A Q&A with Orderbird co-founder and CMO Patrick Brienen. The German company was founded in Spring of 2011 and recently raised $3.5 million in new funding. Investors include Alstin, which is a holding company led by German financier Carsten Maschmeyer, along with angels and existing strategic investors. The startup is a new entry in the competitive restaurant order and payment automation market. Brienen’s fellow co-founders are Jakob Schreyer, CEO, Bastian Schmidtke, Product Manager, Artur Hasselbach, CFO, and Steven Reinisch, Senior Developer. Orderbird is based in Berlin.
SUB: What is Orderbird?
Brienen: Orderbird is the order platform for gastronomy. We digitalize orders from guests, waiters and other services the restaurateur might use to run his or her business.
SUB: What is the value proposition you bring to the restaurant business as well as the dining experience for consumers?
Brienen: We help the stakeholders of the gastronomy industry to optimize and integrate all relevant processes. Therefore we develop new and innovative products around the hub point of sale.
Translating this into everyday life means, that thanks to our intuitive, affordable and complete iOS cash register system ‘Orderbird POS,’ waiters can communicate wirelessly with the kitchen staff. Restaurateurs have a great overview about their processes, spending and revenues which helps them to optimize them. Guests will be able to order food and drinks with their smartphones. Wherever they are, whenever they want. Paying digitally is a logical consequence.
SUB: Who are your target users?
Brienen: Restaurateurs and guests with a smartphone. People keen on saving time and more transparency.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Brienen: Market leader POS systems like Micros or Vectron on the one hand. Smart solutions like Squareup on the other. The POS market is going to be disrupted within the next five years. To us it feels like it is a battle of the ‘new’ against the ‘old.’ Not a battle between the modern solutions. Yet.
SUB: What differentiates Orderbird from the competition?
Brienen: Innovative, smart and centralized solutions on the one hand, focus on Europe on the other.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Brienen: The Orderbird AG was founded in March 2011 with the help of three very experienced chairmen. Carlo Kölzer, founder and CEO of 360t, with lots of expertise in business, Radoslav Pavlov, manager of Germany’s most prestigious gastronomy ‘P1’ and Thomas Hoffstiepel, managing director of 42 GmbH, a leading German POS company. The founders are Jakob Schreyer, CEO, Bastian Schmidtke, Product Manager, Artur Hasselbach, CFO, Steven Reinisch, Senior Developer and myself. Proving our concept with a prototype in late 2010, the goal was to develop the AppStore version of our POS software and proving that the concept was scalable.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for Orderbird? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Brienen: Bastian is a POS expert and sold the industry’s leading brands to restaurants across Germany. Being an Apple fan and reading in the news that the U.S. Army would use iPods to control missiles he thought to himself: if the U.S. Army relies on iOS, restaurateurs can too. Today over 250 Orderbird POS customers rely on our product to run their business.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Brienen: Fear of change in the target market.
SUB: You just raised $3.5 million in new funding. How do you plan to use the funds?
Brienen: We will hire more developers and enlarge the sales force. If you are a brilliant programmer reading this, give us a call. Also, we will spend some money on the market entry of our B2C solution.
SUB: Do you plan to raise more funding in the near future?
Brienen: According to our business plan we will hit break even with this round. Looking into the future is always tricky though. Depending on how things go, it seems likely that we will raise more funding for a quicker internationalization at the end of this year.
SUB: What are your goals for Orderbird over the next year or so?
Brienen: We want to extend our lead in small and smart POS solutions in the DACH [Germany, Austria, and Switzerland] region and enter the B2C market with our ordering app for guests.
Orderbird – www.orderbird.com