Q&A, Q&A- Startups

7 Questions with Korbinian Spann of Insaas.ai

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.

My name is Korbinian, I’m the founder and managing director of Insaas.ai. Our company and I are based in Munich, Germany. I have one son, live in the countryside and love sports like cycling, sailing, running and hiking. As Insaas.ai is a remote-first team, I´m used to working with my team every day via Zoom, Slack and Google. I love being an entrepreneur and work in a team on difficult problems. The understanding and processing of languages is my favorite topic since my studies (Arabic, Hebrew). I enjoy digital marketing and communication, as an expert and as a lecturer at Steinbeis SMI. I’m open minded, curious, and full of positive energy.

2. Which product or service do you offer, and who are your competitors?

Insaas.ai is a browser-based software solution based on a subscription model to automate customer insights. We offer the next generation of market research, fast and easy unlike any analytics tool. With our software product customers can easily identify pain points in their products, reduce the lead time for optimisation and drive customer satisfaction on a very detailed level. Our competitors are Qualtrics, Medallia, Chattermill among others.

3. How did you get the business idea and take it from launch to the first customers?

I developed this idea at W.L. Gore (GORE-TEX) when I had to prepare reports on marketing performance and customer satisfaction. I could not really summarise the needs of our customers. There were too many voices from different channels – I could not do it manually.

Of course I wanted to help our team and gain some reputation with our American colleagues but there was no software available to summarise the colloquial language in shops, blogs and other sources. After talking to IBM and Microsoft I discovered that AI works well to solve the problem, but it needs clean data and specific training sets. We built the first POC based on AI and could deliver some insights that helped to optimise the business. Of course we could not scale the software solution. So I had to transform and found my company to build the software completely new from scratch. After nearly three years we have now a scalable software product that is scalable and able to solve the problem with a very high quality.

4. How have you financed your startup? Any lessons would you like to share from the fund-raising journey?

We are completely self-financed to date. My lesson is that it is not easy to sell software-innovation to angels and VCs. Many times, they cannot really judge the value and scalability of the idea. Artificial Intelligence is a hype today and many investors do not have the skills to evaluate a tech stack. In general, startups need a lot of patience for fund-raising.

5. Which are the key trends and opportunities in (European) financial services?

For me, key trends are (still) data-driven services and personalised apps to drive customer satisfaction. In my opinion, especially in financial services there is a huge potential to use unstructured data (e.g. customer feedback) to optimise services in near time. This could be for instance an automated application process or self-service tools. The opportunity is to shape new services that are really customer centric instead of inside-out. This applies to insurances as well as to banks IMOH.

6. What’s on your bookshelf/ reading list?

At the moment, “The Challenger Sale” by Brent Adamson. Second, Yuval Hararis “Brief History of Humankind”. Furthermore you will find this years “Brand Eins” Edition on role models and in the end the “Decision Maker Playbook”.

7. Your favorite place for a coffee and/ or a drink?

In Corona times, it has to be my patio in the garden 🙂 Espresso and Gin Tonic is always fine with me. I love the Bar Centrale in Munich or Schumanns.