How German Logistics Startup NüWIEL Aims To Free Cities From Unnecessary Car Use

Published on:

German startup NÜWIEL is creating an eco-friendly and versatile solution for transporting goods such as furniture, construction materials, plants, and more. We spoke to co-founder Natalia Tomiyama to find out more about his startup's story.

Two years ago, three entrepreneurs joined forces with the common goal of changing cities. They wanted to create a more sustainable world by putting together all their superpowers. That’s how they came up with the idea of developing an e-powered cargo trailer for goods transportation in urban areas, NÜWIEL!

Some weeks ago, I had the chance to try out this amazing product at IKEA in Altona, Hamburg, Germany. I must say, I was impressed! It isn’t only easy to operate, but also resists a lot of weight and you won’t even feel it – you can drive it either with your bicycle or by foot. Natalia Tomiyama, co-founder of this innovative startup shares their story with us:

How would you describe NÜWIEL?

Fahad Khan, Sandro Rabbiosi and I founded NÜWIEL in 2016 in Hamburg, Germany, with the vision to free cities from unnecessary car use, noise and air pollution. To achieve this vision, we developed an e-powered cargo trailer for goods transportation in urban areas.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

NÜWIEL is more a vision than a dream. We had different reasons to start a company but share a common vision: to change cities.

Fahad is originally from Pakistan, where the need for clean mobility is very high and is motivated to bring such solutions to developing countries. Sandro is a father of four kids and wants to see them grow up in a healthy green environment. I am used to living in different cities around the world and always wanted to contribute to a more comfortable, flexible and sustainable way of living in big cities. So these were all good motivators to start NÜWIEL.

How German Logistics Startup NüWIEL Aims To Free Cities From Unnecessary Car Use

(c) Anne Gaertner

Did customers use the service like you imagined it in the beginning?

Yes. The very first idea of the trailer was a trailer for kids. We soon realized that the kids’ consumer market is quite competitive and highly risky to start with. That’s why we then shifted to package delivery.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

There are a lot of KPIs that help startups, including us, to measure their development. For a hardware startup, it is a bit easier: we see the progress physically. It used to be a 3D model, then a prototype and now we are building ready products.

Additionally, we developed a strong network of experts and cooperation partners that don’t let us get off track, and help us stay focused.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

Both. Luckily, we could get financial support from the government such as “EXIST Gründerstipendium” and InnoRampUp funding from the IFB Hamburg. NÜWIEL has also welcomed an angel investor last year and we are currently raising more funds.

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

Our goal is not to compete with other startups but to bring a robust solution that solves our customer’s problems to the market. By doing so we are constantly challenging ourselves to become better.

What do you look for in team members? And why would they join your team?

We see the diversity and complementary skills of our team members as our biggest strength. We welcome open-mildness, learning quickly, thinking outside the box and commitment. NÜWIEL brings seven nationalities together with 36% of females in the team.

We offer an opportunity to build a company that drives sustainability and efficiency as well as creates an impact on a global scale. At NÜWIEL, all voices are heard and equally important. Also, we love having lunch together – as we are an international team, there is always a lot of exciting non-work related topics to share.

In 7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

We started by addressing a problem of the last-mile delivery but our goal is to make our trailer accessible to anyone: businesses as well as private users. So in 7 years from now, there will be more trailers running in the streets and moving all sorts of things: from packages to beer cases, food and even kids. Each of us will be able to personally contribute to more sustainable and resilient cities.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

Keep going and always stay true to yourself.



Sharing is caring!