Business, News

Being a founder heart and soul isn’t the easiest thing in the world…

As you may have heard, we had a very busy year at CouchCommerce. To cut a long story short: Stephan Schambach amalgamated CouchCommerce, GoodsCloud and the team from Pepperbill to become a new company called NewStore Inc., headquartered in Boston. Three start-ups became one, including a whole new management team. It sounds complicated and virtually impossible, but it worked out and NewStore is up and running. Who could and would have achieved something like this? Exactly, no one, except Stephan Schambach ;). The whole CouchCommerce team decided to embark on this journey together with him and the rest of the crew.



I co-founded CouchCommerce with the most amazing people you could imagine. And I’m not just referring to their brilliant skills, but their personalities and the way they shared the same values (and vision of course). But the best part of CouchCommerce was our team.


It was unique and I had the best time of my life so far – in every single way. At Couch there were less than 20 of us, all sharing the same values, vision, spirit and emotional intelligence with each other. I’m so proud of what we achieved – that every single “Couchie” worked hard on becoming (and most importantly, retaining the spirit of) this unique team over so many years. That’s what made it so special and we had a whale of a time.

Now, after one year, we’ve grown into a company of more than 100 employees, based at four different locations on two different continents, and that’s just the beginning.


Stephan will change the world once again. We’re so proud to be a part of it, because that’s what we wanted CouchCommerce to accomplish, to change the world and the way people shop :). We knew that things would change, but decided to go on this journey. It was (and still is) a once in a lifetime opportunity for the whole CouchCommerce team.

After six months at NewStore while I saw the team growing to more than 100 people I realized that despite all the new and exciting challenges I had to grapple with, I realised that no matter how hard I tried to fit myself into this new big enterprise that there wasn’t really a place for NewStore in my heart. I decided (and this was a decision I really wrestled with) to end this journey after more than nine months to found a new company. This time it was to be a smaller one ;).

VentureVilla (yippee!)


I co-founded VentureVilla with hannover innovation fonds GmbH.
VentureVilla is a seed accelerator for entrepreneurs and we provide tailored help, expertise, mentoring, partners, office space in our villa, our network and fair funding. We want to help other start-up teams to achieve the same things we fought so badly for over the past five years, but to avoid making the same mistakes we did ;).

Building a start-up, your own company, is the most exciting and fulfilling assignment in life (I haven’t got any kids yet, so I assume that building companies is one of the best things in life for now anyway :D). And we want to empower others to do so as well. VentureVilla’s goals are to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to make their dreams come true and to support them with working on their visions of changing the world and to solve their own and other people’s problems. We will not just fund startups, we will help you with your own needs in building the company other people would love to work for.

Datei_002.jpegI’m very excited and proud to announce our new company, based in Hanover, Germany. Over the last few weeks, we have worked so hard to build a unique project in Lower Saxony to provide a local alternative for all of these brilliant entrepreneurs we have around. If you don’t want to be in Berlin, Hamburg or Munich anymore, feel free to join us at our first VentureVilla in Hanover ;).

Visit our new website (still in the beta stage) to read more about our new project (only in German for the first weeks I’m afraid). If you would like to support our seed accelerator as a company, mentor or investor, I would be delighted if you reached out to me.

Thanks for reading my post 🙂

BTW: We created a video about our CouchCommerce journey and during production it became a farewell one. Watch it (1:30 mins) and find out the whole story behind our awesome start-up which is now NewStore – the only mobile retail platform. I wish my former team at NewStore all the best and I’m very grateful for all the experience I gained over the past year and the people I met!


Our CouchCommerce story ❤

Alexander Ringsdorff

In August 2011 I purchased from somebody in Texas for $688. The name somehow stuck with me after I was discussing with friends to potentially build an e-commerce system based on CouchDB database technology one day. But we did not really follow up after realising that raising the money needed to build an e-commerce system from scratch was quite impossible in Germany.

Later that year touch devices and especially the iPad began to get traction and the term Couch Commerce became a synonym for shopping with your tablet. Motivated by this trend I initiated a project in December 2011 which eventually became a proper Startup with a great team, €1,5m in seed-funding from great investors and even customer traction.

On our way of raising a Series A we were then confronted with a hard choice: the one person that everybody in the e-commerce industry knows because of his two successful IPOs…

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Farewell CouchCommerce

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