From Software-as-a-Service to Marketplace-as-a-Service: classmarkets on the Move
What’s new concerning classmarkets and ImmobilienScout24? Since the beginning of 2018 both companies have been living under the same roof: Andreasstraße 10, Berlin. Dr. Stefanie Heinemann and Fabian Ströhle, both Managing Directors of classmarkets, took their time to talk to us about the company’s history, its biggest milestones and what we can expect from the business field “Software-as-a-Service” in the future.
About Fabian Ströhle:
Fabian has a M.Sc. in Molecular Biotechnology and a B.Sc. in Biochemistry, obtained at the Technical University of Munich. He did study stays in Singapore at the National University, and in Berkeley at the University of California. Afterwards, he worked as a Management Consultant at a worldwide leading strategy consultancy company. Since 2012, Fabian has been successfully leading the classmarket GmbH.
About Dr. Stefanie Heinemann:
Stefanie has a diploma in Microbiology and a PhD in Molecular Virology, obtained at the University of Erlangen/Nuremberg. Afterwards, she was in Sales and led an office in the field of Biotechnology. Recently she had international management responsibility at a leading biotechnology company in the field of Measurement Technology. Stefanie has been strengthening the general management of classmarkets since mid 2017.
Dr. Stefanie Heinemann und Fabian Ströhle, Managing Directors of classmarkets
1. Welcome to Andreasstraße 10! I hope your new home has been treating you well and you have a great time at ImmobilienScout24. What do you like about your new home?
Stefanie: Thank you very much for the warm welcome which we received from all ImmobilienScout 24 colleagues! Yes, we are having a great time at ImmobilienScout24: it is simply great! What we like most about the new home are actually the lively people and the exciting environment. For us, the most important thing, besides very nice amenities, are the exchange of ideas and best practices, facilitated by being much closer to the colleagues from Scout24, and the resulting close collaboration. Since 2015, classmarkets has been part of ImmobilienScout24, so working closely together in the same building has been the right step for sure.
2. What does classmarkets focus on and how can both companies benefit from each other?
Fabian: We as classmarkets focus on, as we always did, building the best classifieds product for media publishers, be it real estate or jobs. I specifically mention jobs, a vertical that Scout24 is not operating in. But it is widely accepted within Scout24 that the job vertical is crucial for our customers, and complements our mission of providing the best classifieds solutions. We are very proud that we are delivering a great product in the jobs vertical. This is nicely demonstrated by the fact that our customers are generating very significant revenues, using our product. What I learned is: ImmobilienScout24 and classmarkets are targeting the same market, but from different angles. As a result, I believe that ImmobilienScout24 benefits from a better understanding of publisher needs. This is also reflected in great strategic projects ImmobilienScout24 enters with publishers. Classmarkets, on the other hand, benefits by getting better access to, what is widely accepted as, the gold standard in real estate. In addition, we are seeing that there are many areas where close collaboration makes total sense such as online marketing or tech.
3. Classmarkets was born in 2008 so you are almost 10 years old now. This can be considered as mature for a tech company. What have been your greatest milestones so far?
Fabian: This is really hard to answer (laughs). One big milestone is definitely the creation of immobilo.de: building a relevant meta search portal from scratch. Today, our business though is very much software-as-a-service in real estate, jobs and cars. For real estate, besides many small and medium-size publishers, I would mention key customers like FAZ, Funke Mediengruppe, DuMont, all running influential brands and being served by classmarkets. The successful entry into the job vertical has unquestionably been another milestone, with the classmarkets team doing a superior job and building great state-of-the-art applications, using the most modern stack one can think of. The cars market is served in cooperation with AutoScout24 and also has been a great success since its start. I believe this is mostly due to classmarkets’ understanding what publishers actually need: a simple, lightweight solution that offers users all the cars they might search for.
4. Let’s talk about the future. What are your main projects for 2018?
Stefanie: For 2018, the main project for real estate is actually very old school as it is in print. Besides that we will continue making our customers successful in digital by developing the platform and concentrating on our customers’ needs. We believe there is revenue potential for our customers that is not addressed by the current product offerings. For jobs, it is simply growing our customer base. Additionally, we will continue offering our car solution in cooperation with AutoScout24 to serve our customers’ needs.
5. You are experts in the area “Software-as-a-Service” so could you provide us with some insights into current and future trends relating to this field?
Fabian: While we very often talk about SaaS or Software-as-a-Service, classmarkets provides much more, better called Marketplace-as-a-Service. We all know that just having a great product does not make you successful right away. There are many topics to address which are not fully reflected in the actual software. This is why we are so keen on having, as we call it, a “Develop Markets” team of specialists that help our customers to become successful, e.g., through the right pricing and communication strategy. So this is more consultancy than software. In addition, we underline the importance of knowhow exchange. Throughout Europe, there are many publishers, all facing similar challenges – but there is little knowhow exchange on an operational level, and this is a challenge we believe can be solved: by classmarkets being a change agent that addresses the relevant questions and facilitates exactly this knowhow exchange.
Besides that, SaaS is a very exciting field, with many opportunities to explore. We are always looking for great people to join our team, be it in Engineering, Marketing, Business Development or Sales, etc. So if you are interested in joining the classmarkets family, just email [email protected] and get in contact with Mandy Lößner who is running our recruiting. We are a very fast and pragmatic team, proud to use the most modern tech stack, trying to automate as much as possible, everywhere.