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Mindfuel raises €3.75M seed funding to help businesses realise the value of their data

Image credit: Mindfuel

Mindfuel, a Munich-based data product management pioneer, has announced the close of a €3.75 million seed investment. The investment was led by Project A Ventures, who were joined by several angels. Having met with success in their home markets, Mindfuel will use the funding to expand, offering their platform in new markets across Europe.

TFN asked Mindfuel’s CEO and co-founder, Nadiem von Heydebrand, about the company, its product, and their plans.

A product born to stop data project failure

Mindfuel’s co-founders, Heydebrand and Max Keonnings, met on their first day at the Technical University Munich in 2008. Although their career paths diverged, with Heydebrand working in data and Keonnings becoming a product manager, they remained in touch.

However, it was not until 2020 that they began collaborating on Mindfuel. “We were frustrated by promising data projects often stalling,” Heydebrand said. “We sought to pioneer the idea of bringing the concepts of product management into the data world.”

The core idea was to change the way data was used. “The idea behind Mindfuel was driven by the fact that we wanted to build a company where people are ‘mindful’ when building data & AI-driven solutions,” Heydebrand says. For them, it represents a cultural shift in how data is handled, “in the world of data, a lot of initiatives are driven by short-term results and profits, while we believe building products that last for longer creates the most success.” It is the difference between short-term and long-term thinking that drives Mindfuel’s product. “Those who truly care about our future build data products which are sustainable, while the people always remain mindful,” Heydebrand added.

Creating value from data

Mindfuel seeks to integrate data into business. “Most major organisations today operate data units, led by a data executive, with the focus of leveraging data and AI to generate relevant insights to support business teams. However, these teams are managed purely as cost centres,” says Heydebrand. The Mindfuel approach reflects the partnership between the co-founders, bringing the data and the product together. “Data Product Management integrates best practices from product management into the discipline of data science,” is how Heydebrand summarises it.

At the core is Mindfuel’s product, Delight, which leverages AI to provide a clear view of a company’s data portfolio. “Delight strengthens the collaboration with these business teams, and gives every data initiative a lean business case, illustrates the ROI of the so-called data product, and provides a measurable business impact in dollars,” Heydebrand told us. “This way, data leaders can justify and report their value contribution to board-level executives, and transform from cost centres to profit centres.”

Although every organisation wants to create value from its data, most struggle because of the separation of that data from the rest of the business. Mindfuel’s Delight addresses that knowledge gap, giving data managers all the tools they need to demonstrate the ROI on data, and now it can contribute to wider business strategies and, ultimately, the bottom line.

The product offers a single view of all company-wide opportunities. In doing so, it provides complete data visibility, supporting collaboration, reducing costs, and supporting decision-making based on full understanding, rather than partial data and instincts.

“Creating measurable value from data and monetising it is at the top of mind for many data leaders in 2024,” said Dr. Florian Heinemann, General Partner at Project A Ventures, who has joined Mindfuel’s board. “Mindfuel drives this space and provides essential expertise to empower data leaders within their C-leadership role and board of directors.”

A proven product in the data space

Mindfuel’s SaaS is based on more than just the experience of their co-founders, though. They have been active in understanding the demands of their market.

As well as pioneering the field since Mindfuel was established, they have also been active researchers. With the data management becoming a business activity in its own right, Mindfuel’s team have been interviewing hundreds of data leaders to understand their needs, the problems they face, and also the dreams they have for their data.

It’s met with success in the DACH region, where businesses like Cornelsen, Vodafone, and HelloFresh all rely on Mindfuel and Delight to get the most from their data.

Heydebrand’s plan for the seed investment is to expand beyond their home markets, including launches in key European markets including the UK, Sweden, Netherlands, and Belgium, among others.

“This seed funding will mainly be used for expanding our sales and marketing efforts,” Heydebrand told us. “We’ve already crafted a roadmap for the next 12 months for our Delight-software, and we’re further refining this through close collaboration with existing customers, as well as through new trials.”

“We believe that Mindfuel will make the world a better place, thanks to our approach that enables more ‘traditional companies’ to focus on data initiatives that create outcomes, instead of just output,” says Heydebrand. He points to the high failure of rate of current data and AI initiatives, currently more than 80%. By reducing this, he says, both businesses and their customers will feel the benefit. “They will successfully launch more promising data-driven products and services, and consumers will experience new AI-driven products that ultimately make life easier, safer, and above all more Mindfuel.”

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