Germany is seen as one of the brightest hubs for startups in the world. It’s a nation renowned for its economic prowess, sustainability and efficiency, and the startup system is certainly booming. The country has numerous stand-out successes – to the extent that it’s hard to narrow them down. Names include the likes of SoundCloud, Zalando, Flixbus, and HelloFresh.
So why is Germany such a powerhouse? It benefits from its own network of digital hubs, there is a central focus on collaboration, and, there is access to a swathe of industry leaders and experts. With an impressive €19.7 billion invested into startups in 2021, the future of Germany’s startup scene is as exciting as Oktoberfest.
Due to the overwhelming extent of exciting startups in Germany, it’s been hard to narrow this list down to just 10 candidates. But we did it. This year we focused on exceptionally promising companies founded from 2019 to 2022.
MedKitDoc is a Berlin-based startup that was founded in 2020 with the goal to improve access to medical care, with elderly and chronically ill patients in mind. By combining the MedKitDoc app with a network of trained specialists and their ‘MedKit’, the startup is developing a new way of remote and timely consultations – the next generation of telemedicine that is easier, smarter, and more accessible. At the same time, local and family doctors can use the MedKitDoc platform to examine and treat more patients remotely, avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations. So far MedKitDoc has raised €9 million in funding, €7 million of which was at the end of 2021.
Hive is a Berlin-based startup that was founded in 2020 and is an all-in-one software operations solution to help companies manage their D2C brand throughout fulfilment. So far, Hive has raised €36 million to democratize access to e-commerce operations and use technology to enable D2C brands to run their operations on auto-pilot. Businesses can integrate their existing e-commerce stores with Hive’s own warehousing solution to get up and running. Hive takes care of inventory, orders, and returns from start to finish, providing everyone with peace of mind.
Klima is a Berlin-based climate app that was founded in 2019 and it allows users to calculate their carbon footprint, offset it by supporting verified climate projects, and live carbon-neutral. Klima is a sustainability-driven startup that has raised over €15 million for its mission to turn climate neutrality into a mass movement and unleash the power of individual action at scale. Klima’s offset portfolio combines natural, technological, and social solutions, for a holistic climate action that pushes green innovation. The startup offers a monthly personalized offset based on individual carbon footprint. Klima was also one of our climate tech startups to watch this year.
Marvel Fusion is a Munich-based fusion energy startup and has raised a total of €60 million in funding to accelerate the commercialization of fusion tech, overcoming some of the hurdles of producing clean energy at scale. Only founded in 2019, Marvel Fusion is developing a novel energy source that is based on laser-driven fusion. The fusion process releases large amounts of zero-carbon emission energy that can be converted into electricity – a timely innovation in the age of energy crises and climate change.
QUIN is a Berlin-based startup that lets people invest long-term with a simple, rational, and secure investment advice platform. It presents a new model that benefits from European Open Banking Regulations. All users need to do is connect the platform to their existing bank account and they can start investing. The app asks several questions and within a few taps automatically builds an individual portfolio of ETFs. QUIN was founded in 2020 and so far has raised €1.1 million.
Gorillas is a Berlin-based startup that was founded in 2020 to offer grocery deliveries within 10 minutes. Since then, the startup had grown to over 2000 employees and has raised around €1.1 billion. They’re on a mission to change the way we do groceries, delivering at retail prices. The Gorillas’ founders are convinced that grocery shopping has to be radically faster and far more convenient. The app lets customers choose from a wide selection of products including fresh fruits, dairy, vegan products, and cooled drinks. With a ‘unicorn’ valuation, it’s pretty clear Gorillas is one of Europe’s fastest-growing startups, not just in Germany. The unicorn company picked up €860 million in 2021.
Pliant is a Berlin-based startup that offers a flexible corporate credit card solution that focuses on seamless integrations into existing processes, alongside providing fully digital card management and cashback. Founded in 2020, the startup aims to offer customers an optimal solution through adopting a technology-first approach. The credit card solution can be combined with other SaaS offerings – namely in the areas of accounting, travel expense, and, invoice management. In doing so, pliant is pioneering a flexible credit card solution for companies. So far Piliant has raised €19 million.
Arive is a Munich-based startup that was founded in 2021 and its goal is to transform the delivery experience and improve the end-to-end shopping process for goods beyond the grocery market. With Arive, customers can shop products from categories like tech, self-care, beauty, fitness, and jewellery, with brands such as Apple, Bose, Lego, and Lululemon already listed on the site. Bringing a touch of luxury to the quick-delivery market, so far Arive has raised €24 million.
DANCE is a Berlin-based startup founded in 2020 with the goal of bringing its joyful, sustainable, and frictionless e-bike subscription service to the world. DANCE’s frictionless subscription model includes a fully assembled, state-of-the-art e-bike delivered to your door within 24 hours. As part of its all-inclusive services, maintenance and theft replacement insurance is included. Customers’ mobile devices become powerful digital bike dashboards through DANCE’s app, offering easily understood concierge services, GPS location tracking, and frictionless unlocking capabilities for worry-free ease of use. So far the startup has raised €37.4 million.
Gunzilla Games is a Berlin-based independent, innovative, and player-focused developer of AAA games. Founded in 2020, Gunzilla has raised €22.5 million and is on a mission to create a new generation of AAA shooters that tell amazing stories without sacrificing gameplay. The game will follow a story written by Richard K. Morgan and veteran video game writer Olivier Henriot. Both have worked on amazing productions such as Assassins Creed and Altered Carbon. The game is targeted for the Sony PlayStation 5 and the Microsoft Xbox Series X.
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