Dürfen wir vorstellen? Unser Start-up of the month im Januar ist Clonable. Diesmal haben wir unseren Blick aus dem Ruhrgebiet heraus gehoben und in den Niederlanden ein spannendes Start-up gefunden, den Gründer für euch interviewt und über die Idee, Ziele und nächsten Vorhaben gesprochen.
1. Who are you and what is your founding idea?
I am Niels Arts, one of the three founders of Clonable. Our idea was to make it easier to maintain a foreign website. Me and my business partner Bas van Schijndel had an online marketing company and we were working for e-commerce companies a lot. Those companies wanted to expand internationally, but this proved to be very difficult because of the need for continious translations, design changes, it configuration and so on. Going cross border is a very expensive and long process if you have thousands of pages in your website. But there are huge opportunitees for a lot of companies with the right products or services.
2. How did the idea come about?
We wanted to go abroad with one of our clients, a fieldhockey webshop, because there was fierce competition in the Netherlands. But we had to do it very cheap and efficient, because fieldhockey isn’t a big sport outside the Netherlands. We also wanted to do a Flemish website, but it seemed too expensive in future maintenance.
3. How did you find each other as a founding team?
When we were thinking about a solution for the Flemish website we asked our young and smart employee Bas van den Boom, 19 years old at the time and a very good developer, if he could think of a solution. After a while he came with a radical innovative idea, and we said to him that if we could sell the method to multiple clients that we would make him co-owner of a new company. Especially when we made it possible to add translations and make a different language demo for any website within a few minutes we experienced that more and more companies were interested.
4. What annoys you about founding?
There’s never enough time…. We have loads of ideas to further improve the tool, the business processes and such, but there’s only limited time in a week unfortunately. As founders we are still highly involved at the daily operations, and that requires a lot of time too. Because we have limited time and resources however this makes sure we try to be as efficient as possible, and only try to focus on the most important things to improve. So at one side it’s annoying but at the other side kind of a necessity.
5. What is your biggest learning of the last months?
We need to make sure our product is even more SaaS than it’s now. Our product promises efficiency, so we have to make sure it will become more and more efficient for customers to subscribe to our product. A lot of customers don’t know anything about tech, so even the really small things has to be as easy as possible.
6. Who or what inspires you?
For me personally, there are a lot of persons and things that inspire me. Some people inspire me to be more kind, some people inspire me to be more business savy. My business partner Bas van Schijndel inspires me to become more focused, and my other business partner Bas van den Boom inspires me to be creative in finding new solutions for a lot of different problems.
7. What is you current situation and what are your next milestones?
We have around 150 live paying subscriptions at this moment and we are now getting the first really high-profile clients. Also we are now starting to cooperate with other companies that are involved in helping companies go crossborder. The next milestone will be that we are making it possible for customers to really join the Clonable system theirselves. If we will get around 300-400 clients we are ready to scale up some more. Then we want go abroad ourselves as soon as possible. We already have two german speaking employees and some german clients so that will be the first international step we think.