First with competitive sports, later as an entrepreneur, CURE’s co-founder Manuel Aberle was constantly on the move, regularly commuting back and forth between his native Germany and Hong Kong before the pandemic.
Things are progressing rapidly at CURE. Ever since the first financing round, which Manuel Aberle and co-founder Ali El-Ali were able to raise within two weeks. Then the subsequent Series A financing round, in which a total of 15 million euros was raised - among the investors were well-known names such as Breega.
Speed is in the former competitive swimmer Manuel's blood. German championships, world championships, he swam everywhere until he hung up his swimming goggles in 2006. "That's what ultimately got me to where I am. Without that, I would never have become self-employed or an entrepreneur because I would never have dared."
Competitive sports have shaped him in discipline, perseverance, and focus. Qualities that also benefit one in entrepreneurship. Ultimately, he says, that is the key to success: not giving up. And success is what CURE is all about.
Manuel Aberle generally wants to move away from "delivery": "Of course we deliver, and that was also the first idea of CURE, but in the long term, we are not a delivery service for medicines." The declared goal is to build a connected health platform.
"That means that CURE helps end-to-end so that you, as a customer, don't have to leave your home to get to the doctor or the pharmacy. That includes delivery, of course - but that's the last mile." CURE will integrate telehealth platforms and expand its business model in the coming months.
His e-scooters, e-bikes, and co. on the road delight Manuel to this day
Manu founded his first company in 2015. Under the name Big Trend Limited, he was one of the first to launch the then-novel "electric mobility devices" in Europe. The company produces and sells hoverboards, e-scooters, e-bikes, and co.
The opening of a European branch brought Aberle from the main office in Hong Kong to Berlin in 2018. At this time, he was a road runner, commuting between Hong Kong and Munich every month for five years. Since Aberle was intensively involved in trade and production, he traveled extensively through China.
He appreciates the many experiences in Asia and is glad to be back in Europe now: "That was a great time, but then at 39, it also feels good to return to my country."
From e-mobility to healthcare platform
The e-mobility industry, and Aberle's company with it, have also been hit hard by Corona and the problems that come with it. At some point, the idea matures in Aberle to get out and do something new. What could be more natural than the healthcare industry? Around the same time, Aberle met El-Ali, who also worked in the e-mobility sector, and hit it off immediately.
"Then, when we met one night, we saw all the quick commerce riders delivering food and groceries and wondered why no one was doing that for medicines."
Even though healthcare and pharmaceuticals aren't the most accessible industry to enter, that motivated him: "It's an industry where pretty little has changed in recent years. Many things are slowly going digital, but none has yet arrived."
Manu's motivation is, therefore, to modernize this area and thus also simplify it for the end customer.
Expanding the pharmacy customer base with CURE
"For us, the pharmacy is the headquarters; these are our partners," he explains. Above all, Aberle and El-Ali want to modernize the sector. "We can bring customers to pharmacies they would never reach otherwise."
That's especially true for young customers, who today would rather not have a regular pharmacy. Becoming more modern today means, above all, becoming digital. And CURE helps with that: "Individual pharmacies usually don't have the opportunity to do large-scale marketing and advertising to be found. There are too many for that, and it's expensive. We can help them become more digital with the platform."
Also, on the road as founders themselves.
CURE founders are the perfect match. Even though Aberle could conquer his shyness through competitive sports, at CURE is Ali that makes the pitches and will later be on stage somewhere.
For Manu, the office and the interaction with the team are his worlds. He doesn't take himself too seriously as a leader. His motto is to always communicate with his team at eye level. In concrete terms, he says, this means sitting in the office "in a glass box like this, and anyone who wants to come can come in every day."
Despite all their differences, Aberle and El-Ali understand each other blindly on an entrepreneurial level: "It's often funny. Of course, we discuss everything, but on most things, we already know beforehand that we agree anyway."
At the beginning of CURE, Aberle delivered orders himself as a rider. Soon, El-Ali and he will return to their bikes to try order stacking and see how many deliveries they can make in an hour without "running around the city like a maniac." They want a feel for what it's like to be on the road with four deliveries in your backpack.
After all, starting and running a business doesn't happen exclusively in the office; sometimes, you must hit the road.