Xibit: Keeping founders in the driving seat.
Many of the industry players who can help young entrepreneurs set up a business in Germany either charge high hourly rates or demand equity for their time and effort. firma.de’s services are fixed-price because it’s a company for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs.
- With firma.de’s formation services Xibit’s founders were able to accelerate their company incorporation without relinquishing control or a chunk of their resources.
- firma.de supported Xibit’s founders to bootstrap their business to gain better footing for future negotiations with investors.
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Zakaria Jaiathe (Zak) and Abdeljalil Karam (Abdel), the co-founders of Xibit, met as Moroccan kindred spirits in Berlin. After enjoying much success in their respective international tech careers they were hungry for more than gainful employment could give them. They dedicated much of their spare time channelling their creative energies into various projects. After much experimentation, their creative chemistry eventually produced Xibit!
Xibit is an Augmented Reality B2B SaaS platform that turns event spaces into inspiring mixed-reality art experiences. Their technology uses digital art content, 3D sound, and intuitive hand interactions to tell extraordinary stories in ordinary spaces.
Pulling oneself up by the bootstraps
Zak, Xibit co-founder and CEO, has an inspiring origin story of turning up to a completely foreign country with virtually no money and out of sheer will and determination, he created an amazing life for himself. So when he and Abdel decided to start Xibit, it was only natural to bootstrap it’s set up. As a highly driven and resourceful person, if anyone could bootstrap a business Zak could. He dove headfirst into his mission leaving no stone unturned.
German bureaucracy is hard to beat
Zak had learned an important lesson early in his life: networks are powerful tools for getting you what you want. That’s why in the early days of Xibit he joined Factory – a co-working space that is home to Berlin’s strongest entrepreneurship community. Being part of Factory is not only a great way to network but is also a platform to crowdsource advice from people who have first-hand experience. Zakaria navigated his way through starting a business in Germany with a little help from people he met along the way.
Although Zak made incredible strides when it came to starting Xibit, there came a time when the bureaucracy got too tricky and he needed a partner to get him over the company incorporation finish line. This partner needed to not only be customer-centric and trustworthy but also cater to his needs as an international founder.
To find the perfect match he asked the Factory community for advice. It was through word of mouth that firma.de became a potential partner. On this recommendation, he reached out to Olivia – a fellow Factory member that also happened to be a firma.de team member. Although not in a customer-facing role, she was happy to give firma.de a human face and answer as many of Zak’s question as she could.
A helping hand that doesn’t make your sign your life away for
After deciding to take the leap and purchase a UG Express formation package, Xibit’s incorporation raced ahead. We handled the what, when and how of his company formation so he didn’t have to anymore. What’s more important is that we did so at a fixed-price. Zak didn’t have to pay billable hours or give up equity to get advice and guidance. For any early-stage startup, resources and cap tables are precious.
Zak soon discovered that being a firma.de customer means so much more than outsourcing bureaucratic admin. Olivia could see Xibit’s potential and so connected him with Christian, firma.de’s CTO, Vorstand and expert guide to the German business landscape. Christian is on a mission to help entrepreneurship in Germany flourish. He views entrepreneurship as a critical part of Germany’s future success as a nation. Thus, going above and beyond to help founders to succeed in Germany comes naturally to him.
Christian not only imbued Zak and his co-founder Abdel with some wisdom about doing business in Germany, but he also introduced them to interesting folk outside of the startup ecosystem (including a high-end auction house) that could help their business get ahead.
Darlings of the Berlin startup scene
Since Zak and Abdel got Xibit off the ground, things have been going from strength to strength. In fact, sometimes it seemed like ‘new week, new award’, including the coveted Rising Star award at the Beautiful Software Awards.
New blood is essential
Zak and Abdel represent why it’s so important to encourage and support international founders in Germany. What they are doing with Xibit is creative and inspiring and unique to the German startup scene. The more different kinds of companies in Germany the better because diversity is essential to the health of any ecosystem. It’s from diversity that innovation – the lifeblood of startup ecosystems – springs.