After his graduation, Nicolas Reis was working for almost three years at The Active Network, one of the most successful software providers for online fundraising in the United States. He realised that in Europe and espacially in Germany, a similar range of software didn´t exist. In early 2009, Nicolas went back to Germany. With him he brought the idea to enhance the german fundraising market with interactive fundraising solutions.
He hold many talks about his idea to his long-term friend Andreas Jagdhuber, who had worked at several consultancies. Thereby they hit on the plan to set up their own company together.
Yet, they still needed an IT expert for the bring the idea to life. “The biggest challenge was to find someone who had excellent programming skills and was also willing to support our project as a co-founder,” Nicolas remembers. After a long search they found someone like that in Stefan Grothkopp, an experienced computer scientist.
The founding team was complete. They reworked their business plan, including the support of UnternehmerTUM, and have successfully applied for the EXIST Business Start-up Grant at the Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences. In March 2010 they officially founded the Altruja GmbH with a first office in the LMU Entrepreneurship Center.
The next step was to find investors – neither an easy task. “We had to talk to many different Investors, before we found someone, who shared our passion to unleash the potential of online fundraising in Europe,” said Nicolas. “At this time we travelled through whole Germany and even Switzerland and presented our idea over and over again.” In the end, Nicolas, Andreas and Stefan were successful with their search. The Munich Business AngelsFalk Strascheg, Dr. Hellmut Kirchner und Dr. Manfred Ferber agreed to support Altruja. Additional funds came from High-Tech-Gründerfonds and Bayern Kapital.
Finally, it was possible to get started. The first successful months were followed by tremendous growth. At the end of 2010, the Altruja team moved into new and larger offices in the heart of Munich. By now, the number of employees has risen to twelve Altrujas.
The range of products broadens constantly. Since September 2011 there has been a focus on the processing of online donation campaigns for companies, in addition to solutions for online fundraising and facebook donation apps. Other projects are already under development.
It remains exciting here at Altruja!