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Gehgassi: We founded at the right place at the right time

Source: sheconomy

Foundation on four paws? Yes, you heard right. It was Pumba, a mongrel dog, who provided the initial spark for the gehgassi app for dog owners. Sophie Zimmermann and Kilian Wirl's app has been online since November and already has 10,000 users.

When Sophie couldn't find anyone to look after Pumba at home during her trip in June 2021, the idea for gehgassi was born. "We researched the market in the DACH region and, with over 8,000,000 dog households, it quickly became clear that there was a huge demand, there was very little competition in this form and the pandemic also played into our hands," explains Sophie Zimmermann. Because it was precisely during the pandemic that many people acquired a four-legged friend. "Digitalization was driven forward massively during this time, and we also benefited from this. We set up in the right place at the right time," says Zimmermann.

Tinder and Uber

The aim of the app is simple: to bring dog sitters and dog owners together - whether for a walk or longer care. "The app is a mixture of Tinder and Uber for dogs," explains Zimmermann. The dog walkers set their own fee, usually between ten and 15 euros. In addition, gehgassi cooperates with non-profit organizations that offer free services to senior citizens. For Zimmermann, the focus is on the well-being of the dog: "Many dog owners underestimate the amount of time they have to spend with dogs, which is where gehgassi comes in and can help if you have less time for your beloved four-legged friend due to work, health or other reasons".

With tech2b at your side

The founding duo recently received support from the Upper Austrian start-up incubator tech2b. They got to know each other at Bits and Pretzels in Munich. Zimmermann: "We benefit greatly from the mentoring provided by tech2b. Our mentor has extensive experience and together we are strategically planning the next steps." tech2b's network of investors, users and companies is also a big plus. ""tech2b's training programs make an important contribution to our start-up. We receive great support through workshops on topics such as finance, marketing and roadmaps," explains the founder.

All-round view

But how does the business model actually work? "We earn money by taking a 10% commission for each service booked," explains Zimmermann. We also generate revenue through advertising from affiliate customers in the pet sector, such as dog-friendly hotels, food manufacturers and suppliers of dog accessories. Companies also have the opportunity to offer the gehgassi app as a corporate benefit by purchasing gehgassi vouchers and distributing them to their employees with dogs. The app has been online for seven months and already has over 10,000 users. "This is a great success for us and shows the trust of the users and the successful use of the app for booking walks, submitting reviews and sharing information," says Zimmermann. Another major advantage is that bookings are processed directly in the app, which gives users a comprehensive overview. To ensure security, all walkers must complete an identity and background check and upload an ID document. Zimmermann: "Our app therefore offers a complete solution for dog owners and allows them to concentrate on the essentials: looking after their dog."


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