Lukas Pfeiffer is co-founder of swabr, a real-time communication tool for Company and organization. In an interview, he talks about why we still need an enterprise microblogging tool and how Crowdinvesting works for private investors.
Lukas Pfeiffer (29) studied economics and marketing at the School of Management and Innovation at Steinbeis University Berlin. He is responsible for marketing and press at the enterprise microblogging provider swabr. Before joining swabr (which is 2.0's bulletin board) he works for wooga, the social games developer from Berlin. As a communication expert, Lukas works in various media areas, including print, radio and online.
Microblogging - that's where you think most of all about Twitter. What are you doing differently?
Real-time communication is the future of business collaboration. Twitter offers the possibility of real-time communication, but no functionality for businesses.
Swabr's solution is a “Twitter for companies” (= enterprise microblogging). After Twitter and others established a new form of communication for private users, swabr now offers the advantages of microblogging and real-time communication for companies.
For what purpose and how can companies use their services?
The possible uses for swabr are very diverse. The service primarily facilitates internal communication and contributes to a noticeable reduction in the Email-Account at.
Individual application examples are, for example, exchanging messages and sharing content with colleagues, you can inform colleagues about work-related news, users can ask their network questions and receive answers immediately. Depending on the importance of the topic, a spontaneous discussion can arise, such as with Emails would only be possible with a disproportionate amount of effort.
This does not really sound new: What features does swabr exactly?
swabr is real-time internal communication and helps companies and organizations work together faster and more effectively. The central element of swabr are the notifications, also called status updates. With short, internal messages, users answer the question “What are you currently working on?”.
The feed is the activity stream of a user and displays all relevant and related messages chronologically. With networks on swabr it is very easy to map groups, departments, temporary projects and cross-thematic tasks.
Users can also attach documents, tables, or graphics to a message. In addition to these functions, all of which are available in the free version, we will soon introduce further premium functions.
There are already numerous enterprise microblogging tools, which offer similar, such as Yammer. I already wrote about 2010. What exactly is your innovation?
We regularly analyze the enterprise market and find that many vendors implement all conceivable functions. Our vision is to make swabr as simple and intuitive as possible.
Communication as well as the tools for it must be fun and easy to use. Therefore, the swabr user interface is kept very simple and most functions (file management, networks) are “under the hood” in order not to distract from the essentials.
Speaking of Yammer, which is an American development: How do you feel about privacy?
swabr is Enterprise Microblogging - Made in Germany. This means that we store data exclusively on servers in Germany. Of course, we have also taken further measures to encrypt the data.
In contrast, security authorities like FBI or DHS can intercept data from all US services unasked. This is not possible with us. In the long term, however, we are striving for a kind of TÜV certification.
How do you finance yourself?
The majority of our functions of the basic variant is and remains free of charge. For most companies and organizations that use swabr, this is quite sufficient to use the service productively.
For extended administration functions and individual adjustments, we will charge a small monthly amount in the premium variant.
So, if you only take a small amount of money from your users, what's your business model?
We use crowdinvesting as a form of financing, ie we sell silent participations from 1.000 Euro. At swabr you can see details (business plan etc.) and general conditions for an investment for free. Our crowdfunding auction is still under 09.09.2012.
Is crowdfunding not something for artists but a viable company financing?
As an alternative form of funding, crowdfunding is no longer a new issue. When the word Crowdfunding falls, kickstarter and startnext are usually not far away. On both platforms, creative projects with small capital requirements are presented.
There are now a whole range of new crowdfunding platforms, each specialized in a niche or a particular aspect. We at swabr have chosen Innovestment, a platform that specializes in crowdfunding companies.
How does this Crowd Investing work?
Innovestment offers investors the opportunity to invest directly in business ideas as a silent participation. These are sold as part of an auction, whereby investors receive, in return for their capital contribution, a percentage of the company's annual profit and subsequent sales revenue.
In the case of losses, investors are liable only up to the amount of their deposits. You decide for yourself, up to what price you bid and how many participations you want to bid. This gives private individuals access to a new asset class that has previously been reserved for institutional investors such as venture capital and private equity firms.
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