The Story Behind AnyDesk
“If you want to see change, you have to take risks.”
Throwback: Stuttgart, 2012. Three young men work in a small 25 square meter office. They have an idea and a plan for how to make it happen. They exchanged the comfort of a regular job for 1,000€ a month and put everything on the line.
Those three men are Philipp Weiser, Andreas Mähler and Olaf Liebe, the three founders of AnyDesk. Their idea was to code a Remote Desktop Software that was better and faster than the programs that were already on the market.
“It was a risk,” Philipp Weiser remembers. “But if you want to see change, you have to take risks.”
From Idea to Success
A lot has happened since then, but let’s first rewind a bit and see how everything came about and what obstacles the three founders had to overcome in order for AnyDesk to become what it is today.
CEO Philipp Weiser has always been fascinated with the idea of connecting to a remote desktop. During his studies he had already published a Remote Access prototype as open source software. After getting hired as a developer for a large Remote Desktop company, he met his fellow founders Andreas Mähler and Olaf Liebe. In his daily work he noticed more and more improvements that could be made to the product. Most Remote Desktop Software solutions were unnecessarily overloaded and had too many complicated features that made the product quite expensive.
Philipp Weiser and his colleagues saw potential: “We knew there was a better way.” They planned for an improved code base and instead of creating an overloaded product, produced a light, fast, and affordable piece of software.
Their hard work and engagement payed off: In 2012 they received the support of a business angel who believed in the product as much as its creators. As a result, they took the leap and left their employer in order to realize their goal and create AnyDesk.
Two years later, in May 2014, the software was ready to be released.
“The time until the release was exciting and very demanding. Not only did all parts of the software have to come together perfectly, as a company, we also had to concentrate on the same goals,” Philipp Weiser explains. “It never would have worked if we weren’t a perfect team.”
Their dedication and passion seeped through into the product. Users liked AnyDesk and the software became a viral success simply by word of mouth. Financially speaking, AnyDesk has operated in the black since 2015.
From Start-up to Scale-up
A few years have passed since then. AnyDesk has now been downloaded more than 200 million times. The small start-up, made up of 3 founders, has turned into a company of 80 employees in Stuttgart and Berlin. AnyDesk has earned multiple awards, for example the Gründerszene award. Investors also help AnyDesk stay on course for further success.
Our software is used in all parts of the world, even Antarctica! The one thing that hasn’t changed since the beginning is the passion for the product. It is still our goal to provide a fast, light, and especially intuitive software.
What’s the next big goal? Philipp Weiser has the answer: “Reaching one billion downloads.”