Happy Birthday to us: 5 years of FoxBase!

The title already says it all: FoxBase is celebrating its birthday today! Our story began exactly five years ago... We thought there was no better time to take a little trip into the past. Let us take you through the different stations and immerse yourself in the FoxBase story with us. We promise: Today we'll tell you one or two details about us that you've definitely never read anywhere before.
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FoxBase in its infancy: How a school friendship turned into a company

When we tell how the FoxBase story began, we have to rewind much further than “just” five years: Our beginning is written in 1991, at the Friedrich-Spee-Gymnasium in idyllic Geldern. Our two founding foxes met here, still unaware of their future. While Carsten always wanted to start a business, the idea was still unimaginable for our ben at the time. After school, he completed a degree in economics and, after working as a marketing consultant, became head of strategic development for marketing at Migros in Switzerland, while Carsten first studied computer science and then gained various experiences as a senior manager and co-founder of the Deloitte Analytics Institute. Despite the distance, the two never lost sight of each other. It didn't take long until Ben was bitten by the founding bug and they both decided to tackle the thing together. At the beginning, they looked at their current jobs to see what could be possible and useful... And what crazy start-up ideas there were back then: a power chocolate bar or the ultimate intelligent kicker are just two of them. But no idea was good enough! It also quickly became clear that if you wanted to do it right, you would do it full time. How good that Ben moved back to Düsseldorf for love at the same time as he realized this. Our founding foxes thought: What can we develop that will really help people solve a problem? Carsten was influenced by his projects in the Big Data and AI environment and Ben had seen in retail how more and more topics such as Omni Channel Commerce became relevant and finally broke in like a flood into the new age. This repeatedly presented a major problem: Without digital product advice, it was difficult to find the best product for each customer online. The two founding foxes made a decision: they wanted to change that! And ladies and gentleman, there it was: the original idea for the Digital Product Selector as we know it today...

The jump from laptopfox to the B2B world: Our idea development up to the SaaS model

Even though the business model is different today, the main goal was from the beginning: We wanted you to find the best product for you quickly and easily. And by “you” we mean the private consumer in you. Our founding foxes were still in the B2C sector at the time. In other words, they were working at the time to ensure that you as the end user received intelligent advice when choosing a new laptop. So they developed the “laptopfox” – and were not that far away from our current FoxBase. For the idea, they both received a start-up grant from the Düsseldorf Economic Development Agency and ended up in Starting place. Over a game of table football, they told an employee about handle of their idea. This led to a question: “We need exactly what you do for laptops so that our customers can find the right industrial adhesive. Can you do that?” Of course there could only be one answer: Yes, of course we can! Said and done! The two of them really nerded out on the selector for handle and for the first time, we no longer just enabled individuals to find things easily, no, we enabled companies to let their customers find things easily. And while you were already at it, you could go on and on: It would be even cooler if we didn't program the perfect selector for the customer, but if they could easily do it themselves. If we could give him a template that he could use to work independently at any time instead of being dependent on us. And voilà, that was exactly the first step of many towards FoxBase's now firmly established SaaS model.

FoxBase goes viral: How we conquered the B2B industries

So here we were with our idea of creating software for the B2B world that anyone could use themselves, even without programming knowledge. Was the idea good? Was the idea feasible? What our foxes needed was feedback. And a network. So they moved tirelessly from event to event and pitched their solution at every opportunity. And we were successful! With ben's first pitch on the Ruhrsummit 2017 We made it straight to the grand finale and after further podium places and prizes we won Startup Con 2018 the ChemStartup Award for the digitalization of the sales process. At the same time, of course, there was also feedback from the collaboration handle. So FoxBase slowly but surely took shape: Little by little, great companies became our customers, especially from the chemical, electrical, telecommunications and construction industries. The exchange with our customers has always been extremely important to us. We have continued to develop the Digital Product Selector based on customer needs. Our customers have, so to speak, helped shape our software today and today we can, not without pride, present a lot of cool features that were added over time: We have expanded the recommendation logic and made it extremely flexible. We combined the PDF templating with the email service and made flexible design of the layout possible with the CSS editor. Today, the Digital Product Selector can be connected to PIM systems and linked to online shops and CRM systems, translated into different languages and our customers' customers can create detailed sales parts lists. Not to be forgotten is the insights portal, with which our customers can see performance in detail and identify market trends at an early stage, and our set-up documentation, which our customers can refer to at any time if they have a detailed question. And and and… You see where this is going. We've definitely done a lot and if you're interested in our features, just take a look at our Getting Started over.

The faces behind FoxBase: Our team is growing and growing

As you know, FoxBase is now a team of over 30 men and women and we are damn proud of that. But of course this didn't happen all by itself and there were also obstacles to overcome: In addition to the constant balancing between security and growth, processes had to be rethought and optimized again and again as the number of foxes increased. But ultimately there wasn't a challenge that we didn't rock with our concentrated FoxBase power and just as much fun. Communication is very important to us and we never tire of coming up with formats and methods with which we can make optimal use of swarm intelligence and improve it. For example, we work according to Scrum (also in areas outside of development) and with OKR, which you may also know from Silicon Valley. We also meet regularly throughout the company to exchange ideas in formats such as “Townhall Review”, “Lean Coffee” and “Lean Creativity”. From the small startup, in which everyone was more or less responsible for everything in the beginning, real teams with their own responsibilities and interfaces have grown over time: Product, Customer Success, Documentation, Marketing, Sales, Process, Talent and Finance & Controlling. You can already tell: We are currently bringing you into our present, which every single fox and every single vixen has had a say in. That is the basis and based on this, everyone here got involved, contributed their own ideas and ultimately pushed FoxBase further forward. In addition to our work, what also sets us apart are our legendary team events, one or two table football tournaments and our own network events. If you want to get to know our team, just take a look at our About Us page pure.

Doing is like wanting, only hotter! Our learnings from five years:

  • Our motto is to be diligent, try things out with customers, learn and then do it even better - after all, doing is always better than wanting to! This is our number 1 tip for founders in the starting blocks. Learning by doing has the steepest learning curve and that's exactly why you should try it out on the market as early as possible to know whether your product works. Ready for tip number 2?
  • It doesn't help if you see something isn't working but have no idea why. Our second learning is therefore: use KPIs! Know your most important key figures, check them regularly and, more importantly, act according to the findings.
  • Last but not least. But we at FoxBase are also convinced that you don't have to go through every (painful) experience yourself. Or what do you mean? That's why our third and final tip: Talk about it! Everyone you talk to knows more than you on some point, and before you try a hundred times, just ask, “Hey, how do you do that?”

But now we've looked back enough and it's time to look forward. FoxBase is not resting, we want to continue to grow, both in our team and with our Digital Product Selector on the market. But one thing at a time, today we're celebrating our birthday! It's great that you've accompanied our journey so far and here's to the next 5 years!

To be continued…


We look forward to your inquiry about the Digital Product Selector. Let's digitize B2B sales together in a sustainable way!


phone+49 211 1586 4066
addressOststrasse 10, 40211 Düsseldorf