Otto Group Digital Solutions (OGDS) is the Corporate Company Builder of the Otto Group. We focus on establishing startups in the areas of e-commerce, logistics and fintech, with the goal of identifying and employing digital business models. Our strategy combines the innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit of the startup world with Otto Group assets to accelerate the growth and transformation of our portfolio companies.
“By focusing on establishing our own startups we are making a clear commitment to innovation in our core business instead of looking for quick profits. We are not only driving our own digitalization forward – we are bringing the digital solutions of the future to the market.“,
comments Frauke Mispagel, Executive Director Otto Group Digital Solutions.
A successful company always starts with an idea. To help identify ideas, we track global trends and changes in our B2B markets. After that, the new solutions are built in small, self-sufficient business units as part of a rapid prototyping process. This enables us to quickly and cost-effectively examine the potential of our ideas, both on the market and the product side. Because of the proximity to the Otto Group, our startups have the ability to develop prototypes and test solutions pragmatically in the market under real conditions. We use assets like sales channels, website reach and the Otto Group's logistics infrastructure as strategic leverage.
In the following growth phase, the company is spun off and the project becomes a registered company. The relationship with the Otto Group is useful here as well to develop partnerships. Additionally, the startups grow step-by-step, with new product features, sales structures and established KPIs. Thanks to the Otto Group's many years of experience, it is also possible to access a wide range of know-how in this area, guaranteeing the highest-quality standards for the family-owned group. As our portfolio companies can be load tested in the Otto Group before offering products and services to external customers, we can guarantee that they meet the highest standards of product quality and stability.
The startups continue to be managed by OGDS. As soon as they have sufficiently developed, they are either transferred to a Group company, remain with OGDS and are further grown, or are sold to external third-parties.
“We're meeting the challenges of the digital transformation with the advantages of a startup and the resources of the Otto Group's strategic assets. In contrast to external startups we can leverage the advantages of the Group's structure, yet still test our ideas quickly and massively accelerate the growth of the models we establish. This model gives us a clear competitive edge.“,
says Dr. Björn Schäfers, Executive Director Otto Group Digital Solutions.