In the very same autumn that sees the launch of the first music file-sharing site, napster, with the whole world intoxicated by the new economy and the dot-com bubble, four students in Ulm decide that once their exams are over, they will set up their own business.
Just a few days after their finals, friends Axel Busch, Peter Förster, Roland Hötzl and Marc-Oliver Simon found the start-up TRANSPOREON. The name is derived from "transport" and the ancient Greek word emporeon or emporion (meaning "market place").
The already established TRANSPOREON solutions for transport assignment are complemented by a system for managing loading and unloading on the ramp. One of the first time slot management systems appears on the market.
Student Mark Zuckerberg launches a predecessor of Facebook.
The TICONTRACT platform for electronic logistics tendering is born of a customer project and becomes a spin-off of TRANSPOREON. The new platform's team relocates to Kempten in the Allgäu region of Germany. Author Tim O'Reilly writes an article in which he coins the term Web 2.0.
TRANSPOREON expands and successfully completes projects in Austria and Poland. This is followed one year later by the foundation of a subsidiary in Krakow to deal with business in Eastern Europe. Media speculation over the planned launch of a mobile phone by Apple intensifies.
The Group advances to become European market leader and is now active and enjoying success in the Benelux countries, France, Great Britain and Italy. The 70 staff celebrate being nominated for the Deutscher Gründerpreis award for entrepreneurship. In its first year, over 3.7 million iPhones are sold.
A new platform is created under the Group's umbrella in order to meet the specific requirements associated with incoming delivery management at retail warehouses and distribution centres. This time slot management spin-off is called MERCAREON.
The Internet phenomenon of the year is Twitter, with a monthly growth rate of 1400%.
The TRANSPOREON Group takes on its 150th member of staff, meaning it has more than doubled in size in three years. TICONTRACT is expanded to include Rate Management, whilst TRANSPOREON gains the new add-on for SAP. The first iPad is launched, seeing Apple revolutionise the market once again.
The company is honoured with a Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Award, being named the 27th fastest-growing technology company in Germany. International projects are carried out in the USA, Russia and China; an office is opened in Philadelphia.
Further steps towards globalisation follow: the TRANSPOREON Group has almost 250 employees and establishes offices and businesses in Singapore and Moscow. New functions offered by the TRANSPOREON platform aim to create transparency for consignees and to integrate transport documentation into the logistics process. Facebook passes the milestone of one billion users around the world.
TICONTRACT expands its portfolio to include freight invoice verification, a self-billing mode and benchmarking. TRANSPOREON develops its first app, enabling customers to now benefit from Mobile Order Management. The workforce doubles again within three years; the company continues to achieve double-figure turnover growth. Users can now be found in 80 different countries.
The MERCAREON platform extends its range of services to include a Reporting module for manufacturers supplying products to the retail sector. TICONTRACT really impresses with its combinatorial optimisation service, whilst TRANSPOREON moves towards telematics solutions and mobile services. According to market research company Gartner, by the end of the year, turnover for business "software as a service" used over the Internet will climb to 21.3 billion dollars worldwide.