Marco and Simon started their careers at the renowned hotel price comparison site, trivago, where they first met in 2010.
Simon was part of business operations for three years, as the company grew to over 500 people and was acquired by Expedia.
Pursued by a company in Hamburg, he seized the opportunity for a new challenge at Dreamlines cruises. He built the French market up from scratch and oversaw the development of 50 people who generated a turnover of 15 million in just two years. Taking on the executive role of Head of International Operations, he duplicated this success in Italy, Netherlands, Russia and Brazil. Four years later, 500 employees and a turnover of €100 million, Simon made his dream of living in the south of France a reality, with a move to Biarritz.
He only enjoyed the sun and surf for a brief period of time before he was headhunted by Dreamlines investors to spearhead operations for Zizoo, a marketplace for boat rentals, located in Berlin. He played a key role in securing six and a half million euros investment and hired 60 people. Among those he recruited was Marco Schache.
Marco, a UX designer and product owner, was among the first 50 trivago employees. His eight years of supervising product development, delivering innovative concepts and championing conversion optimisation saw him contribute no small share to trivago’s success, as they transformed into a NASDAQ company with 1500 employees.
After relocating to his hometown Berlin, Marco began consulting for startups, including Craft.co and ampido, before being reunited with Simon at Zizoo. Bringing the product into a state of the art conversion machine through product tests and analytics, Marco pushed Zizoo through to the next phase in their plans to be the Airbnb of boats.
From a glass of wine to the future of real estate
Over the course of some time and a few bottles of wine, Marco and Simon bonded over their desire to apply their synergy of expertise to a different industry. They were struck by their shared difficulties viewing properties online. The portals bombarded them with ads for furniture, mortgages and internet contracts, and did not provide English translations of the property details.
After months of market research, interviews and competitor analysis, they learned that most portals operated on the same business model, and had become very expensive due to the monopoly they had on their respective markets. Many real estate agencies were dependent on them or locked into long-term advertising contracts. The industry needed disrupting.
Govesta was born out of the need for a platform which allows property hunters to find their dream home with ease, regardless of their location and their destination. Likewise, it would provide real estate agents with a place to showcase their wares with flexibility and control over their customers and advertising costs.