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. For me, the code is my weapon!

Nicolas Derrien

Chez Lead

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.

Christoph Giffey

Brazilian Thunder

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

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.

Goran Rukavina

The Business Import

Goran Rukavina

Originally from Croatia, I came to Germany looking for an international experience. I also always wanted to speak German all day long. Way back when I wanted to be a professional handball player but that didn't work out so I went for a master's degree in ICT. I liked the look of all these business guys in suits and thought “that’s for me”. Worked for a big company before but am enjoying every part of building a bigger one at the moment. In my free time, I like to take my dog for long walks, hang out with family and friends or BBQ.

Nik Frank

In-house Hipster

Nik Frank

After living in Stockholm, Shanghai and Amsterdam I have settled down in my hometown of Hamburg. I'm here mostly for the weather! Yearning for fame and glory, I joined Liquid Labs to submit myself to any and all tasks thrown my way, supporting the whole team. With a degree in business psychology and work experience in online marketing & sales, I always saw myself in marketing. However, lately I've come to appreciate the technology side of things.

Timothy Perchey

The Marketing Dundee

Timothy Perchey

As an Australian that has been living in Europe for the past 10 years, I now call Hamburg home. I am passionate about Online Marketing and all that encompasses it. I also strive to evolve and grow within its ever changing landscape. If you want to catch me outside the office I will be either out for a jog or watching the cricket at the pub!

Richard Keil

Developer Demi-God

Richard Keil

Growing up in a small bavarian village quickly had me hooked on computers. I consumed/took apart all software I could get my hands on and started developing things. After being blessed with a 56k modem, I discovered HTML, JS, Flash, Photoshop and Quake III Arena. During the years of doing web design for small and big business, my journey lead me into the programming world and deep into the pits of λ-calculus. I love expanding my tool-belt to create user interfaces that look great, perform great and most importantly: are fun to use!

Thomas Hirsch

Code Quality Zealot

Thomas Hirsch

Having a background in development and quality assurance, I am passionate about problem solving by delivering good abstractions and maintainable code. When I am not thinking about how to test and modularize the systems I build, I am interested in the occasional game of chess. "If I knew I had eight hours to cut down a tree, I would spend six of them sharpening my axe."

Roland Kärchner

Chief Cat Herder

Roland Kärchner

I live to see the rare moments when software really helps people solve problems and I'm trying in every way possible to continue making this happen. Pragmatic to the bone and always looking to improve my skill set, I'm always eager to learn about new business domains. I can often be found herding my vintage computer zoo when at home.

Jörn Wanke

Chief Deducer

Jörn Wanke

Studied Computer Science in Germany, but then followed the temptation to move to London to work in big corporate financial IT. Been there, done that for a couple of years. Eventually got bored, quit and decided to travel the world for a while (Peru and Malaysia are keepers!) Now keen to build up a company from the start, eager to see where it takes me!

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.

Device Ident provides a sophisticated anti-fraud solution for any type of online transaction. It identifies and evaluates devices interacting with a customers’ online services and analyzes history and behavior of the visiting device to prevent fraud and misuse for all our customers in real time.

 

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.

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

Software Engineer (m/w) - BorderGuru

Would you like to be part of a startup? 
Are you interested in scalable systems and a fast-paced development cycle? 
Do you enjoy working within an international team and international customers? 
Are you keen to redefine the way international transactions and deliveries within E-Commerce are done? If so, Borderguru is the place to be!

Web Developer (m/w) - BorderGuru

Would you like to be part of a startup? 
Are you interested in scalable systems and a fast-paced development cycle? 
Do you enjoy working within an international team and international customers? 
Are you keen to redefine the way international transactions and deliveries within E-Commerce are done? If so, Borderguru is the place to be!

Javascript Developer (m/w) - Send and Store

We are an innovative startup focused on redefining the way people and businesses store things. We are looking for someone who is excited about working in a growing team of developers to build a new company.

Business Development Manager (m/w) - Send and Store

We are an innovative startup focused on redefining the way people and businesses store things. We seek an experienced manager to grow sales by developing our affiliate and partnership network and through direct offline marketing to end users. We are passionate about business and technology and provide you with free drinks and flexible working hours. Working in the heart of Hamburg with an internsational team of equally motivated, hard-working people, this challenging role will give you the opportunity to flex your sales muscles, and can easily lead to more responsibility and seniority.

Tech Lead (m/w)

Liquid Labs is always looking to hire tech experts to support and evolve our software products and services. If you're passionate about development and are looking for an opportunity to be part of a growing organization in a startup environment, let us know. You'll be working closely with development teams, product managers and operations to help build products and get them to market.

Product Lead (m/w)

Liquid Labs Product Managers work with teams of engineers and designers to build products. We are looking for extremely entrepreneurial Product Managers to help innovate and execute product initiatives across the company.

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.

Steindamm 80, 4.OG, 20099 Hamburg, Germany
+49 40 609 45 079

Say hello

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

Direct contact

Steindamm 80, 4. OG, 20099 Hamburg, Germany

+49 40 609 45 079

Social contact