Startup Notes

Claude Ritter on his journey as a founder and his criteria for early-stage investments

October 27, 2017

Claude Ritter is one of Germany’s online entrepreneurs who can be labelled as to have been quite successful in his career so far. He co-founded online food delivery startup Lieferheld in 2010, which was later sold to the widely known Delivery Hero Group. At Delivery Hero, Claude served as CPO and was in charge of global product and engineering. Law suits, police raids and almost getting into fist fights with his rivals at other Berlin-based food delivery startups were part of that job experience - having him go through extremely tough times and fierce competition while trying to make it as a founder. Prior to his work in the online food delivery market, Claude had already been active as an entrepreneur - he started Aionics (a Swiss-based web agency) and co-founded two companies (The NetCircle, DUQI) in China where he lived for 5 years.

In 2014, Claude started his latest venture: As co-founder & CPO of Book A Tiger, he is working on digitalizing the cleaning service market ever since. Besides this, he also is a Partner at Cavalry Ventures, a Berlin based (pre-)seed fund, and invests into early-stage startups as a business angel.

In this episode, we discuss Claude’s journey and his learnings as an entrepreneur so far, how to start a startup and his work on Book A Tiger. During our very insightful conversation, Claude gives advice for aspiring founders, answers some of our listeners’ questions, talks about mistakes and also describes his criteria for investing into early-stage startups as a business angel.

Here is the full list of topics that we cover with serial entrepreneur and angel investor Claude Ritter:

[01:20 - 03:33] Claude’s background and the steps of his career as an entrepreneur so far

[03:34 - 04:10] Why he disagrees that you can learn to be a founder

[04:11 - 06:19] On the fierce competition in the online food delivery market in Germany in the early 2010’s

[06:20 - 07:19] What made Lieferheld and Lieferando both a success after all

[07:20 - 08:14] How the competition in digitalizing the moving services industry today is only a somewhat similar situation

[08:15 - 09:39 ] On the key moments and actions that defined Lieferheld’s successful journey

[09:40 - 11:57] The difference between BOOK A TIGER and its competitor Helpling

[11:58 - 12:45] The competitive advantage that BOOK A TIGER has by employing their cleaners directly

[12:46 - 14:45] What Claude would do differently if he started over with a new company again

[14:46 - 16:49] Claude’s advice on how to choose your first job in the startup industry [Listener Question]

[16:50 - 18:02] Why he would not want to work in the FinTech industry

[18:03 - 20:08] How business school graduates should get started if they want to found a company

[20:09 - 22:45] How to identify promising markets and business models

[22:46 - 23:21] The most common mistake that young founders make over and over again

[23:22 - 25:21] How founders can ‘wow’ Claude as an investor during a pitch

[25:22 - 27:08] The best way to get in touch with Claude for pitching your idea to him

[27:09 - 29:26] His advice on when to best contact potential buyers for exiting your company [Listener Question]

[29:27 - 30:33] Claude’s most successful investment to date [Listener Question]

[30:34 - 32:29] The most important advice he can give to aspiring founders

[32:30 - 34:41] Open job positions at BOOK A TIGER

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