Its mission is as challenging as it is clear. Arc wants to reshape and improve the interaction between technology and the user. Starting with the Arc Pulse, a premium phone case that optimally protects the iPhone and, above all, preserves the elegant design and feel of the smartphone.
It has long been a thorn in Moritz Angermann's side. Of course, he enjoys every day all the opportunities technology offers him. Indeed, he lives and breathes technology. Not for nothing had he come from Germany to Groningen to study Artificial Intelligence at the RUG. But what bothers Moritz is that the technology itself is too often the focus and the interaction with the user is quite often forgotten. 'I really like the design of my iPhone, for example,' he says. 'The device is also comfortable to hold.
Unfortunately, all those nice features disappear as soon as you put a case on it. Phone case manufacturers logically want to provide the best protection against scratches and drops. Hence, they make the cases, mostly made of all kinds of plastic material, heavy and thick. And so your iPhone also becomes heavier and thicker and suddenly there is nothing left of the elegant look and feel. Whatever model you have, the case makes them all look alike. That, of course, is a mortal sin and, above all, unnecessary.'
Moritz thought it was time to reshape the interaction between technology and the ultimate user. In his student room in Groningen, he began designing products to make using his smartphone and computer easier and more enjoyable. One of those products was, of course, a phone case. A case that not only offered good protection, but also allowed the phone to remain visible and tangible in all its glory. 'The people around me were so enthusiastic that they asked if I would also make one for them,' Moritz looks back. 'Then I thought: if so many people want this, maybe I should start marketing it. Shortly thereafter, in March 2020, I founded Arc together with Tom Theuer and Niclas Bertelsen, two good German friends whom I met while studying Artificial Intelligence. So a start-up that focuses on improving the interaction between humans and technology.'
The best materials
Slowly the premium phone case, called the Arc Pulse, was perfected more and more by Moritz, Tom and Niclas. This turned out to be more difficult than previously thought. The biggest challenge lay in finding the best materials to make the Arc Pulse meet all the desired features. Because yes, the case had to have virtually no thickness or weight. And it had to protect the smartphone optimally, of course. 'That protection is not an end in itself for us,' Moritz emphasizes. 'That's just a basic requirement. In the end, we found the right materials in the German automotive and aerospace industry, including titanium grade 5, aluminum 7075 and elastomer. It resulted in a case that meets all the specifications we envisioned from the beginning. The Arc Pulse has a minimalist design, is easy to place on the iPhone due to its slide-on fit and gives the front, sides, back and camera lenses the best possible protection.
Investor Readiness Program
To successfully market the now patented Arc Pulse and enable the company to develop even more products, investors were obviously needed. Easier said than done, especially for brand new and inexperienced entrepreneurs like Moritz, Tom and Niclas. Much changed after they made a pitch at VentureLab North, where Flinc was also on the panel. At Flinc, they were impressed, especially when they heard about the successful crowdfunding campaign Arc had launched.
For them, enough reason to alert the men to the Investor Readiness Program, a program that helps innovative start-ups come to the table well-prepared with financiers. 'That has brought us a lot,' Moritz argues. 'Among other things, the program helped us perfect our business case, sharpen the pitch deck and financial backing, and get all the relevant documents in order. At the same time, we gained access to Flinc's extensive network and they put us in touch with Jeroen Bos of the Groningen ICT company Bossers and Cnossen, a potential investor.'
Immediately enthusiastic, Jeroen was not. The Arc Pulse looks nice, he could see that. But still: a case for the IPhone, there are hundreds of those already, right? Not interesting enough, he thought. Until he showed the Arc Pulse to the owner of a start-up in which Dataconfetti Investments, Bossers & Cnossen's investment vehicle, had invested some two years ago. Unbelievable, how fantastically conceived and made this case is in technical terms, his response was.
'Then I had them come over anyway,' Jeroen smiles. 'As an investor you then look mainly at the product, the business model and the team. With Arc, I immediately saw that the whole picture was right. In the way they presented themselves and consulted with each other, how Moritz thinks things up, Tom looks at organizational aspects and finances, and the way Niclas wants to do marketing. It only fell into place for me when I saw the product combined with the team. That is why we decided to invest in Arc with Dataconfetti Investments and support them in things we claim to know, such as logistics, sales, HR, financial administration and legal matters. Since then, they have also moved into an office with us.
In addition to Dataconfetti Investments, Sander Prinsen and RUG Ventures are also investing in the Groningen start-up. It has allowed Arc to gain momentum to develop other products as well. For example, the next ambitious project, aimed at improving human-computer interaction, will start soon. Work is currently underway on the large-scale production of the Arc Pulse. The cases have already been available for the iPhone 12 for some time and will also be available for the iPhone 13 from the end of October 2021. 'A large number of people in our network have already been using the Arc Pulse,' Moritz explains. 'The reactions have been exclusively positive. Expectations are therefore high, especially given the many pre-orders.
Arc well on its way
The team demonstrates not only complementarity, but also execution power. That inspires confidence. This in combination with the patent obtained and the support of the business angels that have joined, make Arc's potential great! We are proud to have been able to contribute through our Investor Readiness Program to the path towards investors for Arc.
In this white paper:
- What challenges do you face and how do you deal with them?
- Becoming investor ready in four steps!
- An overview of all funding options
Please note that this whitepaper is only available in Dutch at the moment. We are in the process of translating this whitepaper.