Meet Celonis, Munich’s first unicorn
Technologist: How did you come up with the idea?
Bastian Nominacher: Our company was founded on the campus of the Technical University of Munich. As part of a research project, Alex Rinke, Martin Klenk and I analysed a set of process data and found that the available analytical methods could not provide the required findings. The theoretical approach known as “process mining”, researched at the Technical University of Eindhoven, appeared to be suitable, so it seemed obvious to develop the first software for companies. The results of the first applications were phenomenal, and we were able to quickly win the first customers.
T: How did you succeed in working with big companies?
B.N.: The first and most important step to success is gaining customers’ trust. With Bayerischer Rundfunk [the Bavarian public-service radio and television broadcaster], we had a well-known customer who was enthusiastic about the results – improving their customer-service response times. This initial success attracted other large companies, and we were able to quickly expand our customer base. The high return on investment of our solution certainly helped a lot. Now Celonis has more than 400 clients across 22 industries – including Swiss robotics company ABB, railway operator Deutsche Bahn and consultancy Deloitte.
T: Now that you’re a unicorn, the first for TUM, what’s next?
B.N.: First and foremost, we’ll keep innovating and delivering additional value and services to our customers. We’re determined to not only meet but exceed their expectations. Another focus is spreading into new markets as we’ve done with North America and the opening of our New York office. Our clear ambition is to make our software available to customers all over the world.