Interview: 3 questions addressed to Matthias Spanic, Founder and CEO of scrappel GmbH
In the spring of this year, scrappel began as a digital marketplace for the recycling industry. In a desktop and mobile application resembling eBay, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger more than a traditional commercial platform, suppliers and purchasers of non-ferrous metals and scrap iron find and negotiate the best prices and supply quantities. We asked Matthias Spanic, Founder and CEO of scrappel how it was going with the digitization of commercial recycling.
As a marketing platform for recyclables, scrappel is breaking new ground in eCommerce – providing exciting connecting factors in B2B marketing. What makes scrappel so smart and special?
Matthias Spanic: While developing scrappel, we spoke with our potential customers and merchandisers to outline general requirements on the platform with them. The products and services which scrappel offers evolved as a result of these talks.
scrappel ensures that factors such as trust, security, and reliability are not only in the final evaluation between the trading partners but are already there when the trading partners register. Before the users start using the platform, they are verified with our partner IDnow via video ID. We map the analog process nearly 1:1 from the trading process itself to transport and the acceptance of the weighing certificate between the trading partners to the selection of finance and insurance products. At the same time, we augment it with products which are otherwise subject to various access requirements such as minimum sales. Consequently, we are accelerating the processes and ensuring transparency for all app users. We walk our partners through each process here and provide them with precisely the added values that they request.
Why was the choice made to implement the app on commercetools?
Matthias Spanic: We sought a partner who would provide us the option to be flexible and agile during the implementation process. Along with consultation, we also wanted to focus on a technology which we will also easily be able to provide to third parties and which we can easily integrate. We live by and love the idea of “API first” and are therefore confident in having found the right partner in commercetools. This decision has proven right so far. In addition to the technology which the platform provides, we also consider commercetools to be a sparring partner in developing the technology further.
You came onto the market very early with scrappel. Why did you go with a Minimal Marketable Product (MMP) from the beginning instead of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP*)? What are the advantages?
Matthias Spanic: More importantly, we entered the market at the right time. A marketplace is not an “off-the-peg” product. The actual processes of the users determine the development. From the beginning, we paid attention to customer surveys, what requests the users – that is, our customers – have and what requirements are essential for them. We developed the platform with our IT partner according to these requirements. By taking a look around the market, we wanted to distinguish ourselves from existing offers. That tipped the scales toward the “Minimal Marketable Product”.
*MVP is a product, which meets the minimum requirements and properties to enter the market. It provides the functions that are absolutely necessary in the shortest possible period (e.g. a landing page), then is released and refined using feedback from potential customers. As a result, investments are low and the financial risk is also low as a result. The MMP can be considered the output of the MVP. It has been enhanced with precisely the minimum value necessary to be successful on the test market. Generally speaking, it is considered the ideal procedure for lean-oriented startups in order to avoid unprofitable investments.