Jan Deepen (Co-Founder), Stefan Jeschonnek (Co-Founder), and Kobi Eldar (Co-Founder) © Nils Lucas
What inspired you to found your startup?
Stefan and Jan previously co-founded fintech company SumUp and learned from thousands of small business owners how tough it is to run a small business. Dealing with financials is often the No. 1 reason that keeps small business owners up at night. Kobi had led a cybersecurity unit in the Israeli Defense Forces and knew how to solve the underlying data science problem. We realised that we were uniquely positioned to find a solution to this huge structural problem on its most profound level.
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
Success for us means seeing our customers succeed. For a long time we strictly limited access to Zeitgold. We want to make sure that our customers can completely rely on us. That empowers them to focus on what matters most: their products and their clients. One of our customers recently told us how she doubled the size of her catering business since using Zeitgold – a goal that she had had for a long time but for which she had never had the time or the mindshare. Stories like this make us proud.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
We would get a fiber-optic internet connection from day one 🙂
What problem does your product solve?
More often than not, small business owners are overwhelmed by how complex and how much work it is to manage the financials of their business. Every month, hundreds of invoices need to be paid, customers need to be reminded to pay, employees need to receive their salary, bank account statements need to be checked line-by-line for bookkeeping, questions by the tax advisor need to be answered. Zeitgold solves all of this with the Zeitgold Box, the Zeitgold App, and the Zeitgold Assistant.
Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?
In one year, we will have introduced further life-changing features for our growing customer base, allowing them to run and grow their business from their smartphones as easily as making a decision on where to go for dinner. In five years, we will have saved billions of hours of wasted human potential and our global expansion will be in full progress. In ten years, we envision Zeitgold as the leading technology company focused on the small business economy.
How are you different?
We are the only solution that fully solves financial admin for small business owners. The Zeitgold Box is a physical box into which our customers simply dump all of their paperwork. We pick it up and scan everything once a week. The Zeitgold App alerts our customers when they need to do something themselves, like authorizing a payment. This can be done with just two taps. The Zeitgold Assistant is a dedicated Zeitgold expert who helps each customer run and grow their business successfully.
How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?
Most of our customers briefly check their Zeitgold App multiple times per day, every day.
Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?
We firmly believe that everyone should do what they do best. For our customers that is focusing on their products and services (for which they often have a deep passion) and on their customers. We empower them to have that focus. We see in the data that when we free small business owners from paperwork, their businesses become financially healthier and often start growing. This creates jobs and strengthens the important position small businesses have as the backbone of our economy.
How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?
While Berlin is still nowhere near Silicon Valley or Tel Aviv, it is getting more mature and techier as a startup ecosystem. More and more entrepreneurs start tackling tougher problems and building true technology companies. It seems as though the times of of “e-commerce only” are over.
What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?
We are based in Tel Aviv and Berlin and think this is an amazing combination. Berlin is an incredibly exciting and ever-changing city. It is a big hiring magnet for people from all over the world. Tel Aviv is a true tech hub with outstanding engineering and data science talent. It also has much better surfing and winter days than Berlin 🙂
Bonus Question: Anything else that we need to know about you?
We have a culture of what we call “radical transparency.” Our team consists of people who share their successes as well as their failures, so that we can learn from each other and help each other grow.
Zeitgold was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.