the conditions and needs there. We will help consumers from around the globe handling their contracts.
How are you different?
Volders bundles a series of important functions and features to make managing contracts much more comfortable. Our aim is to automatise as many actions around contracts as possible without letting the customer lose authority. There are a few other approaches in the same directions but none of these services offer such a holistic approach as Volders does.
How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?
Volders is like a quiet companion who shows up every time the user has to decide on something regarding his or her contracts. Volders gives advice to support the user to always make the best decision. Depending on the contracts this can be more or less often, but usually it is not more than once or twice a month.
Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?
With our digital service we help to get rid of the whole paperwork which normally comes along with contracts. Analogue contract folders are getting redundant by using volders because users can save all relevant data in their account. This supports going easy on resources and protecting the climate.
How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?
The scene is growing up and is becoming more and more vibrant. We have created several champions and established Berlin as a relevant technology hub. This is also underlined by the huge interest of US companies which are looking for opportunities in Berlin as well as all the many talents who are coming to Berlin. Hopefully, there will be more capital flowing into the Berlin startup scene.
What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?
The living costs and the cultural diversity are definitely a strong plus for Berlin. Also, the living standards and the variety of entertainment options for young people give Berlin an edge. On the other hand we are still struggling with a lack of capital and the war for tech talents is intensifying. Additionally, there is a lot bureaucracy to hire non-European employees.
Volders was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.