Our goal is to find solutions for the decentralised and highly modular work environment of the future. Through investments, consulting and by incubating amazing companies, we participate in the creation of products that empower creative people to concentrate on their ideas. We believe this is possible by providing the tools necessary to optimise their workflows and connect them with the right people and service providers so others can take care of the stuff that gets in the way. The ultimate long term vision is to cultivate a portfolio of interoperable tools that give freelancers, start-ups and small businesses better possibilities than what is currently available in closed environments within big businesses, while also offering established companies the advantages of opening up and optimising their inter-company processes. This mix will allow anyone to go from an idea to a business at an accelerated pace without sacrificing flexibility and innovative potential.
This level of sophistication coupled with fluid networks and transorganizational services will drive a new generation of companies that will fundamentally define the future of work. Creativity is the ultimate resource and our focus is to build the environment to exploit it.
Starting in 2016, 533 will focus on projects that decentralise vital infrastructure creating smart systems that aims to be a model for a sustainable society.
In the year 2000, Ricardo Ferrer Rivero founded the 533design collective in Caracas, Venezuela to better serve his freelance clients. This lead, at the age of 18, to the incorporation of the 533 Group, C.A., his first company. Shortly thereafter he moved to Hannover, Germany to pursue his studies in Business Informatics. Inspired by the writings of Ricardo Semler, he experimented with the design of an utopian company by trying to answer the question: "What kind of company would I like to work for for the rest of my life?". Different criteria had to be met; the intention was to create a platform where freedom and flexibility were valued above all, and to address the problem of staying innovative while growing as a company. In order to realise this vision, he created an ambitious plan and founded 533 Group GmbH in 2008 with Christoph Zimmermann as Managing Director, after recieving funding from family and friends.
While digging deeper into the idea we realised quickly, that large amounts of funding would be needed to pursue the plan as previously thought. For this reason, we then deconstructed the plan and started to approach every single problem as a separate entity. With this new approach it would be possible to join teams and create products that solved a particular problem while each could have it's own brand and business model. These solutions aligned to the greater 533 vision would allow us to pursue our goals without having to do everything at once. After some experimentation with other projects, we ended up incubating in 2010 the "Edelstall Coworking Project" within 533 Group GmbH. The motivation was to solve the problem of flexible office space for 533 and for other like-minded individuals.
533 AG was founded in 2012 with the sole purpose of joining forces with tape.io GmbH in order to finish creating, to run and to improve "doctape", a cloud storage and conversion service. Later 533 AG was restructured to serve as investment vehicle for all 533-related projects and 533 Group GmbH morphed into Edelstall GmbH shortly thereafter.
In September 2014, doctape was acquired by Atlassian and Ricardo Ferrer Rivero returned to 533 AG as Chairman of the Executive Board. 533 AG is now focusing on improving its investment structure so that various projects can be incubated and invested in simultaneously. In August 2014, through a cooperation with Multi-Media-Management GmbH, Hartmut A. Borchers, its Managing Director, joined the executive board of 533 AG. He is now in charge of the business unit for finance applications. All these changes and many more to come are bringing 533 everyday closer to its original vision.