06 2019 | STORIES

 11Moritz Lechner, founder of Freebiebox

Growth Factor Online Cash

At just 15 years of age, Moritz Lechner is one of Austria's youngest entrepreneurs. His Freebiebox impressed three well-known investors on an Austrian TV show so much that they invested EUR 125,000. The fact that Lechner and his new team are integrating Paysafecash, the new payment method from paysafecard for e-commerce, shows how important innovative payment solutions, such as online cash, are for up-and-coming companies to reach new customer groups.

"I had the idea of the Freebiebox when I was 13," says Moritz Lechner, responding a little belatedly to an interview request, as he had homework to finish. "I then gave it some thought and finally decided: Just do it! You have no family and no children, what's the worst that can happen?" Statements like that are startling. At 15, shouldn't one be playing football, skateboarding, kissing a girl for the first time or playing games all night long in secret?



But Lechner always dreamed of being an entrepreneur. At 12, he wrote a letter to Marie-Helene Ametsreiter, a partner at Speedinvest, and got an internship at the venture capital company. At 13, he founded Freebiebox with EUR 100 of pocket money and sent his first packages from his bedroom. And at 14, he turned it into a limited company, even though that this is actually impossible in Austria at that age. Lechner is ambitious, he has ideas, he is eloquent and wants to design.

But what is the Freebiebox, actually? Customers can order a package online for EUR 25 which will contain high-quality marketing samples. Specially developed software selects it, matching the items exactly to the needs and preferences of the customer. Therefore, the customers need to fill out a corresponding questionnaire in advance. The benefit: they are surprised to receive items by post which they really want and for which they will save up to 70% of the retail price. The boxes may contain headphones, high-quality rubber boots, sunglasses, sweatshirts or USB sticks. The advantage for the companies who provide the marketing samples free of charge: by precisely matching items to target groups, they avoid wastage and can dispose of surplus marketing stocks. In addition, Freebieboxe buyers automatically become advertising media.



Young people are a particularly interesting target group for this business idea. They usually have limited resources from their pocket money and are very brand-conscious. In addition, many do not yet have a bank account. "I've known paysafecard forever," says Moritz Lechner, when asked about the brand awareness of the alternative prepaid payment method in his age group. "In particular, my gamer friends use paysafecard PINs routinely." So I was already aware from a very early age what potential this kind of payment option has to attract young target audiences." With Paysafecash, Lechner is expanding his customer base with yet another target group. His figures show that, for security reasons, many older people are reluctant to pay for the Freebiebox by credit card.

"We tested it for two months before integrating it and were very satisfied with the results," he says. And the integration itself? Was it difficult? "It's just a plug-in on our Wordpress page. So, no problem." Customers can now order the Freebiebox online, print out a voucher and pay in cash at their nearest Paysafecash payment point. For example, at a tobacconist's or a petrol station. If someone wants to pay for something online, this is the most secure of all the alternatives. For Lechner's new company, this also played a part in the decision to use Paysafecash. Because there are no chargebacks. When the money has been paid, it is received by Freebiebox and cannot be reversed.



The young entrepreneur and the innovative Paysafecash payment method are therefore a perfect match. "I also see that in the spirit of the people who work for Paysafecash," says Lechner. "They have the same startup mentality that we do." No wonder: the story of paysafecard began as a startup nearly 20 years ago. It just wasn't called that then. So what would Lechner advise paysafecard CEO Udo Müller today, speaking as one entrepreneur to another, from his still fresh perspective? "The joy of innovation in a company needs to be kept alive, otherwise it stagnates," he says, laughing, of course knowing that the whole Paysafe Group with its enormous portfolio is among the most innovative payment service providers in the sector.

Lechner himself still has great plans for the Freebiebox. With the new money from investors, he would like as his next step to conquer the whole German-speaking market. And then perhaps the world? Like paysafecard? "It would be a dream one day to run Freebiebox from an office in Silicon Valley," he says. "But that's still a long way to go. In any case, Freebiebox will certainly not be the last company that I set up." At age 15, he certainly has enough time to do so.