40 Berlin Tech Startups To Work For (or Follow) in 2019
Drawing on a massive talent pool from central and eastern Europe, the startup ecosystem in Berlin is further underpinned by cheap rent and relatively low cost of living in this thriving city. With Britain poised to leave the European Union, London’s status as number one startup city could be under threat from a second-ranked Berlin that’s entering a new phase led by design, art, music, and entrepreneurship. Here are some of the startups this vibrant metropolis has given rise to that we think are worth following in 2019.
Berlin Startups & Tech Companies
Berlin Fintech Tech Startups
N26 is an app-only bank with more than half-a-million users across Europe. In addition to the online bank account, it provides a debit card, international money transfer, investment services, and overdraft protection, along with cash withdrawal and deposits at selected outlets. It supports easy borrowing via your smartphone. Founded in 2013 by Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal, N26 has attracted $212.8 million USD through the Series C funding stage.
Providing its customers with free access to their credit rating scores, Bonify also assists its clients with financial services by showing them how to reduce interest charges. The free service allows customers to upload additional information into their portfolio for quick-access credit reports. Easy-to-use interface with transparent fees and secure encryption are at the core of their offering. Bonify was founded in 2015 by Andreas Bermig, Gamal Moukabary, Jan Ortmann and Josef Korte, and has raised €5.5 million EUR in Series A financing.
Since being founded in 2006 by Philipp Nieland and Tobias Schreyer, PPRO’s vision has been to simplify multicurrency cross-border transactions for payment partners, businesses, and consumers. PPRO partners with payment industry leaders like Visa and Mastercard, as well as e-money issuing programs. PPRO has raised $50 million USD in Series C funding.
Wundertax helps workers and expats submit their income tax declarations. This fintech startup also runs tailor-made tax platforms for various professions like military, police, firefighters, as well as apprentices and students in Germany. Wundertax was founded in 2015 by David Czaniecki and has raised €4 million EUR in Series A funding.
Berlin E-commerce Tech Startups
Coya was founded by startup veterans Andrew Shaw, Peter Hagen, and Sebastian Villarroel. Working directly with consumers and harnessing the power of AI, Coya’s goal is to fully digitize the industry and create products with simple, transparent, and personalized insurance coverage. Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Thiel is among those who have invested in Coya, which has attracted $40 million USD in Seed and Series A funding since its launch in 2017.
6. AUTO1 Group
With a 3,000-strong workforce in more than 30 countries and a stock of more than 40,000 cars, AUTO1 Group’s online car sales platform connects buyers and sellers for an effortless transaction, which is why AUTO1 Group has become Europe’s leading used car marketplace.
Watchmaster has created a digital platform for luxury watches–boasting discounts up to 30%–possible because they obtain their stock from private individuals and more than 1,800 retailers worldwide. Founded by Ronny Ahlswede, Ronny Lange and Stephan Heller in 2015, Watchmaster has raised $31.7 million USD in seven rounds of funding through Series C.
Helpling connects house cleaners and home owners for cleaning and other services. Customers can book a vetted and insured cleaner and the Helpling staff can manage when and where they want to work. Founded in 2012 by Benedikt Franke, Manar Alkassar, Philip Huffmann and Yeenteck Hoe, Helpling has attracted $72.7 million USD in funding in Series A, B, and C funding.
Juniqe takes eclectic art and prints it onto canvas, clothing, stationary, and accessories with the aim of making art affordable and available to everyone. Founded by Lea Lange, Marc Pohl and Sebastian Hasebrink, the online store is growing rapidly, selling its unique designs to 13 different countries across Europe. Juniqe and has raised funding of €20.7 million EUR in Seed, Angel, Series A and B funding since its inception in 2014.
Berlin Science and Technology Startups
AgTech startup PEAT aims to help farmers across the globe by providing advice on crop damage. Use a smartphone to take a picture of a damaged plant and the Plantix app determines the cause using image-recognition software, then advises on the treatment. The app recently passed the 100,000-user mark and receives between 2,000 and 5,000 images every day. Founded in Hanover in 2015, the company later relocated to Berlin. PEAT was founded by Bianca Kummer, Charlotte Schuhmann, Korbinian Hartberger, Pierre Munzel, Robert Strey and Simone Strey and has attracted €5.6 million EUR in two rounds of Seed and Series A funding.
Infarm is committed to reducing the environmental impact of farming by making food production in cities more self-sufficient. The firm’s indoor hydroponic growing systems are monitored and controlled centrally to ensure each growing environment is optimised. Infarm provides urban communities with fresh, nutritious produce grown from a modular system that can be used in restaurants, grocery stores, and in homes. Founded in 2012 by Erez Galonska and Guy Galonska, Infarm has earned more than $34 million USD in Grant, Seed and Series A funding.
Berlin EdTech and Employment Tech Startups
ResearchGate is a social media platform for scientists, where they give each other feedback and work collaboratively on projects. ResearchGate has become increasingly popular with scientists working in corporations. The professional network claims over 10 million users. Four rounds of funding (Series A through D) have netted the company over $87 million USD, with backers like Bill Gates. ResearchGate was founded by Horst Fickenscher, Ijad Madisch and Sören Hofmayer in 2008.
Morressier digitises academic conferences, allowing researchers to upload presentations onto the internet, engage with other delegates, and accelerate their breakthroughs. Thousands of academics and researchers have shared over 130,000 abstracts, posters, and presentations on the platform, facilitating a dialogue between industry, universities, and scientific institutions. Founded by Justus Weweler and Sami Benchekroun in 2014, Morressier has attracted $6.2 million USD in Seed and Series A funding.
Imagine capturing the essence of over 2,500 bestselling nonfiction books in 15-minute synopses or broadcasts for your mobile device. Blinkist’s app has done just that. Described as “a meaningful product on the rise” because of its positive educational impacts, Blinkist enables easy access to books that might otherwise take a lifetime to read. Founded by Holger Seim, Niklas Jansen, Sebastian Klein and Tobias Balling in 2012, Blinkist has received $34.8 million USD in five rounds of Seed and Series A through C funding.
Skoove is a music learning platform featuring “the world’s first interactive online piano lessons.” The app provides beginning and ‘return’ players real-time feedback, customised lessons, and will even adjust to your pace. Founded in 2014 by music technology veterans, Florian Plenge and Stephan Schulz, Skoove has raised €1.2 million EUR in early stage funding.
MoBerries is a data-driven hiring platform that uses AI technology to match applicants with companies. The platform now receives 10,000 applications a week and plans to build a process that can automatically screen applicants before the interview process. MoBerries was founded by Andre Zayarni, Mo Moubarak, and Terence Hielscher in 2015, and has earned €1.8 million EUR in a single round of venture funding (Series unknown).
Berlin Data Management & Mining Startups
Crate.io was founded in 2013 by Bernd Dorn, Christian Lutz and Jodok Batlogg. Winner of the 2014 TechCrunch Disrupt Europe award, Crate.io developed an open-source SQL database for storing and analyzing IoT (Internet of Things) and machine data in real time. Crate.io features a masterless architecture with auto-sharing and replication built on a distributed SQL DBMS with NoSQL storage and indexing to optimize and simplify the use of machine data. Crate.io has earned $17.9 million USD in four rounds of funding, including Seed, Angel, and Series A funds.
18. Dalia Research
Dalia Research specializes in real-time data research and distributes micro-surveys to consumers in more than 100 countries worldwide. These surveys reveal penetrating insights into consumer attitudes, public opinion, and market trends, helping businesses better understand their customers. Founded in 2013 by Fernando Guillen, Hanns-Christoph Leisewitz, and Nico Jaspers, Dalia Research has attracted $8.5 million USD in Seed and Series A financing.
ChartMogul is a graphical analytics platform for subscription-based (SaaS) businesses. Built on a secure cloud, the software calculates and displays subscription revenue and customer metrics in an easy-to-use dashboard to “unlock insights to your business.” Founded in 2014 by Nick Franklin, the business has raised $3.7 million USD in three rounds of funding.
SnapShot is a cloud-based platform that collects data from PMS (property management software), POS systems, website analytics, and other sources, and transforms it into usable structures. Designed for the hotel industry, SnapShot provides an easy-to-use API for over 6,000 branded hotels using 45 PMS systems. Founded in 2013 by David Turnbull and Michael Heinze, the company raised €26.6 million EUR in two rounds of Seed and Series B funding.
A telco-powered data intelligence platform, Zeotap brings together advertisers, publishers, and data owners to focus marketing strategies. Using only high-quality, privacy-complying customer data, the ISO-certified secured system “sources, refines, and distributes” customer information. Through its CRM (customer relationship management) and data quality auditing, Zeotap provides mobile advertisers with insights to connect with and target audiences. Founded in 2014 by Daniel Heer, Projjol Banerjea and Stephan Schwebe, Zeotap has attracted more than $21 million USD in Seed and Series A and B funding.
Camunda is an open-source platform that automates decision making and workflow processes, enabling large companies to scale their business while controlling operating costs. Their current clients include 24 Hour Fitness, AT&T, and Lufthansa Technik. Using workflow diagrams and decision-making tables, the software solution manages processes and helps businesses overcome the challenges of digital transformation. Founded in 2008 by Bernd Rücker and Jakob Freund, Camunda has been funded through Series A financing to the tune of €23 million EUR received in late 2018.
Quentic provides a software solution for HSE (health, safety, and the environment) and CSR (corporate social responsibility) aspects of large businesses. Quentic seamlessly connects company data from all areas to precisely and accurately monitor the company’s performance in sustainability management. Quentic has attracted $25.6 million USD, mostly from private equity funding since its founding in 2007 by Markus Becker.
Contentful provides the content infrastructure for projects of any size, making content accessible via APIs and a web app. Major companies including Lenovo, Spotify, Red Bull, and the British Museum organization are among those that use Contentful to author, manage and deliver digital content to any device and multiple platforms. Founded by Alexander Bruehl, Paolo Negri and Sascha Konietzke, Contentful has raised more than $78 million USD since its inception in 2013.
Founded by Till Faida, Tim Schumacher and Wladimir Palant in 2011, Eyeo develops open-source software with the help of an international community of volunteers. Over 300 million people use their AdBlock Plus software, the most popular add-on/extension of all time. Eyeo put users in control of the content they see online and builds software that encourages informative advertising and privacy protection. Eyeo opened its Berlin office in early 2016 when it welcomed Ex-Microsoft, Ex-Wunderlist Steffen Kiedel as CFO. No financial information was available at the time of this writing.
Berlin Logistics Tech Startups
Movinga has disrupted the moving market by automating processes and pooling resources to reduce costs. Movinga is a vertically integrated logistics system that has expanded its services to include setting up broadband and utility contracts for it clients. Movinga operates across Germany and France, and founders Bastian Knutzen and Chris Maslowski intend to expand the firm into more countries and into other services. Since its launch in 2015, Movinga has attracted funding of $92.9 million USD and is in late-stage Venture funding.
Founded in 2016, FreightHub ships cargo using a digital interface to manage its customer’s logistical needs. It offers an overview of the supply chain, stores shipment records for future use, and provides carrier quotes. Its tracking tool provides real-time location of goods, from port to delivery. FreightHub transfers goods between the Asia and Europe trade line. Founded by Erik Muttersbach, Fabian Heilemann, Ferry Heilemann, Michael Wax, FreightHub has earned $23 million USD in Seed and Series A funding.
Door2door is a sustainability focused startup with a mission to reduce the number of privately owned cars on the road. Its on-demand ride-pooling platform provides transportation solutions to rural areas, connecting riders to larger cities. The company hopes to keep countryside villages relevant and connected by reducing “rural flight” of young talent. Founded by Maxim Nohroudi and Tom Kirschbaum, door2door has attracted $26.7 million USD in four rounds of early stage Venture funding.
29. German Autolabs
Another startup in the rapidly evolving mobility and transportation space, German Autolabs has developed a digital assistant for your car. Combining AI, gesture control, and voice-command technology, its driving assistant fills the gap between fully-automated vehicles and existing technologies. Founded in 2016 by Holger G, Weiss and Patrick Weissert, the company has raised funding of more than €2 million EUR, including investment from Germany’s Ministry of Transport.
Blacklane is a driver services company whose website and app allow people to book a ride in more than 250 cities around the world. The company, founded by Frank Steuer and Jens Wohltorf in 2011, targets premium travelers in over 300 cities who require a quality travel experience. Chauffeurs typically use luxury vehicles, including top-end Mercedes, BMWs, Audis, or equivalents. Blacklane has attracted $82.5 million USD and is in late stage Venture funding.
GoEuro is a real-time booking platform for planes, cars, buses, and trains, connecting more than 500 travel providers in 12 Western European countries. GoEuro makes the traveler’s journey as convenient as possible by suggesting nearby airports and train routes, and provides average-journey travel times. Founded in 2012 by Naren Shaam, GoEuro has raised $296 million USD and is in late stage Venture funding.
Berlin Travel Tech Startups
Founded in 2009, GetYourGuide is used by millions of customers to book extraordinary experiences across the globe. In partnership with local agents, GetYourGuide claims to be the “authority on unique and unmissable things to do,” with priority treatment and “backstage-pass” style adventures—all with a gracious cancelation policy. Founders Jochen Mattes, Johannes Reck, Martin Sieber, Pascal Mathis, Tao Tao, Tobias Rein have been funded to the tune of $170.5 million USD with late stage Series D funding, bringing in $75 million USD in 2017.
Tourlane is an online booking platform for multi-day adventures in more than 30 countries worldwide. It creates unique and authentic travel experiences by matching travelers with pre-selected specialists who will book the perfect excursion based on destination, activities, or trip types (private drive, private guided tours, or group trips). Founded by Julian Stiefel and Julian Weselek in 2016, Tourlane has raised $34 million USD in Seed, Series A, and Series B funding.
Zizoo, or Zizooboats, is transforming the boat rental industry–estimated to be worth $38 billion USD. Zizoo features a digital booking platform with 21,000 vessels and over 500 destinations to choose from worldwide. They also provide charter companies with an inventory management tool. Zizoo’s aim is to make boating holidays affordable and accessible to everyone. The company was founded by Anna Banicevic, Benito Gonzalez del Valle, Ivan Miletic, and Sinan Masovic in 2014, and has raised $10.1 million USD in five rounds of funding.
Berlin Lifestyle and Wellbeing Startups
35. Ada Health
Ada has developed a “conversational health companion” app combining a powerful AI engine and an extensive medical-knowledge base built from the expertise of doctors, nurses, scientists, and medical practitioners to provide users with personalized medical insights and “next step” advice. Ada also aids its contributing doctors with decision support and access to patient histories. Founded by Claire Novorol, Daniel Nathrath and Martin Hirsch, Ada Health has attracted $69.3 million USD in Angel, Grants, and Series A funding since 2011.
Clue has developed an app to help women track their menstrual and fertility cycles. It predicts cycles based on global averages, but can be more specific if the user enters ovulation test data. The app has several million users. Founders Hans Raffauf, Ida Tin and Moritz von Buttlar have raised $29.7 million USD in eight rounds of funding.
Careship’s digital marketplace matches families with caregivers for the home-care needs of aging parents and grandparents. Their motto: “Careship stands for loving and reliable everyday support.” Founded by Antonia Albert and Nikolaus Albert in 2015, Careship recognizes that the changing demographics mean the number of care-dependent people will double by 2050. They have attracted $11.3 million USD in four rounds of funding through early stage Series B funds.
Audio and Visual Media Startups
Lofelt’s inaugural release is an audio-to-haptic watch with subwoofer that delivers bass sensations to the body. Lofelt hopes to bring high-definition haptics into daily life through consumer electronics, mobile devices, gaming, and VR/AR experiences. Founded in 2014 by Daniel Buttner and Gwydion ap Dafydd, the company has raised $6.7 million USD in funds, from crowdfunding to Series A financing.
Based on wave-field synthesis, Holoplot builds hardware and software products that push the boundaries of conventional 3D audio and speaker technology. Holoplot is at the cutting edge of audio systems, with a radical new approach to generating high-quality audio and sound consistency in wave-beaming technology that can target the individual level or specific locations in more challenging environments—“making every seat the best seat.” Founded in 2011, Holoplot went on to receive the SXSW Innovation Award in 2017, and has recently partnered with Madison Square Gardens to overhaul the live-entertainment venue sound system. No financial information was available at the time of this writing.
Through the use of AI and computer vision technology, EyeEm is a photography company providing a source of visual content–photos and videos–from more than 22 million photographers. Its free smartphone app allows you to edit and share photos, book a shoot, or search the extensive collection by items, themes, or categories. Since its founding in 2011 by Florian Meissner, Gen Sadakane, Lorenz Aschoff and Ramzi Rizk, EyeEm has attracted $24 million USD in five rounds of funding through Series B.