Behind the Scenes with Scayle Super-Entrepreneur Tarek Müller
Tarek Müller

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What does it take to make a startup endure? Success in the global digital marketplace does not come easily or overnight to most entrepreneurs. In fact, 90 percent of tech startups never make it. But then there are those few rarefied visionaries who come along and see the world differently, have the confidence and talent to make innovation more than a cliché, and are relentless strategists with a persistent belief in possibilities. And this is the story of Scayle’s visionary co-founder. His narrative transcends conventional Silicon Valley stories; rather, it reflects the influential and persuasive capabilities of a true innovator who, through sheer tenacity and robust business insight, can revolutionize an industry.

Design of click icon with hand cursor. Hand is pushing the button e1710958397982Listen to Tarek, Robin, and Shelley on our Retail Unwrapped Podcast.


Müller says that succeeding in the German market equips one to thrive anywhere, particularly when it comes to ecommerce. He attributes this to the German market’s complexity, high return rates, intense competition, and frugal consumer behavior. Expressing his views on the U.S. digital marketplace, Müller candidly says there is a perceived lag in comparison to their German counterparts, emphasizing the absence of marketplace and hybrid models, personalization, technological proficiency, and breakthroughs in social media and smartphone domains.

Origin Story

Born in Hamburg, Germany, to an Egyptian mother and a German father, Tarek Müller has consistently demonstrated a pragmatic and calculated approach to risk-taking. His entrepreneurial journey has been impressive: Müller started his first internet project at the age of 13, registered his initial company at 15, and launched his first online shop at 16. By the age of 18, he had amassed over €1 million in revenue from his ecommerce ventures, already surpassing generations of digital pioneers with a wealth of experiential wisdom.

Connecting Threads

Müller explains the pathway to success involves foresight and connecting macro trends shaping the future marketplace. These insights include the exponential surge in mobile phone usage, particularly in emerging economies skipping landlines; the demands of next-gen digital natives from generations Y, Z, and Alpha who seek personalized experiences; the perennial desire for self-expression through fashion; and the prevalence of data-driven decision-making. Müller seamlessly integrates these threads, building a Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) business with a diversified portfolio, complemented by a Business-to-Business (B2B) solution, marking his latest foray into digital commerce.


In 2014, Müller, along with Hannes Wiese, an experienced management expert, and Sebastian Betz, a prodigy entrepreneur who founded his first Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company at age 15, established the holding company About You. Their vision aimed to digitize the traditional offline shopping experience into a digital marketplace. Müller underscores the strategic intention behind this vision, explaining that a significant portion of fashion expenditures occurs impulsively, creating an opportunity for discovery. This insight catalyzed the transformation of the online shopping experience, culminating in AboutYou which generates €5 billion yearly and has become the second largest and fastest growing European online clothing retailer today, competing with industry giants such as Amazon, Zalando, and Otto Group.

Innovation and Practicality

According to Müller, in challenging the digital marketplace giants, he required engineering an ideal smartphone app, providing inspiring content to consumers, and facilitating personalization for more than 45 million unique monthly active users across the European Union. That’s almost 10 percent of the population in the EU. This overarching concept, while formidable, also demands the development of a scalable B2B tech solution, adopting a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model for retailers. Müller developed this dual-market approach so that D2C brands are provided with B2B infrastructure encompassing technology, logistics, customer service, and online marketing.

Scayle, a B2B SaaS tool, is Müller’s solution to facilitate the digital fashion stroll, and serves as the technological backbone for large enterprise fashion and apparel retailers, empowering their online shops in areas such as product management, pricing, promotions, and payments.

Global Markets

Müller says that succeeding in the German market equips one to thrive anywhere, particularly when it comes to ecommerce. He attributes this to the German market’s complexity, high return rates, intense competition, and frugal consumer behavior.

Müller is also candid about the digital marketplace in the U.S. “When conversing with U.S. companies — and with the exception of Amazon and some other well-developed ecommerce companies — a noticeable gap emerges for a lot of online retailers and online brands because they lack a marketplace model, a hybrid approach, personalization, and essential technological skills. Their proficiency in areas such as social media, smartphone technology, and inspirational strategies is notably underdeveloped, resembling our position five years ago.” Müller has set his sights on the U.S. market to accelerate the customer marketplace experience.

Müller Unplugged

Müller is self-admittedly an “open book.” He is inspired to “build something great, with impact on society and economy,” which requires “finding the right balance between taking risks and securing what you have built.” As with all entrepreneurs working to achieve their dreams, Müller says, “finding the right team members is hard. But once you have hired really good people, working alongside them is the most fulfilling.” Success comes from “building a system that scales. Running a small business is as hard as running a large business. So, it’s better in the long run to let your business become large.” Not that his next act is happening anytime soon, Müller admits that “In my startup afterlife and the second half of my life, I envision working on social and non-profit activities to optimize not only P&L but the impact it has on society.”

To learn more about Müller’s remarkable business journey, tune into Robin and Shelley’s conversation with him on TRR’s Retail Unwrapped podcast on Friday, March 15th – available on demand.



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