Meet Byways - The Startup of Sennder's Former Head of Product - And They Have the US in Sight


Executive Summary

BYWAYS is a SaaS tool, which connects warehouses, clients, and logistic companies to order transportation at the time and date needed, like a Calendly for logistics. They already have ASOS, Maersk, and Sennder amongst their clients.

"You can imagine our tool as a kind of a calendar app, where the customer can book transportation for a desired date and time."Alexander Palffy, Co-Founder, and MD of BYWAYS 

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Welcome to start bread dot IO, your podcast and Youtube blog covering the German startup scene with News, interviews and live eveits. Hey, guys, hello and welcome everybody. This is Joe from startup breaker. Ah, you start up podcasting. You toube blog from journey today. I do have Alex as a guest here. Hey, Hidi, hi, so nice to be here. First of all, thank you very much for the opportunity to be here with you. Uh, and I'm doing great. I had a wonderful day and I would love to share some of my learnings that I've been gathering so far. What about you? How are you doing today? I'm doing also good. I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to start up raving dot com, the easiest and most efficient way to find investors and corporate aracian partners. You can go down here in the show notes and reduced it for early access. Alex, I've been looking at your profile and actually what I have seen is that you are Um, that you studied applied chemistry, and that of course, makes it makes it very logical that you are now running a logistics startup right. That is very true. That is very true. Thank you for noticing and highlighting that. I mean there is some similarities, to be honest, because it was corrosion protection of underground pipelines that are used for transportation of strategic materials. So at least some sort of a correlation with logistics industry, but not so much. But you're right, it is. It is pretty, let's say, a weird way how to get into logistics totally. I've seen you worked with companies are known to our audience, including sender, the Unicorn, formally instafraid, Fudora and so on. U. I've also seen we'll soon get to your company, but there you have quotes from assuming your customers, including Asa, senders and mask, one of the biggest container shipping companies in the world. So very impressive for such a young startup. But first tell us a little bit. How did you come from transfer minimizing the corrosion of all your pipelines to working with Fudora? Of course, more more than happy to tell you. Um. So, first of all, it starts even a little bit back before the the sort of uh corrosion science research project. Um, it started all when I was still a teenager and I wanted to learn English and earn some money. So I went to England actually to work at warehouses Um. So I spent a couple of years. They're always trying to work as much as I can during the summer break and also take a little bit before and towards the end of...

...the of the new school year, and where I was loading unloading trucks. This was basically the daily operations um where we had the big Chaloes, as you probably know, at warehouses. And however, then did a quick detour in the in the the chemistry field, as this is also one of my big passions. And then I had a great opportunity to actually work with Sebastian Sonheimer from from Fodora. That were that was searching for people that would help him to and sort of optimize the whole logistics in the last mile, meaning connect restaurants with the drivers, with the back end of Fodora to be able to deliver your foot on time with the highest quality. And so there I was focusing on last the two areas. One I was building a very simple javascript solution for the customer service to be able to, let's say, generate codes for for vouchers and so in distribute them. With the customers. However, I was also focusing on building, together with the tech team, that the first vendor back and for the restaurants, so the restaurant application, and that really really inspired me, and you know the whole understanding of how complex this is to make sure that the pizza should be only in the ball in the bed for several minutes, not close to the ice cream and so on, so on, and to build this amazing experience for the restaurants to be able to simply click one button that would understand all the busy hours and everything so you get your order on time. And later they got acquired by by delivery hero. So quite successful story, m H. and from there you my understanding is, or at least what I can tell from linkedin. As always, everybody would like to reach out to you. You can go down here in the show. Wherever you're listening to this or watching this, you can go down here in the show notes and have a look Um and see a linked profile. If you listen to this on our radio station or some of our guests station. Now a syndication partners. GO TO MEDIUM DOT COM and look for start up rate DOT IO. And then now I interview. So again, then you moved on to send in staff freight. Right, exactly, exactly. That's that's very true. I actually got a very nice email from a friend of mine working at HR back then, at rocket Internet, and I got connected to Giato and the Philip art fine from install frate. They were just in an early process of sort of creating this company that was similar to Huber Fred in America, and our goal was to connect shippers like Coca Cola, Amazon, the big shippers of the world, with the free carrier capacity. Uh. So we were creating this digital freight forward and...

...said similar to to you preferate, and I had the opportunity to be the first employee there, which makes me extremely, extremely happy. So there was the path, instafraid, very nice company to to work at, and after that I actually met Um David Baker at one party of fortal and we got talking. Also got to know Julius and Nico from the other two co founders of sender, and we actually decided to join forces. So I was there also as a very early employee, when we were still around ten people working in a garage, and we had also a similar idea. Of course, a little bit different angle because we were focusing more on the full truck loads, not on on a different kind of shipments, as perhaps instaferate was focusing on. And that's when the journey with Sander started, working in a garage dis pitching trucks, but also I was looking at the product and I became later at the head of product for the for the whole company, and I have to say this was one of the best jobs I've ever had in my life. And now the interesting question is, why did you decide to start a company for yourself? And what do you guys are actually doing it, by ways, of course, more than more than a picture. So I think two reasons why we started the company. So first one was I always wanted to find out if I am the founder material. Um, this is something that is good to try rather earlier than later, because I really don't want to have regrets. So this is the first thing I want to test. And the second thing I wanted to test is that do my ideas become sort of so powerful with combination with, of course, my co founder, that I also want to talk a little bit uh in a second about uh and to shape the minds and and years of different customers that already serve the world of logistics as we know it right now. We just felt like it needed a little bit of a help with the innovation, because these robust companies cannot always quickly iterate and adjust to the needs of the end consumer. So those sort of two reasons for that. And to answer the second part of the question, Um, what are we actually doing? So let's start simply saying we are connecting the warehouses, so any pickup and drop up locations, with all the carriers and suppliers. So you can imagine our solution as a current leap or or sort of a sort of a calendar application that enables you, as a carrier, as a supplier, to book a transport for a desired time, for a desired length, with the specific pick up and drop up location and to kind of have the same experience in any location where BIOS is so very high standards, knowing exactly what's going to happen, knowing when...'re going to enter and leave the warehouse, to create both parts of the equation happy, both the people at the warehouse as well as the drivers, carriers and suppliers, or you make them all equally unhappy that that will also work. Um, so nobody no, nobody really loses. That sounds pretty easy. Um, we can already deduce. You guys are a software solution. You guys are assessed. Are you a marketplace? No, this is a software as a service solution. Um. So right now I would like to sort of put ourselves in this in this bracket. Um, how maybe, maybe I can tell you a little bit of a journey on. How does it work? So our solution is being sold to companies that operate our own warehouses and we on board the Warehouse Manager, the people other people working at the warehouse on our solution, which usually takes an hour, just to be clear about that. It's very easy to use it, and then, once people get familiar with it, try a couple of processes themselves. We adjust to their process as well, obviously, as we're highly configurable solution. Then we on board all the carriers and suppliers on the other side, whether it's d jail or Nike or Adidas. There are people who who actually like to use our solution because it helps them to get let's say, the operational expenses down, not just because people don't have to be on phone calls and emails anymore when organizing shipments. But they also can, let's say, decrease the operational expenses because they don't have to be night shifts on on on the phone, they don't have to be working at that time and they can do something else, for example sleep, exactly always important. Yes, I totally understand that logic and I have just one question. Can you talk little bit about the your target audience? So, meaning, how do you have to imagine the day of of a normal dispatrick that is working there? So he's all the time on the phone trying to match the stuff he has to ship from A to B and then, when the truck is empty, has to get somewhere, somehow fraid for driving back in order to maximize the utility of his vehicle. That is exactly correct. I just to elaborate on this topic. So, first of all, we have two parties in our solution. First one is the carrier and the other one is the warehouse. So let's talk a little bit about the carrier first. Um, so there are dispatchion coordinators that their job is to find the right truck for the right price, and that's when their jobs should technically stop. But unfortunately, if they don't use solution like ours, they have to constantly be on a phone call with...

...the driver and with the warehouse, understanding, Hey, can we come ten minutes earlier, ten minutes later? Why is my truck still at your warehouse? When is it going to to be unloaded? Because I need to find the next shipment for my truck, because I don't want to lose money on waiting. So, exactly as you said, and on this front, if you use solution like hours, it enables you to understand if you can adjust the arrival and then understanding when exactly would you leave, so you can then plan your next shipment and then and use by ways to to align the other parties as well. Now, on the other hand side, you have a warehouse and as a warehouse, let's say, manager, you need to make sure, in this very slim margin business, to utilize as much of the staff and the capital expenses, so the property, as you can. And so with our solution you would understand, hey, ten trucks are coming at these specific hours that day. So how many people do I need? I need ten people, one person at each talk at specific times, so you avoid paying, for example, overtimes and on the other hand side you can avoid having all the trucks comming at the same time, letting them wait and then perhaps paying them the wait time penalties, which are kind of a standard in the in the in the road trade industry. So, from the other hand side it also helps the other party of the warehouse to get on top of the resources and understanding where where they need to double down, when there are issues they can quickly resolve it, and so on. Um, I would be curious what kind of fraid is they're actually transported, because I do understand there are usually containers full of whatever clothing that are not that don't require the same means of transportation as, for example, food. I just recently did an interview with the startup that that trade medical cannabis. I do believe they have pretty different Um ramifications for their transportation then, for example, Um uh container full of closing. What kind of Um items are actually shipped with you or with your solution where you're focusing on actually very good question. So the thing is, what we noticed so far is that we are pretty agnostic when it comes to the sort of type of goods that are either in the container or on pallets. Uh, we also do lose materials. So what I want to say is that, Um, we actually don't mind what is in the truck. We know this information to be able to give it to the warehouse staff so they can understand what type of equipment do they need to load or unload the specific cargo, Um. But for us it's only interesting, interesting to know what is in the truck because this helps us to understand the length of the loading and unloading, giving the number of people at the warehouse, equipment and so on, and we can also distribute the work across...

...the across the day. So, long story short, it is quite industry agnostic. We do have customers in UH industries, like e commerce in general, then very heavy on a fashion also construction materials as well, like a company called SAMEX is ready to mix concrete, uh and and different aggregates as well. So pretty agnostic on this front. MM HMM. I see you're now doing this for almost two years. What have you learned in this time as an entrepreneurs? Not only that there are different types of cemander and different types of input that you can ship around or whatever, and when the people are loading and unloading it, the better wear protection for the breathing and stuff like that. That's that's a very good point. So, Um, I think I learned sort of things in two areas. First of all when it comes to business, the other one when it comes to uh, let's say personally. So, when it comes to business, Um, I have learned that, even though I thought I'm in logistics for many, many years, for over eight years now actually, I still see mutings every day. I still see big issues like two containers being sent to the same warehouse or or containers sent somewhere else by accident. Um, then broken goods in in, in, in trucks, wasting so much potential, of of the of the people not having to do anything because at the moment there is no trucks at the warehouses. So I just want to say that on the on the business, from the business perspective, I learned that there is so much chaos in the industry still and even, Um, the biggest companies in the world, they still handle a lot of things manually. Um, which brings me to the topic that we do. I would still encourage many, many more players to come in and to really look at the sort of warehouse related activities, because these are the gatekeepers of logistics and we need to really put the right solutions into the places of the right people so they can make the best decisions. And on the other hand side, when it comes to sort of a personal topics, I learned that being a founder is very difficult, but it's extremely rewarding, and on this front, I have to say that I think it is thanks to Simon, my co founder, that the things are just better, because having someone working with you on such a difficult topic, as well as our amazing Stellard tech teams and sales teams, Um that I want to give a big respect. It is the people you're working with. So I cannot be happier being surrounded by such an amazing people, especially my co...

...founder, Simon, and our wonderful investors, to just make things easier every day. Before we get to the investors and how you guys are funded, I have one more question because I was just before we started the interview. I was looking in my weekly report and last week we've been downloaded in ninety two countries across the world. Question is here. Um, would your tool be usable across the world, or do you have like certain areas where it works and a where it doesn't. So another good question. We are right now very active in Asia and Europe. We are going later this year also to Africa and America, and this is only because the customers have supply chains around the world. So it's really something we don't want to say no to if they're really needed and they have where elses, as I said, acrost the globe. Um. So our solution can be used anywhere where you have in a net and some sort of a device where you can log into the browser. Um. And it's a good question because what we are supporting is the multi lingual communication. So we our solution is able to translate and, let's say, things from one language to another. So if you are in the in the in the Polish warehouse and you receive, let's say, a Turkey struct driver, you don't need to speak Turkish or they don't need to speak Polish, but our system will sort of translate it for you, all the instructions where to go, when to go, what sort of things you need to get ready for when you do the loading unloading. So it is used right now, was set in European Asia, but there is no place. That, by ways, cannot be m understood. I was looking at your profile here, for example in crunch base, and I've seen that you have closed seed round already with entrepreneur. First reflects capital, venista ventures and write a capital. WHO IS THE LEAD INVESTOR? Um? Are you guys currently looking for new investors when you already have the US and side? Um. So, right now we are. When it comes to fundraising. We will be sharing more information in on this funday the next few weeks months, um, we will be selecting a very close investor network that we believe, you know, this Bible's opportunity, will suit the best. Um. And of course, we are planning to continue with our current investors. As I said, they have been amazing support. Um. So, but we want to also give an opportunity for for the newcommerce. M Hm. That means you're currently fundraising and soon there will be something to tell about. Um. Quick, quick correction. I want to be transparent. Yourself. Very,...

...very good point, but right now, I have to say full focus on sales and product development, which brings me to the topic. I mean. We are therefore in in needs always for great talent, mainly on a sales and and tech front. But when it comes to fundraising, we'd like to stay laser focused right now on on on sales and product but, as I said, a couple of weeks months Um, some people will be uh, definitely, we will be definitely getting in touch with some people to, let's say, discuss the future, the future plans of byeways and all the interested investors. We know, depending on our audience, on our audience survey, depending on when and where you and how you ask, approximately forty of our audience out there is looking for investment opportunities. So they can reach out to you via Linkedin and, of course, my usual next question is, are you guys hiring? You already said you are hiring and you will share, uh, the link for everybody who is listening to this or watching this where they can um apply. Of course, more than happy to. I mean right now, the simplest thing is to go to our website. May I share the name? Yes, sure, perfect. So, if you go to byways, not I owe, or just simply go to my linkedin profile. There are all the instructions there. You would be able to see what we are currently hiring for. However, just to summarize, Um, it's very simple, because there is a lot of inflow of interested customers. We need uh sales executives that would help us to to manage this, this pipeline and all the other hand side full state engineers. We are always looking forward to extend our current stellar tech team with more and more people you can have. I have too many coders, I know you know, especially they get ones, uh Huh. They're very well after, very rare, very rare. Hey, grate Alex, that was a pleasure talking to you. Um, you're a little bit earlier stage than usual the guests that I have, but I found your product very interesting, including your background, and that's why you're here a little bit earlier in the interview is a tiny bit shorter than what we usually do, but nonetheless I hope to have you back. Usually it takes two or three years and then we can make another awesome interview. So it was a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me here again. Want to encourage other people to look into this industry. It is a lot of things to do here and, of course, if you are interested in using our solution anywherehouse manager out there, please give us a call or send us an email. More than happy to share our learnings with our current customer base. Thank you so much, so thank you. Have a great day. Bye, bye, I have a great day. By that's all. Fuls. Find more news strings events at interviews at www dot startup wret... io. Remember, Sherry is carry.

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