15.10.2020 | News 20 Years IntraFind: From Start-up to Global Player with Smart Search Software
On October 20, 2020 IntraFind Software AG celebrates its 20th birthday. The former start-up company has long since become an established software vendor for enterprise search and AI-based applications. It has a US subsidiary and counts more than 1,000 companies and public authorities worldwide among its customers. IntraFind was founded by Franz Kögl and Bernhard Messer, who are still company owners and sole board directors. They have continuously built up the company - completely self-financed and without venture capital. Franz Kögl describes this as the "stonier way", because first of all profits had to be made in order to be able to continue investing.
"Unlike some start-ups financed with venture capital, we had to manage our business with care," explains Kögl. "That is still our guiding principle today and, looking back, it is also a reason why we still exist. Like so many others, we would probably have failed due to the hardly realizable return expectations of a venture capital provider".
To develop creative ideas into healthy software companies with long-term growth perspectives was typical for the Software-Campus Munich, where IntraFind was founded in 2000. The campus was run by Software Offensive Bayern, an initiative of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, and offered young entrepreneurs not only a place to stay but also coaching by experienced high-tech managers. Campus coach Franz Niedermaier, long-time managing director of Oracle Germany, was so convinced of IntraFind that he continued to support the company and became chairman of the supervisory board from 2006 to 2016.
The two-man team of Franz Kögl and Bernhard Messer has grown into a company with over 60 employees that offers solutions for efficient searching, finding and analyzing structured and unstructured information in all available internal and external data sources of a company. While the business of IntraFind was strongly project-driven in the beginning, the company has now been a recognized provider of software products for many years, with an international partner network and existing customers worldwide. These include Audi, BMW, Daimler, Rohde & Schwarz as well as the German Federal Armed Forces, but also the British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce PLC, the US health insurer Anthem and the space company Astra Space.
These customers analyze and search several billion documents with the IntraFind solutions. Already since 2005, long before the big hype of the last years, AI procedures have been helping in this process. They merge documents from different data sources and link them intelligently for comprehensive analyses so that users receive relevant results and can quickly recognize correlations. Not least thanks to these innovative technologies IntraFind is listed in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Insight Engines since 2019 - as the only German company.
"Much has changed in 20 years. In order to remain successful and continue to grow, we had to keep developing not only our products, but also the company, and adapt and scale both organizational structures and processes. We are definitely no longer a start-up but an established product manufacturer with long-standing existing customers, some of whom have been using our solutions for more than 15 years", explains Franz Kögl, CEO of IntraFind Software AG. "Even though we have grown from a one-man developer in the initial phase to a large international team of developers, the enthusiasm for new ideas and concepts is still the driving force that impels us to develop good and sustainable products", adds his fellow board member Bernhard Messer.