Qipp Lets Your Things Speak to You

Text by Kassandra Bucher

From time to time our bikes need new tires, our sofa a deep clean, our car new breaks, and our home a new oven. But how do we keep track of these things? Our bikes certainly won’t tell us that they need a tune up. Or would they?

And what about the hassles of home rental and property management? Leaky pipes but your landlord won’t get back to you? qipp, a startup that connects people with the things they care about, can help.

We asked qipp CEO and founder Stefan Zanetti to tell us how his helpful company and product has evolved since their first visit to swissnex San Francisco two years ago:

Q: Give us an overview what qipp does today.

A: qipp virtually equips every physical thing with a digital identity and supercharges them with digital services and communication capabilities. Our app enables e.g. your bike (or your sofa, car, or home) to present you all information regarding its maintenance, or it enables you to get connected to other owners of the same product.

Q: What have you been working on over the last two years?

A: We developed the software platform ALLTHINGS, we tested the market alongside in order to understand where the biggest impact may be generated. We’ve worked with brands such as Swisscom and Relish Guitars, a stealth startup company, the Mobiliar Insurance company and the sharing platform Fifty Fifty at the University of Basel just to mention a few partners.

Q: Have there been any surprising discoveries?

A: While we were able to proof that there are many fields of application for our technology during that test phase, we learned that the real estate market is a perfect target for a highly scaling set of functionalities. Our platform can make a tenants and a real estate manager’s life a lot more efficient by delivering digital apartment documentation, ticketing systems for repair and maintenance tasks, community functionalities to tenants and it can even visualize real time energy consumption data.

Q: Is that still an idea or did you already launch this project?

A: We successfully launched it! Together with the Swiss general contractor Losinger Marazzi AG we developed the first application for a for a sustainably remodeled neighborhood, the Erlenmatt area in Basel, Switzerland

The erlenapp, as we call it, connects the residents in the neighborhood and provides them with information about their flats, their apartment building, and their surroundings. It facilitates your everyday life and supports the development of a community.

Q: How exactly does that work?

A: It’s basically an application where you can communicate with your neighbors, but also with your landlord. Say you needed eggs or flour, you can easily check with the erlenapp to see if anyone in your neighborhood has some to share.

Furthermore, if something in your flat breaks, you simply report it in the app and it will directly be forwarded to your landlord. That way the property managers don’t have to stop by every time something breaks, but can quickly get the right person for the job to take care of it.

Q: What’s planned for your time here in San Francisco?

A: I’m focusing on two things: Firstly, I want to find out if there’s a potential for projects like the erlenapp in the housing market here in the US. Secondly, I want to meet up with possible partners to launch a first implementation project. So on the one hand it’s market research but on the other hand market development.

Q: Why did you return to swissnex San Francisco after this two-year gap?

A: The service swissnex and in particular swissnex San Francisco offer is unique and can’t be found anywhere else. Due to your vast network of contacts I am able to meet very knowledgeable people and market experts right from my very first day. I could’ve never organized such a dense and valuable program in such a short time without swissnex San Francisco.