Reunion with Mike: FoxBase celebrates 5th birthday

Ronja Schrimpf

Startup Stories

A software for digital product consulting that enables fast, competent and individually tailored sales - this is what the startup FoxBase offers with its software, the Digital Product Selector. Under the founders Benjamin Dammertz and Carsten Dolch, FoxBase has taken on the challenges of digitalized sales. It's been almost two years since the last interview with 5-HT - today Benjamin Dammertz tells us what has happened for the startup since then.

Founders of FoxBaseFounders: Benjamin Dammertz and Carsten Dolch

All that has happend up to know: Who is Mike?

Mike - this is a fictional persona that is representative of the current challenges in B2B sales. As the head of marketing for a medium-sized company, Mike is responsible for winning over potential customers for the products or services and doing so quickly, competently and individually tailored to the customer.

Mike's challenge: Product ranges are becoming increasingly complex and customers' convenience requirements ever higher. That's why Mike uses Digital Product Selector, a software for digital product advice.

All that has happend up to know: What is actually digital product consulting?

Digital product consulting - first of all, this is a needs analysis in the form of an interactive questionnaire in which customers answer questions about their current problem. It is very important that the questions are asked in the customer's language. Based on various algorithms, a few selected products, systems or services are then suggested to the customer that fit the individual customer problem. FoxBase has already been able to win over large companies such as Telekom and Henkel and enhance their websites with digital product advice.


All that has happend up to know: Who is FoxBase?

FoxBase is a startup from Düsseldorf, Germany, founded in 2016 by Carsten Dolch and Benjamin Dammertz. Starting with a digital buying guide for laptops, other companies soon became interested in the prototype developed for it and wanted a comparable solution for their own website. This is how the prototype eventually evolved into the software solution Digital Product Selector.

2 years later - From 5 to over 30 employees

"In March 2021, we celebrated our fifth anniversary," Benjamin proudly tells us, "A lot has happened in the five years since our founding and the almost two years since our interview with 5-HT. Among them, our team has grown a lot and we now have over 30 employee:s." Compared to July 2019, when 5-HT interviewed FoxBase and there were just five employees, FoxBase can now look back on a comparatively large team.

"And we were able to grow that way, because we also grew strongly on the customer side," Benjamin explains.

2 years later - From first customers to a permanent customer base

Many new customers have joined, from various industries and from hidden champion SMEs to DAX corporations. These include, for example, Knauf, which has now integrated the system finder for drywall into its website. Companies in the chemical industry environment, such as Lanxess, Triflex or PohlCon, are now also part of FoxBase's customer base.

"But it is not only new customers that have helped us grow. With Henkel, for example, we have further intensified our collaboration: On the one hand, more industrial adhesives categories have been added, and on the other hand, the first B2C case is now online."

Henkel reference about FoxBaseHenkel reference

2 years later - From first software solution to mature product

"Our product has evolved enormously," explains Benjamin. "The software is even more intuitive to use and even easier to integrate into our customers' processes and systems. It has also become much more flexible thanks to a large number of additional features, so that everyone can configure their individual use case in a modular fashion."

2 years later - From trade fairs to digital events

"Because of Corona, like many others, we have to look at how we can replace the trade shows we would have liked to attend," Benjamin reports. For example, we regularly participate in the digital formats from the European Chemistry Partnership."

FoxBase has also had one or two contacts with 5-HT in recent years, for example at a webinar together with Marco Majer from 5-HT, Lanxess and SAP. FoxBase also participated together with 5-HT at the Web Summit in Lisbon.

FoxBase also hosted its first major online event in the fall of 2020 called Digital[In], an industry digital forum focused on chemistry, among other topics, bringing together leading industry sectors in Germany, thereby enabling "cross-company exchange on sustainable strategies as well as market access transformation in industrial companies," according to FoxBase's homepage. FoxBase is also planning a similar event for this year.

And in keeping with its milestone birthday, FoxBase hosted its first customer day, DigitizerDay, in March 2021. "That was an absolute success and we will definitely repeat that one again this year as well.".

2 years later - From startup to scaleup

In the meantime, FoxBase is doubling its sales annually and expanding its customer base very quickly. International customers are also on the roadmap, Benjamin reveals. "But the market in Germany alone is so huge that we are first setting ourselves up more broadly here. In addition to the chemical industry, the construction industry, the electrical industry and the telecommunications industry have now been added. So in terms of the German market, it's getting broader and deeper within industries and across industries for now."

With all the developments FoxBase has made over the past five years since its founding, even its designation as a startup is no longer quite relevant; scaleup would probably be much more appropriate due to its strong growth. "We still call ourselves a startup," says Benjamin, "honestly, we don't care either, the main thing is, it keeps our customers happy and we can continue to achieve our ambitious growth goals."

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