How we got to where we are
Our team at Zebra Embassy has been working in and on startups throughout our careers. We picked the name Zebra Embassy right at the beginning because of how well the Zebra movement reflects our individual values of integrity, innovation, people first, and adaptability.
But what is the Zebra movement? It is a startup term based on an essay from 2017 from Jennifer, Mara, Astrid & Aniyia. Most people are familiar with "unicorns": companies that are valued at one billion dollars or more. These businesses are characterized by exponential growth and market domination. Venture capitalists, who invest in these businesses, risk that 90% of these businesses who try will fail, and therefore their own business model demands that they only invest in companies that can potentially deliver an extraordinarily high return on investment. According to the essay, they need to push their startups to go for exponential growth at all costs. Anything else is irrelevant. This breeds an elbow society that leads to monopoly and unsustainable growth.
So, what are Zebras, then? To state the obvious: unlike unicorns, zebras are real. They are profitable and improve society. They won't sacrifice one for the other. Zebras are also mutualistic: by banding together in groups, they protect and preserve one another — their individual input results in stronger collective output. Zebra companies are built with peerless stamina and capital efficiency, withstanding that conditions allow them to survive.
We do not see this in black and white. Countless companies that we love could not exist without VC funding. So instead of bashing venture-financed businesses, we want to build an embassy and promote Zebra companies' values and tactics so there is more cooperation and win-win situations in the German startup ecosystem.
Our number one mantra within our company is “always be helpful,” which we continuously strive to do. We are determined to foster an environment that contradicts the toxic elbow society so often found in business and replaces it with innovation and collaboration.
We are excited to work with people who take great pride in their craft, whatever that craft may be, from building mobile apps to shooting rockets into space.
Furthermore, we love to work with diverse clients, and we are confident that by building the Zebra Embassy, we can assist in supporting the diversity and shaping of the German startup industry.
— Stefan, Matthias, Philipp and Pierre