Lamudi, the Startup Bucking Germany’s Male Boss Trend

By Britta Meyer |

The atmosphere at Lamudi’s Berlin headquarters in Mitte is friendly, busy and highly focused, with bicycles leaning against the walls and the omnipresent clicking of keys. The original staff has grown from ten to over 70 people in only eight months, an increase so rapid that the early members can hardly keep up with getting to know every new face.

With a workforce that is more than half female, including an equal split in senior positions, Lamudi is bucking the current trend in German companies: in 2012, only 13 percent of supervisory boards and only 4 percent of the executive boards of the 200 biggest German companies were women.

So what is the Rocket Internet-backed startup doing differently when it comes to picking decision makers?

“I guess that Lamudi understands that there is another kind of leadership,” said product manager Katharina Hecht. “We are working and acting as a team rather than thinking inside hierarchical leadership positions. There are different ways to get to success.”

Malen Gomez, head of SEO, added: “There are not many differences within the company, between the titles as well as between the men and women.”

It seems to be working out. Lamudi is an online real estate marketplace founded in 2013, providing an innovative online solution for home-hunters to buy or rent and for agents to sell. It is currently available in 25 countries, including Algeria, Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania and Uganda. Additionally, Lamudi attracts around million visitors a month and boasts more than 200,000 listings globally.

And earlier this week, the company announced a €5 million funding round led by the German Tengelmann Group to boost its operations in Asia.

Katy Campbell, global communications director and head of PR, sees the high percentage of women as one of the reasons for this success. She said: “We are so many women here, in a tech company, which is still quite rare and which makes us all work hard, because we are all proud of being just that – women in tech.”

Like many successful young tech companies, Lamudi is expanding so rapidly that if you go away for two weeks, you almost don’t recognise your own office when you come back – and your first challenge on being hired might well be to find a chair that you can call your own. Sabine Tietze has built up the human resources department by herself from scratch after being hired in February.

According to the four female Lamudi heads, these challenges can also prove to be significant advantages – the necessity of creating a department from nothing means a chance to tailor it exactly to your requirements and not having to take over any outdated structures.

As Katharina Hecht puts it: “You can make it your work. It’s totally yours.”