German startup ecosystem, diluting the oxymoron

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Ahoy Allemagne. Earlier this month I touched down in Germany at Pirate Summit and Startup Night. First impressions of the German startup scene raised the bar high but did this meet my expectations?

Startup success stories are increasing in Germany, where VC tech funding stood at $578 million in 2013. Last year this increased over two fold at $1.28 billion. In comparison UK tech firms grew 78 percent to a total of $1.6 billion. Despite the manifest differences, the number of successful exits for founders in Germany is on the rise. In the first quarter of 2015 Germany had 30 exits, double that of Israel, Spain and Britain.

Berlin, the startup mecca locally known as Silicon Allee is notorious for giving birth to startups every twenty minutes. Combined with the influence of ‘big brother’ Rocket Internet, Silicon Allee is one to watch out for. Rocket Internet backed, Delivery Hero secured the largest startup investment round of 2014, exceeding $500 million. In a bid for world domination through a series of acquisitions Delivery Hero’s growth strategy seems to be paying off. Now valued over $3 billion. As the tech scene continues to thrive, Rocket Internet’s impact remains indisputable.

The limelight is also on Germany for exits. Recently the infamous exit of 6Wunderkinder to Microsoft for $100 – $200 million raised more questions than applause. Tech.eu reported an average exit in 2014 of €641 million. Approx a fifth of what 6Wunderkinder was allegedly sold for. However a deal closed, is a deal worth celebrating. As German exits continue to outshine their neighbours in the face of limited investment, Germany could soon be crowned the startup destination for Europe. For instance Berlin’s low costs, tight knit startup community, leverage of local superstars Zalando, SoundCloud and Rocket Internet fast forward the right environment for startups to excel.

In conclusion, Germany you definitely exceeded my expectations. Until next time.