Flashback: Stuttgart, 2012. Three young men work in a small 25-square-meter office. They have an idea and a plan to turn this idea into something more. They have traded the comfort of a permanent position for 1,000€ gross per month and thus put all their eggs in one basket.
These men are Philipp Weiser, Andreas Mähler and Olaf Liebe, the three founders of AnyDesk. Their idea at the time was to program remote desktop software that was better and faster than the programs that already existed on the market.
"It was a risk," Philipp Weiser recalls. "But if you want to change things, you have to take risks."
From the idea to success
A lot has happened since then. But let's rewind time a little further and take a look at how it all came about, what obstacles there were, and how AnyDesk became what it is today.
AnyDesk's CEO Philipp Weiser has always been fascinated by the possibility of connecting to remote desktops, and while still a student he released his first remote access prototype as open source software. After being hired as a developer at a large remote desktop company, he met his later teammates Andreas Mähler and Olaf Liebe there. In his daily work, he kept noticing things that could be improved. He discovered how unnecessarily overloaded most remote desktop softwares were with their many complicated features, which made the product correspondingly expensive.
Philipp Weiser and his colleagues saw potential: "We knew there was a better way." They planned to improve the code base and turn the cluttered product into lightweight, fast, and inexpensive software.
The first hurdle loomed: The three fell on deaf ears with their employer. But that didn't stop them from developing DeskRT in their spare time - the codec that AnyDesk is known for today and that is at the heart of the software.
Their work and dedication paid off: in 2012, they received the support of a business angel who believed in the project just as much as Weiser, Mähler and Liebe. And so they took the big step and left their employer to implement their ideas themselves and create AnyDesk.
Two years later, in May 2014, more hurdles were overcome and the software was ready for release.
"The time leading up to the release of AnyDesk was extremely exciting and demanding. Not only did the individual parts of the software have to work together perfectly. We, the company itself, also had to focus together on the same goals," explains Philipp Weiser. "This would never have worked if we hadn't been a well-coordinated team."
And indeed, the founders' passion seeps through into the product. People like AnyDesk, and word of mouth is helping the software achieve viral success. Financially, AnyDesk has been in the black since 2015.
From start-up to scale-up
A few years have passed since then, and AnyDesk has now been downloaded more than 200 million times. A small start-up consisting of the three founders has become a company with over 80 employees in Stuttgart and Berlin. AnyDesk has since received several awards, such as the Gründerszene Award. Investors help keep AnyDesk on the road to success. Our software is used in all parts of the world, even in Antarctica! What has remained is the passion for the product. Still our big goal is to offer a software that is fast, lightweight and remains easy and intuitive to use.
What is the next big goal now? Philipp Weiser has the answer: "To reach one billion downloads one day."
Apply and be there live
In this special edition of the Speaker Series - From Idea to Successful Startup on 11.11.2021 you will have the opportunity to listen to the speakers in a small exclusive setting, live on site in the ARENA2036 and ask your questions directly and get answers.
If you want to be part of it, apply and write a short email with the subject "Speaker Series - Kamingespräch" to Melanie Minderjahn. Tell us your name and whether you are a student, scientist, founder or startup enthusiast. If you are included, you will receive a message with the invitation from us.