Startup News from Germany – Summer


House Keeping:

This is the last news podcast before the summer break. We will be back with more interviews, new formats and even live streams in September.

Our recent publications:



Of course, the big news in the last 6 weeks has been the Brexit. Many cities are fighting for the businesses, banks and startups leaving the UK. We collected articles for on the topic:



We found news on two hubs, Frankfurt and another one, which may have escaped your sight, the lovely city of Heidelberg.


is home to the 2nd oldest university in Europe (approx 400 years older than Harvard), home to a world class medical school. This also draws in biotech companies, tech startups and centers like the German Cancer research center. Don’t forget the proximity to software giant SAP and cities like Stuttgart or even Frankfurt (35 minutes by high speed train). “5 Reasons to build your startup in Heidelberg instead of Berlin (Ger)”


Best Startups of Frankfurt University, thanks to their incubator called Unibator (Ger)

Accelerator Frankfurt, you can apply now! As a startup in fintech, cybersecurity or a web based startup



Frankfurt based fintech savedroid AG closes 1mn € seed funding and releases its beta version for micro savings is the startup Chris is talking about, while discussin the news.


Uber‘s 62.5 bn US$ valuation makes only sense, if it becomes a monopoly and this will fail
Uber also raises its first loan of $1.15 bn


This is how travel portal Travelcircus had a rocket like launch (Ger)


Fintech superstar Number26 goes through a phase of heavy scrutinizing right now. They claimed to have “Europe’s most modern bank account” and they wanted to do everything in finance differently, yet now they took some of it back


And a look at the solar industry: There’s company “Sonnen“, now really getting more and more into the US market


We also had rumors, which turned out to be untrue: Media reported that Alipay wanted to buy a 25% stake in Munich based Wirecard payments provider 


Half a year is over and this may be the first time to look back. For this we use the collection of the most important venture capital investments the blog and we only see two rocket startups in the top 11. This is quite surprising, since the rocket startups used to be the list (zalando, delivery hero, …). Times are changing?
(Article was changed since we based our news on it)

* SoundCloud (100 mn + 32 mn US$)

* eGym (45 mn US$)

* Number26 (40 mn US$)

* (33 mn Euro)

* Spotcap (31,5 mn Euro) – Rocket Startup

* Celonis (27,5 mn US$)

* SnapShot (25 Millionen)

* Movinga (25 mn US$)

* Thermondo (23,5 mn Euro)

* tado (20 mn Euro)

* Home24 (20 mn Euro) – Rocket Startup


Startup Competitions

You can now apply for the wards handed out by Google, McKinsey and Rocket

You can apply now to the Euro Finance Tech Award, which will be handed over at the Euro Finance Tech in November this year in Frankfurt


Know-how for those with vision

Interview with Pleo – Pioneers Festival winner of the Challenge Day

Niccolo Perra & Jeppe Rindom Pleo Co-Founders

As a media partners at the Pioneer Festival in Vienna we are happy to share with you our talk with the winner of the Challenge Day – Pleo Startup. Pleo decentralises company spending, eliminates expense reports and reimbursements and simplifies bookkeeping. Jeppe, co-founder of Pleo, told us about his startup idea, shared his experience in fintech, gave some prognoses that can hit the financial institutions! Moreover, Jeppe told us about his days at the Pioneer’s Festival and what could you experience there. Stay tuned and listen to our podcast! – Learn more about the Pioneer’s Festival – Here you can learn more about Pleo startup and get a beta version

Interview with Startup Weekend Mittelhessen

On the 20th-22 th of May Maria from visited Startup Weekend Mittelhessen which took place in Giessen. We talked to Martin Lacroix – the main organiser of the event and asked him about the development of the startup scene in Mittelhessen. If you are interested to see a video interview with one of the participant, head off to  and you will learn there about some ideas that were worked at by the participants of the event.

RoadTrip – goes #SXSW S1, E7 – Lengoo


“ Roadtrip” is our new show about startups on the road. What do they do at conferences? How do they find investors? What are their tricks for the perfect pitch? We interview the founders, they tell us how they network und chill and you as listeners get great recommendations about how to up your outreach game as a founder.

In our first season, we feature startups at one of the coolest tech conferences in the world, South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. This episode we talk with Lengoo, a company provides translation services by matching your translation needs with the best bilingual translators possible.

Learn more about that at

Startup news from Germany – May 2016


House Keeping

We have for you an interview in German with Swiss serial entrepreneur Peter Ohnemus. He had his first company with 14, and sold companies to the likes of Thompson Reuters and Sybase. He is introducing the listeners in German to his health care startup Decadoo The Interview was part of our media partnership with Health 2.0 in Barcelona this month

Roadtrip Startupradio goes #SXSW

New interview with a food startup from Frankfurt, Lizza who claims to made Pizza healthy

Frankfurt Entrepreneurs Award live stream and video in German, you can see it here in Youtube. Out of 37 applications, three startups were awarded prices. Number two and three taken by FinTech:

  1. Mobileeee who offers a car sharing at the airport
  2. Creditshelf, who helps their client get the best credit offers
  3. Ginmon, a new robo advisor

Finally, we have also been live with the periscope app at the Big Data Meetup here in Frankfurt, which you can replay here


The funding to the new media formats Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Space startups shot up by 44%, totaling $3.5B in equity financings in 2015, over a record 254 deals writes research provider CB Insights

There is a great overview put together by the magazine t3n of the largest marketplaces for e commerce from a retailer’s perspective. If you are a startup looking to sell your product in Germany online you should pay attention

A Berlin investor has the UK tech startups, that in case of a Brexit the EU funding will dry up. We remember from one of the last epidosded, that Berlin was one of the most important sources of VC in Europe


Once again there was a lot going on in Frankfurt recently. No other hub got so much attention here and we have just some news here for you:

Fraport, the company running the Frankfurt Airport will hold it’s first “Frankfurt Airport Innovation Challenge”

Frankfurt is also now a hotspot for FinTechs. Not only are there a lot of FinTech startups springing up, but also are there many, already listed here. Just two examples of the developments last month:

  • MyBuck, an African micro lender want to IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Unfortunately the mood on Cap Markets have not been good and therefore the plans have been called off shortly before the date of listing
  • Swiss payment service Cashcloud has already been listed in Frankfurt, but now the stock price went into free fall after there have been bad news in questionable research reports

The RheinMain area is a hidden gem in the global gaming industry. Just some links here:


Amazon has now started the Launchpad in Germany, where the company helps startups to sell their B2C products and competes with the likes of Kickstarter

German banks backed payment service Paydirekt wants to expand in Europe, even though the penetration in the German home market is quite low. Obviously they understood that payments are a numbers game. Lets see if it is going to get traction in Germany and worry about everything else later

Rocket Internet, the news podcast is never complete without them. Last month brought more bad news for them:

Dropbox is here, we mean in Germany. They opened the first office in Hamburg last month

The Munich based media group ProSiebenSat.1, which is a very active investor in German and international Startups now completely takes over the digital fashion market place Stylight, at a valuation of 80 million euros. ProSiebenSat.1 was an investor in the company since December 2012

We found a good wrap up of the Google I/O 2016, by The Verge, boiling down the event to just 10 minutes as a Youtube video

Berin based online magazine put together a list of the top 100 female founders in Europe. You can download their issues on their website as a PDF.

Startup Competitions and Innovation Challenges:

Fraport, the Frankfurt based Airport Operator

The public German Health Insurer AOK

The CODE_n16 startup competition

Knowhow for those with vision

VCs calculate valuations different from entrepreneurs. Lear here how

German overview of insurtech startups

Some would agree: Blockchain is over-hyped, but it can stil be part of the solution

Stanford Social Innovation Review proposes a new digital currency for sustainable development

Bill Gates appears to think that the fintech startup bKash will revolutionize banking for the poor

We all know bootstrapping is sexy, here are 5 startups who made it big, the sexy way

A cool article giving you an inside perspective on #Palantir, likely Silicon Valley’s most secretive company

Pratical knowledge on how you should calculate customer lifetime value?

We all knew it kinda before, but now it is official: Fundraising is a numbers game

TED’s secret to great public speaking, of course includes also great public pitiching

Fintech and the Evolving Landscape – Here we get a few points for a potential industry structure

Just be very careful about startup metrics, since a misunderstanding of them could cost you your job

Keep one thing always in mind, for delegation to work, it has to come with coaching

RoadTrip – goes #SXSW S1, E6 – Cat Medic

roadtrip Roadtrip is our new show about startups on the road. What do they do at conferences? How do they find investors? What are their tricks for the perfect pitch? We interview the founders, they tell us how they network und chill and you as listeners get great recommendations about how to up your outreach game as a founder.

In our first season, we’ll feature startups at one of the coolest tech conferences in the world, the South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. This episode we talk with Cat Medic, a company that provides 3D models of the human body in animation, illustration and apps – basically you can walk through your own body with them.

Learn more about that at

RoadTrip – goes #SXSW S1, E5 – DataLion

roadtrip Roadtrip is our new show about startups on the road. What do they do at conferences? How do they find investors? What are their tricks for the perfect pitch? We interview the founders and they tell us how they network und chill. You as listeners get great recommendations about how to up your outreach game as a founder.

In our first season, we’ll feature startups at one of the coolest tech conferences in the world, the South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Each week, we are talking with one German company who presented itself there. This episode we look at DataLion, a company that wants to make your Excel sheets look prettier. They offer visualization of Marketing- and Business-Intelligence-Data.

Learn more about that at


Our Sponsor for the Roadtrip to SXSW is Capco Connect.

Is Pizza Healthy? – Yes! Says Lizza – Reinventing the Food


“On Saturday 4 am in the morning we got back home, all sweating, Marc was scratching the burn from the oven with smoke all over his face. I said him  – “Look Marc, where your St.Gallen degrees got you.” Story that Matthias Kramer is telling us about his friend and co-founder of Lizza – Marc Schlegel. “It was shit, but it was fun” adds he. Today’s podcast is about startup Lizza, whose product is a super healthy dough. Probably you will think, there is nothing to invent in food industry, everything is already invented, people are eating thousands and thousands years. But no, this time it is not the case.





RoadTrip – goes #SXSW S1, E4 – Konstrukt 3

podcast-startup-news-europe Roadtrip is our new show about startups on the road.  What do they do at conferences? How do they find investors? What are their tricks for the perfect pitch? We interview the founders and they tell us how they network und chill. You as listeners get great recommendations about how to up your outreach game as a founder.

This episode we look at Konstrukt 3, a company that uses the mega trend Virtual Reality for visualizing construction and engineering in 3D so that colleagues and clients can easier understand what will be built.

Learn more about that at


Our Sponsor for the Roadtrip to SXSW is Capco Connect.

Startup news from Germany – April 2016


Recorded on April 26th 2016


House Keeping:

Our new format: Roadtrip went live


We have two new Episodes of our Roadtrip to SXSW online


We also have an additional interview for you with CoModule, who produces the Android for LEV (electric scooters and bycicles), as well as an autonomous bycicle. Interview with CoModule:




 There is right now a bit of a hangover in the VC / Funding market.

One hint is the article from CB Insights (a US bases research company) “Party’s Over: $100M+ Mega-Rounds And Unicorn Creation Slow To A Crawl“.  We also found the investment behemoth US based Fidelity wrote down the value of corporate software startups discovered by Bloomberg. This includes corrections of values reflected in Fidelity accounting of startups like Dropbox, Cloudflare, Airbnb and Pinterest And finally Thomas Tunguz who himself is a VC at US headquartered based Redpoint Capital, writes “2016 is off to a slower start than 2015” and more about the investment trends in VC markets , (here is our tweet


Also Bitcoin is at an important point in its development, we could see a split in the near future. The main argument seems to be if it stays a crypto currency or if it becomes a ledger for transactions (focusing on the blockchain). One important point is the size of the transaction record, the so called block. Learn more here:

  •  Splitting of  Bitcoin (Video)  500+ Bitcoin Classic Nodes: The Fork That  Finally Could?
  •  Why #Bitcoin’s Block Size Debate is a Proxy War – CoinDesk #Payments vs #settlement






Admittedly a bit late to the game, but now Frankfurt is really gaining speed in the development towards a startup hub, with a focus on FinTechs.

Just some examples:


  • Amazon reportedly considering purchase of German airport Frankfurt Hahn. This airport is in the middle of Europe, even though it is 120 km away from Frankfurt


  • Deutsche bank integrates several Fintech offerings and headquarters it’s the core for the FinTech cooperation the so called “digital factory” in Frankfurt
  • The German Stock Exchange (Deutsche Börse) operator of Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the largest central counterparty for derivatives in the world, DAX, Stoxx and Xetra, as well as FX platform 360T now established a FinTech hub in Frankfurt. There is a nice video now available on YouTube. It is in German, but you can still get a good impression of the very nice place:
  • Another month, another accelerator. This time it is someone you would have never expected: The German Book Association called Bösenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels launched yesterday the accelerator program “Content Shift” in Frankfurt. If you are a startup with ideas around books, ebooks, publishing or related fields, they would surely love to hear from you





Ecommerce in Germany

Amazon Germany generated 2015 revenues of 10,6 bn € (+19%), this is more than the complete Otto group, their biggest German competitor


Lazada / Rocket

Of course we cannot get around the Rocket / Alibaba deal. There Rocket Internet, the Berlin based and Frankfurt listed startup factory sold half its stake in Lazada, an online retailer in Southeast Asia, to China’s Alibaba. Rocket received $137 million for the stake, valuing Lazada—which launched in 2012—at $1.5 billion

But we also have another critical article (to keep the balance), where the blog Deutsche Startups writes, that according to their research the “proven winners” of Rocket lost one billion Euros in 2015, with a revenue of 2,4 bn Euros

An analysis about Rocket Internet by co-founder Christoph Gerber paints a bad picture about Rocket Internet’s current state:


We have talked about Auctionata in the past, the German website offering auctions for fine arts and antiques, received a very bad report by its auditor KPMG reports Wirtschaftswoche. The startup has in the past received good press, and 42 mn at unknown valuation in a series C in march 2015. It was even aiming for an IPO. According to this report members of the supervisory board have been active in auctions under fake names


Home To Go raised $20M in Series B Funding. The startup offers a search engine for vacation rentals. New York venture capital fund Insight Venture Partners invested with existing investors DN Capital and Acton Capital Partners


Have you ever heard about the so called hidden champions? That are companies in Germany, who are most of the time world market leaders, but only the people in the respective industries know them. Here is a nice article with a hidden champion TeamViewer. The company has been bought in 2014 for a billion USD. The company offers software for online maintenance or assistance


Munich based Industry 4.0 startup Konux raised 7.5 mn € from investors from the Valley. Investors includes the likes of Andreas von Bechtoldsheimer, one of the first investors in Google. Konux develops sensors for industry usage and established already after the seed round a branch in silicon valley, which now apparently paid off


Munich-based IoT startup tado raises €20 million to internationally scale its service offerings


BMW Loses Core Development Team of Its i3 and i8 Electric Vehicle Line. Key executives defect to Future Mobility Corp, a Chinese startup backed by Tencent Holdings. Tencent is one of the largest internet companies in China and offers products like the popular messenger QQ, and weixin, known abroad as WeChat



Tesla was one of the biggest stories of the last month, especially the long ques for the pre-order of the new model 3. There have been many articles written about it and we just wanted to point out a few of them:

We wanted to give you the pros and cons

German Gründerszene assumes many customers will jump ship before model 3 gets delivered, because in such a great attempt, there are usually dealys. They focus on the risks in the long term

Jason Calacanis is totally pro Tesla. He sees in a few sentences the pre-order as Tesla’s $11b+ triumph


Startups in the past Frederick Rueckheim turned Popcorn into a differentiated, branded product: Cracker Jack

  • 7th Inning Stretch Song: “Take me out to the ball game” Free advertisement for Cracker Jack. This is genius Marketing – YouTube
  • Take Me Out to the Ball Game – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




Thomas: EU-Startups Conference – short intro and 15% discount for Startupradio listeners code: Startupradio

  • Learn more here: EU-Startups Conference 2016 | EU-Startups


Knowhow for those with vision