Teamname: Tagxter
Branche: IT-Service
Founding year: 2015
Founders: Marius Mülder, Fabian Rühle, Andreas Zerber
Website: tagxter.com

“We want to become the European standard”

Marius Mülder from Tagxter creates navigation apps for company premises

“Which way?” – “Wait, I’ll go and check GoogleMaps…” Such dialogues take place countless times a day. We have long been used to being shown the way by apps and navigation devices. Without them we would be disoriented and lost. But this is exactly what happens quickly when you move outside the public space – on private or company premises, for example. These are at best incompletely captured in GoogleMaps or other software – they are literally white spots on digital maps.

Navigation standard for private and company premises

The startup Tagxter from Cologne promises a remedy. The young company offers navigation software for private and company premises and would like to become the standard solution for Germany and Europe. With the Site Guide Navigation App or a company-owned Tagxter app, visitors, suppliers or employees can be guided from the gate to their destination (e.g. building entrance) – whether on foot, by car or truck. Construction sites, speed limits, special traffic rules and other special site requirements are taken into account. Navigation is available in 19 languages. It is already in use at chemical parks, large company sites, clinics, universities and cultural institutions.
“Previously, there were only isolated solutions. Some companies have had their own apps developed, but these are all individual solutions at different levels,” explains Marius Mülder, co-founder of Tagxter. “Accordingly, there are still no standards in this area – and this is exactly where our products come in. This means that not every site operator has to reinvent the wheel and the user can navigate all supported sites with a single app.”

Business idea came by chance

Marius Mülder joined the University of Cologne in 2012 for his master’s degree in business informatics. At the university he quickly got to know three other business informatics students who were also fresh from university: Fabian Rühle, Andreas Zerbes and Norman Christ. The four of them got along well, attended the same lectures on entrepreneurship and wanted to start their own business.
“As Marius Mülder remembers, “Our business idea came about by chance. “It’s not easy to find your way around the university. Everything is far apart, it’s easy to get lost. Because Cologne University is halfway in the public domain, you can make do with GoogleMaps to a certain extent. “But there are still no smaller paths, areas and accesses or building numbers,” says Mülder. “As business IT specialists, we knew that we could make a software solution for this.

Support through an EXIST scholarship

The founders pursued their idea further and soon became aware of the offers of the GATEWAY start-up service. With the support of GATEWAY, they worked out a successful application for an EXIST start-up grant in 2015. This ensured that the founding team was financially secure for one year and was able to drive Tagxter forward. “Without the GATEWAY scholarship and infrastructure, we would not have been able to set up our own business,” recalls Marius Mülder. “In GATEWAY, we had a permanent place of work for ourselves as a team, were able to use meeting rooms and repeatedly ask the start-up consultants for advice. The exchange with other startup teams about their ups and downs also motivated the Tagxter founders: “The GATEWAY atmosphere makes you want to get involved.
During this time, the founders also changed their business model. Initially, navigation was also planned for interiors, which was aimed directly at end customers. They then switched from B2C to B2B, focusing on business partners and only dealing with outdoor areas.

Henkel was one of the first customers

After the scholarship had expired, patience was necessary until the first money could be earned. “It can take several months from the first presentation to a potential customer to the signed contract. This is a long process that we initially underestimated,” admits Mülder openly. Fortunately, the founding team believed in his idea and stuck together. They temporarily used private reserves to survive the lean period.
Their patience paid off. Step by step companies could be won and large orders could be completed. The DAX company Henkel from Düsseldorf and the Landschaftsverband Rheinland were among the first customers. Other projects soon followed, including the Knapsack Chemical Park, the University Hospital, the University of Cologne and ArcelorMittal in Eisenhüttenstadt. “They are very different types of terrain, which is always a challenge that is fun,” says Mülder.

Many possible applications in different industries

“There are many other areas of application for our apps, and the potential is far from exhausted,” emphasizes Mülder. Tagxter is currently working with freight forwarders to promote the use of our apps in truck navigation. “We have plans and initial pilot projects for use in ports and container terminals – and many more ideas.“

Tagxter – Digital solutions for your terrain