M Cube

M Cube pixabay.de
M Cube Incubator
Founded by Jan Dzulko
Founded in 2012
In 2015, M Cube became Locadi. The company now focuses on comparison sites.
Incubator
Located in Berlin
Founder Jan Dzulko is an University of Mannheim Alumni.

 

Company Characteristics

In March 2012, M Cube was founded by Jan Dzulko along with the founders and CEOs of CHECK24. It is a Berlin-based company builder that specializes in building and running online comparison portals for local services. The business model behind it is very simple: they aggregate suppliers, build a marketplace and facilitate the transaction. They keep a small transaction fee and everybody is happy. According to Jan, the model is not new, but actually thousands of years old - but they are bringing it to local service markets which are inherently not transparent – from undertakers to driving schools.

Entrepreneurs who join the team are offered speed, a strong professional network and financing, so that they can focus their skill set on our core product: best-in-class comparison sites that expand markets and provide transparency to consumers. M Cubes latest projects surround comparisons for eye surgery clinics, fitness-studios, and carsharing services to name a few. M Cube actively recruits smart, well-rounded, and ambitious team members who seek to make an impact in the industries they focus on. And although each portal acts as an independent uni, M Cube is run more like a family business than an investment bank: Each team member should help, support and respect the others.

 

Personal Characteristics

During his studies of economics in Mannheim, Jan did a summer fellowship at @McKinsey in the year 2000, a brief experiment by McKinsey to enter the digital world. For McKinsey, @McKinsey did not work out but  Jan was hooked on the internet and it’s seemingly endless opportunities. So pretty much right after finishing his studies in 2003 he founded his first company pecumax, a SaaS insurance calculator and two years later pecupool, an online insurance broker. He built both companies from the ground up, and then after 5 years, sold them to CHECK24. As part of the deal CHECK24 made him CEO of the insurance business. Jan stayed 4 years, but then it started to itch again: He just loves the early stage of founding a company. So he returned to Berlin and started M Cube in 2012, a Company Builder with a focus on local price comparisons.

The CHECK24 guys bring knowledge that they learned first-hand in the German start-up scene. Henrich Blase founded CHECK24 15 years ago, and since then built it up successfully through all the highs and lows of the Internet. Eckhard Juls is a marketing god - from online to TV, he’s done it all. The other investors are also very active mentors and bring in tons of know-how in the areas of IT, HR, and processes.

When asked for their goals, Jan pictures a great vision: “We aim to be the Expedia of local comparisons. To do that, we continue to launch and rollout our comparison platforms throughout the largest cities in Germany, with full local coverage across the country in the coming quarters. Internationalization is also a possibility and would be very exciting!”

 

Business Development and Challenges

Since March 2012, M Cube has gone through different stages: First they wanted to be an incubator for all kinds of transaction based models. But then they realized what they are really good at is comparing stuff. Then they finally realized that nobody was comparing local services. They took that idea and developed it – and turned their entire organization upside down. According to Jan, they developed their Incubator into a Company Builder, which was a major challenge and made a complete difference: “It sounds like the same thing, but it is something completely different: While an incubator provides basic assistance for founders, a company builder does nearly all the work and the MDs are responsible for product and innovation. That means we had to move all operational staff from the companies into central teams at M Cube – a process that took over one year and is finally bearing fruit.”

Jans personal goal for his startups’ future is simple: To walk into M Cube with a smile on his lips looking forward to work – every day. Very simple is also the instruction he wants to give to all future founders: “Don’t found a company right after finishing your studies. Go to a great company, learn the basic tricks of business first. Increased your chance of survival dramatically!”

 

Related items

Sponsors

  • University of Mannheim
  • Institut für Mittelstandsforschung
  • Gründerverbund
  • ESF
  • Europäische Union
  • Baden-Württemberg - Ministerium für Finanzen und Wirtschaft
  • Absolventum