Founders Stories (eng)

Founders Stories #18: LOLOCO


The idea to found LOLOCO evolved in 2018 at the University of Cologne in the form of a final project. We, Fritz Fried, Malte Hendricks, Sebastian Kleinschmager and Malte Lantin developed a concept to give small, local retailers access to digital tools. As the semester was over, we decided to continue working on it because we were so excited about the vision. Now it was time to bring the project to the market.

Local retailers are no longer the only suppliers of the goods we need every day. There are many competitors and competitive pressures, including online direct sales models. But for us, local retail belongs in the pedestrian zone; it makes the public space attractive and vibrant. Retail offers customers, tourists and residents from the region places to meet and instills a sense of urbanity. It is not only socially, but also economically a great value to cities. It makes an important contribution to improving the economy of cities by paying taxes and securing jobs and training positions. We want this to continue in the future and therefore we support local retail with our company.

The LOLOCO platform works as simple as child’s play: Retailers register with us without any obligation and are added to our app as partners. As a result, they are now part of the local loyalty points system. When customers shop with our partners, they receive one LOLOCoin for every Euro spent. They can exchange these for vouchers within the LOLOCO app and convert them into great rewards on the spot. Moreover, with our help, retailers can analyze the anonymized purchasing behavior of customers and thus make suitable offers.

The LOLOCO team now consists of 12 people and is located in Cologne, Essen and Oberhausen. We are supported by the Gateway Excellence Startup Center of the University of Cologne with mentoring and office space. Other partners include the Future Champions Accelerator Rhein Ruhr, Smart City Cologne, and the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Also through the support of PACESETTER in the Vodafone Startup Program UPLIFT, we were able to scale our platform faster and meet many more founders from the republic. We look forward to the next steps in rolling out LOLOCO throughout NRW.