Germany has one of the most vital startup scenes in Europe, and according to our annual research on startup cities, Berlin is actually Europe’s 2nd biggest startup hub, right after London. In the beginning of this year we took a close look at the German startup landscape with the goal to introduce you to 10 of the most promising early-stage startups that are worth paying attention to in 2018.
Given the large amount of exciting startups from Germany, it’s been hard to narrow this list down to just 10 candidates. But we did it. All of the companies we’re presenting you below entered the market within the last two years and each one of them has (at least in our view) a successful year ahead.
FreightHub aims to revolutionize international freight forwarding by digitizing processes, providing real-time insights and delivering transparency to its customers. The Berlin-based startup was founded in 2016 and is a full-service freight forwarder that offers global FCL, LCL and air transportation, and we’re driven by technology and supported by a team of experienced logistics specialists. FreightHub so far secured about $23 million in venture capital.
Finiata provides working capital financing for freelancers and SME’s over a fully automated data driven scoring technology, which provides same-day decision-making and liquidity. Founded in 2016 by experienced founders, Finiata’s vision is to become the leading European fintech company, by enabling freelancers and SME’s to reap the rewards of their hard work immediately, and celebrate instant payments of their invoices. The Berlin-based company already secured roughly €27 million in VC funding.
solarisBank is a tech company with a German banking license. The Berlin-based startup has built an API-accessible banking platform for the needs of the digital economy. Officially founded in 2016, the solarisBank platform enables digital businesses to create custom solutions for their unique financial needs. Together with its partners, solarisBank works towards the vision to boost the growth of the digital economy by offering payment services, banking services, and add-on services. So far, solarisBank was able to raise €38.5 million in venture capital.
Kontist believes freelancers will shape the future of work, challenging corporate structures, embracing individuality and building successful businesses. The FinTech startup Kontist aims to provide the banking services freelancers deserve. Kontist makes finances easy with paperless bank account opening, mobile banking and more. Officially founded in 2016, the Berlin-based startup already secured more than €2 million in seed funding.
InstaFreight is a B2B digital forwarding startup that works as a one-stop shop for road freight. The Berlin-based company targets commercial customers and offers them a click & buy experience with instant pricing and allows for a fast and convenient booking experience online. InstaFreight transports goods from a single pallet to a full truckload in Germany and across the European Union. FreightHub, which we mentioned in the beginning of this article, focuses on sea- & air freight. In November 2017, InstaFreight closed a €8 million see funding round.
Penta enables you to open a free business bank account online in minutes. The Berlin-based startup was founded in 2016 with the goal to make the lives of founders easier. Penta wants to help you spend less time banking and more time focusing on your business, so that you can scale quicker, acquire more customers and focus more on your team. So far there has been no publicly announced funding round closed by Penta.
Blickfeld: Digitization and autonomous machines require eyes and brains to navigate and operate. Munich-based Blickfeld develops revolutionary solutions, in particular light detection and ranging devices (LiDAR) to satisfy this need. Blickfeld LiDAR scanners combine highest performance and reliability in a small size and at low costs – made possible by our patent-pending silicon based technology. Founded in 2016, Blickfeld was already able to secure about $4.3 million in funding.
FinCompare is a Berlin-based fintech startup with the vision to become Europe’s leading financing platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Founded in 2016, the young company is using technology to offer small businesses and entrepreneurs a convenient one-stop destination for all their financing needs – enabling their clients to find, compare and close financing options from over 200 lenders. Supported by €2.5 million in funding, FinCompare plans to expand to Austria, Benelux, and France soon.
Moeco: Founded in 2017, Moeco is a decentralized platform designed to provide global IoT connectivity. Headquartered in Berlin and run by a truly international team, Moeco enhances the growth of the global IoT network coverage by bringing together vendors and users, gateway owners and devices. In November of 2017, Moeco secured $5 million in venture capital. The first city to launch Moeco is Dubai where the company partners up with Yzerchat, a popular messaging app in the United Arab Emirates, to deploy a platform as part of the smart-city solution in 2018.
e-bot7 is a Munich-based startup which integrates an AI layer into existing or custom CRM systems to increase the efficiency of customer service operations. Through AI technology based on historical support requests, e-bot7 can quickly and efficiently classify support queries, forward them to the right agents, and suggest the best answers to agents. This reduces average handling time by up to 50%. e-bot7 was founded in 2016 and has raised a 6-figure amount of funding so far.
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