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Hamburg-based company develops viral games for smartphones

Hamburg-based company develops viral games for smartphones


Hamburg’s AppLike company is currently skyrocketing: the company started as a two-man team, now the founders Jonas Thiemann (30) and Carlo Szelinsky (34) about 100 employees and celebrate a great success with the game “CatEscape”.

AppLike was started in 2016 in cooperation with Gruner + Jahr. Each of the three subsidiaries of the software company has its own task: “Justdice” suggests additional applications to Android users around the world to perfectly customize the use of their smartphones. “Adjoe” helps other companies to advertise.

Finally, the subsidiary “Sunday” develops and publishes games for smartphones. In late 2020, the game hit “CatEscape” was a huge hit in the US and climbed to the top of the American game charts.

The Hamburg game “CatEscape” at the top of the charts

A success that at first could not be foreseen. Thiemann and Szelinsky met during their studies at a business plan contest and came up with the idea of ​​creating a coupon platform.

“We learned to appreciate each other because we have very different strengths, and then we ended up in a team,” says Thiemann. In the end, the two won the contest and in 2015 they decided to found their first company coPAY from this small project.

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In 2016, however, the coPAY coupon platform went bankrupt. But none of them let that put them off.

Applike: the founder’s first project went bankrupt

“Just because coPAY didn’t work doesn’t mean it can’t work at all,” Thiemann is sure. In 2016, he and Szelinsky became partners and investors again, and AppLike was launched.

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Szelinsky says the two of them took the time to understand why things weren’t going so well beforehand. It quickly became clear that AppLike needed a smart business model that fully reflected the strengths of both. This was not the case for coPAY.

Hamburg-based AppLike: First Disappointment, Then Success

Thiemann says the size AppLike has assumed today is still unimaginable. In 2019 the company had a turnover of almost 50 million euros and became a holding company in 2020. The company now has around 100 employees in Hamburg.

“Today we can reach more than 100 million people around the world with AppLike,” explains the founder. For your Hamburg company to have such a wide reach is a great idea.

Hamburg-based software developer Applike: 100 employees

Employees come from more than 30 countries. There is an environment of values ​​in which all cultures can find space in one place. Her grandmother always taught her tolerance and open-mindedness, says Thiemann. Grandma thinks this union is unbelievably cool, “even if she doesn’t really understand how the individual products work,” she says.

“We are very interested in the desire to keep our feet on the ground,” adds Szelinsky. “Everyone can achieve something with us. I think our friends think the company is great. “

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The startup should continue to run as it does now. “This is a great task that we want to continue for the next 20 years,” Thiemann said.