Where Companies Are Built

Liquid Labs is an experimental organisation where ideas are tested, startups are built and innovation in FinTech & Logistics moves forward.

‘‘If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.’’

Albert Einstein

Start-Up Laboratory

We are a small team building and launching products for the Otto Group. We’ve made a deliberate choice to build Liquid Labs as an independent platform where experimentation is welcome. We take the principles of venture capital combined with best practices from the startup world to further corporate innovation.

At the same time, we avoid chasing trends or reacting to hype and remain driven to create real value with our products from inception. We are not measured by financial return and instead strive to build sustainable businesses.

Focus

We focus on two segments at this time: FinTech and Logistics. FinTech is a combination of technical products and services in the financial industry. In both segments we build digital products and offer services accessible online. It remains essential that we can quickly prototype and test products as well as achieve product / market fit in the near term.

Best of both worlds

We remain a partner to the existing investment ecosystems while allowing entrepreneurial minded people to learn how to build startups. Our managing directors are both former VC’s with many years of experience. They are on site and accessible to the teams. The opportunity to experience company building is what we offer without the risk of doing it alone. We accept that no matter how well executed products can be, sometimes they just don’t work. This is a part of our approach to innovation and we recover as well as refocus quickly when things don’t work out.

Immediate path to market

We don't just think about products and prepare slide presentations. We build products and services and scale companies around them. The Otto Group gives us access to know-how, marketing channels, capital, infrastructure and a constant feedback loop which is critical for success. If our product can't quickly stand on its own legs, we'll move on to the next challenge.

What we don't do

We are not a venture capital fund nor do we invest in external teams or companies. Liquid Labs is structured as a separate entity of the Otto Group and we are focused on building products for the group. We source our own ideas and this means we are attending industry events and speaking with our contacts to generate ideas.

Our team is made up of people with technical and business skill sets, located under one roof. Although our projects are independent businesses with their own teams, everyone is working for the benefit of Liquid Labs. Although we do have the ability to spin out projects and raise external venture capital, our priority remains to generate products for the Otto Group.

This is Liquid Labs

We're a small group of former entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and technologists building multiple businesses at a time. At Liquid Labs, we value diversity on an individual level. We’re dedicated to creating an environment where people can be their authentic selves and share their diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and ideas. If you are passionate about startups and are looking for a great place to work, you should join us.

Our

Team

Paul Jozefak

Company Builder

Paul Jozefak

I'm a tech guy by day, gym rat by night. My career has been completely non-linear, so much so, that I actually can't remember what I wanted to be when I grew up. Somewhere along the way I wanted to be a veterinarian. I also studied genetics for a while but that didn't quite work out...... for the good of humanity! I've now been doing the VC thing for 10+ years in the hopes of figuring out if I'm good at it. I live in Germany, was born in Slovakia and grew up in the US. I usually say NY when talking to Europeans but in reality it was NJ, right across the GW bridge.

Michael Backes

Crazy Scientist

Michael Backes

I am a hockey-fan turned business builder. Right now I am building the coolest company in the world and having fun doing it. I am mixing years of experience building platforms and VC into answering one of the world's biggest questions: What will I be when I grow up? I am an American by birth, moved to Texas as soon as I could for the steaks, lived under sea level (you might know it better as Holland), and I just couldn't resist the beer and had to move to Germany.

Nicole Fink

The Office Deity

Nicole Fink

Startups are a new world for me. Before working for Liquid Labs my career was in the world of hotels. Now as the Office Manager at Liquid Labs, I find myself applying a lot of the skills I learned to this position. Acting behind the scenes of innovative startup companies, I try to keep everything in order and support the teams with whatever they need. I’m fascinated by how companies are being built. Privately, I love travelling and diving into different cultures. At Liquid Labs, with all the different nationalities, I feel like I get the cultural experience to some extent even at work.

Esteban Uscanga

El Guapo Developo

Esteban Uscanga

"The Internet? We are not interested in it." - Bill Gates, 1993. Seriously? Not in my world. When I was 13 years old my passion for software engineering kicked in. I'm still trying every day to improve my skill set to offer solutions to daily problems via software. Originally from Mexico, I thought I would dive into another geography to also get as much intercultural exposure as possible. Software development sees no borders and I see myself as a global citizen.

Debora Viertel

Debora Viertel

Though I feel as if I could make the world my home, I settled on a city with a river. Equipped with a degree in economics and work experience in crowdfunding for startups in Dresden, I let myself drift up north on the Elbe. As someone who seeks constant development and change in what I do, I am excited to support the teams at Liquid Labs and help Labs to grow. As compensation for all the desk work I do lots of running, trying out new sports and challenging myself.

Antoine Verger

Beau Technologie

Antoine Verger

I do my best to help teams build the right things, fast and all the while having fun doing it. I bring to the table my experience as a scrum master and a web developer background. I was born and raised in the South West of France but discovered the pleasures of living in northern Germany. On top of that, I try to find time to play football and secretly, dream about becoming a pro surfer.

Jorge Davila-Chacon

Data Matador

Jorge Davila-Chacon

My background is in Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Robotics and Computational Neuroscience. I love working with learning algorithms as well as witnessing structure and meaning emerge from complex data. I am thrilled to be part of a team where creativity is encouraged, where people sincerely enjoy what they do and share the same passion for technology. As Dr. Yoshiyuki Sankai beautifully expressed it, let's create “technologies that make people smile and create a future world that nobody had seen before."

Dani Colomer

Dani Colomer

My passion is requirements engineering. Trying to understand people's way of working is an art in and of itself. We, as artists, have the responsibility of envisioning a way to make the world a better place for them. Being able to work with a team which pursues academic as well as industry exploration and experimentation is a great advantage. I love living in between business and technology and bridging the gap between these two worlds is a real challenge worth chasing.

Simone Corsini

Simone Corsini

I recently graduated with a computer engineering degree and come from northern Italy. I've lived all my life so far in Italy yet had spent a year abroad in the south of the US. As I have limited experience in the development world, I'm trying to learn as much as I can from this great team surrounding me. In my free time, I enjoy traveling - I'm also new to life in Germany, but I've been here before while on vacation and have always enjoyed it as well as the country's beloved sport: football (or soccer, as you wish). I'm also an avid tennis as well as ping pong player when I have time.

Annalisa Varrone

Annalisa Varrone

I really enjoy looking for different solutions to solving problems and seeing how many ideas can come together to create a product. I have just started my web developer career and it is very exciting to see how we never need to stop learning and how technologies, methodologies and languages evolve (one never gets bored!). I’m originally from Venezuela and have been living for the past couple of years in London before the beautiful Elbe pulled me to Hamburg.

David Diaz

David Diaz

I consider myself a get-things-done kind of guy and try to give my best at whatever I do. For me, real success is achieved by constantly evolving and trying new things while remaining proud of what one has accomplished. I decided to take a big step and to move quickly to Germany and join Liquid Labs. I am not only part of a strong team but I am given multiple opportunities to remain creative and learn. The team supports me and encourages me to deliver my best.

Carsten Wölk

Carsten Wölk

My interest in technology started in elementary school when my father once brought home a "Schneider PC" from work. Instantaneously fascinated I typed in a listing from a magazine for a game which then was heavily modified. When later my computer was able to communicate with others, my passion was complete. As a 'Hamburger', having worked abroad, I enjoy working in an international team sharing this very same passion.

Luis Rangel

Luis Rangel

A technology lover who seeks to leverage entrepreneurship to reach new horizons. I have over 7 years of experience in the conceptualization and development of software. I'm always looking for new challenges using software to help overcome them.

Pierre Garreau

Pierre Garreau

I am a mathematician and technology enthusiast and my background is in the analysis of random phenomena. I am a Wall Street Quant by training and like to solve puzzles, be it for logistics, trading or for the sake of science. I'm also a sailing instructor and kitesurfer and I love working with teams as well as sharing knowledge. I want to create disruptive products that matter and am most excited about being part of a team that shares the same drive.

Sören Heinzmann

Sören Heinzmann

After finishing high school, I decided to switch from computer science to engineering. I received my degree in mechanical engineering as well as economics but I never completely put software development aside. Currently, my strongest interests are new technology and entrepreneurship. During my studies I also found out that a good team motivates me better than any other incentive. To relax from staring at a screen every day I love doing action sports, being in the water or spending time with my dog. My life is spent between tailored- and wetsuits.

Felix Gnass

Felix Gnass

I'm intrigued by the beauty of simplicity, be it in the form of algorithms, architecture or user interfaces. I have a strong fascination for classic computer games from the 80s. Not only due to nostalgia but also because of the incredible amount of creativity that authors put into their work in order to get the most out of that days' limited hardware. Today I thoroughly enjoy working at Liquid Labs because the iterative way in which things get done here really makes it easy to come up with simple, hence effective solutions.

Eduardo Anaya

Eduardo Anaya

“The only way to do great work, is to love what you do.” - Steve Jobs. Originally from Mexico, I got hooked into the world of coding after becoming curious about how video games were created. Transforming ideas into software products is what I love the most about my job. Constant learning is, for me, the key to becoming a great developer, as well as being part of a team where I can improve my skills. I enjoying being where I can contribute to build things that matter. For the past couple of years, I lived in the US but then received the opportunity to be a part of Liquid Labs in Germany.

Jan Fischer

Jan Fischer

Originally qualified as an engineer for Media Technologies I always saw myself as a generalist. So logically project management soon became my main focus, acting as the glue between mixed expert teams. Having experienced several stages of enterprise and product lifecycles I noticed that I was longing for involvement at the early stage. I am more than happy finally to have landed at Liquid Labs. My time outside of work belongs to my family, sports and music…

Tilo Soenke

Tilo Soenke

I'm passionate about startups, new technologies and clean code. Turning ideas into applications and creating businesses out of them is what really excites me. After having majored in mechanical engineering in Munich I started working in Berlin and now enjoy living close to the sea again.

José St. Bernard

José St. Bernard

I’m a computer engineer and pseudo musician who enjoys learning about any kind of new technology that comes out. I love starting projects from scratch and seeing them grow like a baby in this constantly changing environment. I believe that the ability to share knowledge with a few key strokes is what makes the internet so special. I'm originally from Venezuela but I already feel like I am at home here in Hamburg.

Laurentiu Petrea

Laurentiu Petrea

After freelancing, working in outsourcing and thereafter getting entangled in corporate bureaucracies, it was time for some fresh air in the form of a new challenge. At Liquid Labs I am trying to give my best while expanding my skill set and improving myself. New grounds are being broken as well as frontiers crossed and I can’t wait for it!

Julia Geeratz

Julia Geeratz

I was born and grew up in Hamburg, loving the northern flair and everything that represents Hamburg. Although a fan of my hometown, I am fascinated by travel and have spent time in Chicago, Ohio, NY and Orlando. I'm addicted to sports, including diving. My current passion is Crossfit. I've worked thus far as a forwarding agent. Specifically, I managed sea transport to and from destinations all over the world. I focused on all the paper work, dealt with customs clearance and delivered the goods to their final goal. It was eventually time for a new challenge and I sought that by joining Liquid Labs.

Christoph Giffey

Brazilian Thunder - BorderGuru

Liquid Labs Alumni

Christoph Giffey

I am originally a tech guy and started with a Sharp MZ700 back in 1986. In recent years though, I have worked mostly on the business side of tech. During my career I have been at large and small companies, as well as startups. Originally, I am from Hamburg but worked globally in Brazil and Ireland. Eventually I returned back to my hometown and enjoy building an awesome company with a great team.

Hannah Nöthig

Consultant Extraordinaire - BorderGuru

Liquid Labs Alumni

Hannah Nöthig

I first dreamt of starting a company at the age of 16 but instead started to trade stock options, traveled the world, became a rescue-scuba-diver, studied business and ended up in management consultancy. While taking a break from my PowerPoint slides and Excel to get a Masters in Australia, I followed my dream of starting my own business – which ultimately failed. Sticking with my entrepreneurial spirit I joined Liquid Labs to bring some structure into the start-up chaos going on here.

Nicolas Derrien

Chez Lead - Send&Store

Liquid Labs Alumni

Nicolas Derrien

I've worked for large companies, small companies, and for myself. Throughout it all, I have remained fascinated at how technology today, and in particular the internet, has dramatically changed how companies can be built. How else could you get a $100 billion company in just 8 years? On a personal note, I love to travel, and after having made the move from across the pond to Hamburg, I look forward to crossing country borders and not just US state borders. Hooray for trains and cheap flights.

Matthias Gosch

Gentleman Director - Send&Store

Liquid Labs Alumni

Matthias Gosch

For the last 15 years I ran funds investing in ships, containers, real estate, renewable energy, pawn shops, diamonds and other assets. Now I’m selling things people really want. But I don´t really sell and moreso consult customers on their needs. I like to work for start ups because I’m all about getting things done instead of making them perfect. Plus I love working on new innovations!

Roberto Valerio

Product Mafioso & Managing Director – Device Ident

Liquid Labs Alumni

Roberto Valerio

Tech addict with business skills. Geek life started at age 11 with a C64, continued thereafter with 68k assembler code on an Amiga 500, Mac LC and eventually even the Palm V. First modem was a USR Dual Standard. Saw my first bash command line prompt on Harvard's HUSC servers in 1992. Lived through the whole startup cycle twice: Idea, Business Plan, Financing, Team, Product, Launch. Optimizing my execution at this point.

Vitalii Lysov

Senior Developer – Device Ident

Liquid Labs Alumni

Vitalii Lysov

Web development truly has become my passion. After discovering it at school, I never stopped pursuing it. Working both at start-ups directly and as a freelancer in the past has allowed me to get a ton of hands-on experience. In addition to having studied "Economic Cybernetics" I'm continually increasing my knowledge in web development as well as the business world.

Portfolio

At Liquid Labs we are passionate about building new products and companies. This section will give you an overview of our portfolio companies.

Founded: June 2012
Spin-off: February 2013

Risk Ident offers anti-fraud solutions for European companies within the e-commerce and financial sectors. We are experts in device fingerprinting and behavioral analytics and our products are specifically tailored to comply with European data privacy regulations. Our key products are FRIDA Fraud Manager and DEVICE IDENT device fingerprinting.

 

Founded: July 2014
Spin-off: August 2015

BorderGuru´s vision is to offer an easy solution for retailers to sell and ship their products internationally – as easily as domestically. Integrated into the websites of our client retailers, consumers can shop in their local currency, pay with their preferred local payment option, and get their products shipped to their home. Anywhere in the world.

Founded: February 2014
Spin-off: March 2015

We are an innovative startup focused on redefining the way people and businesses store things. No more need rent a large storage locker and drive out to it. Simply pack, schedule a pick-up, and when you need it back, schedule a delivery.

Innovation as a Service

As an innovation lab we work closely together with our corporate partners, offering the flexibility of a startup environment. We avoid corporate bureaucracy as well as restrictions and enable our business partners to create new product innovations.

Together with our partners, we take ideas from the sectors financial technology as well as logistics and turn them into products. Liquid Labs consists of small, international teams with different characters, personalities and backgrounds. Once we have identified a new opportunity, a team within Liquid Labs will work on transforming the idea into a viable product to be launched into the market.

Usually there are three or four products being built at Liquid Labs in parallel. Our teams work independently on agile product development, using lean startup principles. A team usually consists of at least a product and tech lead that work in conjunction with internal and external staff to push for quick market entrance. We force quick development cycles and believe that you should “fail fast”. This allows us to test our ideas in the market and enables us to build products that solve actual problems as well as needs. It also allows us to quickly refocus our resources when something doesn’t work out.

After success in the market, a product and its team are spun-off from Liquid Labs to become an external, separate company or part of an existing organization.

Careers at Liquid Labs

What we offer

We offer you a chance to learn how to build businesses, drive innovation and work independently without constant supervision. We want self-starters who have already proven some degree of competence in previous roles who can be given independent projects to run.

Working in a matrix structure with external development groups involved in the process, you have to be able to communicate openly and clearly with multiple people, work closely in a team environment and be detail-oriented when under pressure. We offer competitive compensation and an opportunity to ultimately become the C-Level manager of a brand new start-up.

Working Conditions

You will be expected to work independently and without constant input from management. There will always be people in the office but you won’t necessarily always have access directly to the people whom you need to interact with.

Hence you need to feel comfortable working in both an office and a virtual environment with a lot of interaction via phone and Internet. Due to the nature of our innovative environment, we are a diverse mix of people and personalities.

Further, because of the startup environment, it gets chaotic at times but we refer to this as “creative chaos”! If this is something for you and you are looking for a fun place to work in a challenging job with interesting responsibilities, let us know.

Open positions at LiquidLabs

We would like to hear from you

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to learn more about Liquid Labs or just want to get in touch.

Poststrasse 12, 20354 Hamburg, Germany
+49 40 28 057 759

Say hello

We always welcome guests, however due to our tight timetable please schedule a meeting with us before you drop by.

Direct contact

Poststrasse 12, 20354 Hamburg, Germany

+49 40 28 057 759

Social contact