Startup News Germany – April


Geektime wrote about our interview with Deutsche Bank “Breaking into Deutsche Bank: This German giant has found a way to reach out startups”


How Clark Made It on Bloomberg’s List of the Most Promising Startups – Insurtechtalk


Eco System

It appears Cryptocurrencies are being used for Ponzi or Pyramid Scheme Scams now reports Confluence  

OneCoin, Much Scam: OneCoin Exposed as Global MLM Ponzi Scheme – The Cointelegraph

DASCOIN, another outbreak of the #Onecoin strain of MLM Virus.


Cannabis comes to Germany. The ICBC in Berlin kicks off a new industry as the government releases its first bid tender for 10 grow licenses to serve the medical market.


Joern talks about the song “Manhattan” by Ella Fitzgerald. The amazing Ella would have turned 100 just 3 days before the recording.




Survey results: Frankfurt among top 50 cities for entrepreneurs globally| Rhein-Main  


The federal government advisory council on sustainability dashed out sustainability awards for startups in the rhein main area.

  • Bettervest – A crowdfunding platform for energy projects
  • Place2Help – A crowdfunding platform for social projects in the Rhein-Main Area and
  • Africa Green Tec – Which brings solar containers to Africa (Mali)

each got one award


CB Insights the research company compiled a list of Robo Advisors in the world. Two from Frankfurt are listed. They are not all, who exist here, but it makes sure that Frankfurt is also here a global hotspot “A Wealth Tech World: Mapping Robo-Advisors Around The Globe”


Frankfurter based micro savings fintech savedroid raised Venture Capital, valued at 20 mn – We have by the way a recorded, but not published interview with the founder and CEO for you. Coming before the summer break


Finally: The GTEC – German Tech Entrepreneurship Center – GTEC is expanding to Frankfurt – Of course we made an interview with the founder and CEO as well. As you know – Coming soon 🙂


The Frankfurt-based mobile recruitment platform Mobilehead raised a  seven-digit sum for their mobile job recruiting platforms, where each is tailored to a specific professional area (e.g. Legalhead)-



Federal Ministry of Economy awards funds to Cologne in digital hub initiative for Insurtech –



The bad news

The marketing blog “Online Marketing Rockstars” is explaining “Signalling” and also asks if the credit is the beginning of the end for Soundcloud? Background: We did talk about them the last news, that Soundcloud is in trouble and ReCode was speculating even on a firesale of the startup. Now they have 70 million USD to go one. Fingers crossed for them


Hamburg – Lampuga Insolvency: Investor files criminal charges for potential fraud at the startup who was crowdfunded with 820 thousand Euros to produced jet propulsioned surfboards


The online shoe store Giggs gave up – since up to 60 % of goods / shoes been returned


The good news

Vimcar, a Berlin startup that offers hardware and an app to manage company fleets, raised $5.5M


There seems to be some great movement in the Media Startup market, coming from Switzerland. We have, collecting money for a new more leftist/centrist journalism offering. The Swiss media market is usually very conservative, but now they proved there’s room in the market. 2.2 mn Franks in three days. Equal to $2.2 mn.


The digital health insurer Ottonova raised 15 million


IoT News

The Munich-basedIoT startup KONUX announced a final close of its Series A funding round worth $16 million | EU-Startups


The agriculture and industry IoT platform Cumulocity, based in beautiful Düsseldorf was acquired by Rhein Main (Darmstadt) based Software AG


Rocket Internet Corner

Rocket got criticized, this time in an interview with the influential Manager Magazin. You have heard many critical articles from MM on Rocket Internet. This one is noticeable since it is an interview from Michael Otto, from the former catalogue empire Otto. Otto Group also happens to be No 2 in the German ecommerce space behind Amazon (100+ shops globally with 7 bn € annual revenue).  Mainly the “frontal attack” comes due to all the not upheld promises the Samwer brothers made.


It is publication season in Germany. So the listed companies have to open their books and show it to the investors. Also Rocket Internet had to do this and some of its startups also published some details:

  • Bottom line Rocket Internet made 2016 a loss of €741 million
  • Delivery Hero has seen a 71% jump in revenue. In total 2.3 Euro billion worth of orders have been processed in 2016. DH is valued at nearly €3 billion and is speculated to be headed for a listing later this year (but we talked about a few attempts already). Rocket Internet owns a 37.7% stake
  • (added after the recording) Global Fashion Group posts improved 2016 revenue but is still making losses


Hamburg again, not much good news for the startups there: Battered Goodgame Studios took a valuation hit of 622 mn Euros. The gaming startup had to let go more than 100 employees before. The change in valuation came only to light since Rocket Internet is an investor (15%) and had to publish the data.


Joern’s find New Billionaire: How CEO Of Papa John’s Turned Pizza Into A Fortune – YouTube

Competitions and events

Frankfurt Tech Days come up on May 16th 2017 in Frankfurt. We are media partner.

Stay ahead of the curve

A hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy of accelerators – can you hack your way out of them?

Startup News – February and March

Before we start Christian is talking about the taxi medallions in New York, once considered a fancy and lucrative investment. Now they are in a steady decent due to Uber, Lyft, and their competitors. This can also be taken as a sign of disruption of a traditional (taxi) market:


Why taxi medallions cost $1 million – Reuters


Taxi Medallions: Golden Investment on the Streets of New York – WSJ


NYC yellow cab medallion prices falling further – Business Insider Deutschland


Christians food for thought: Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck





Two Executives to Leave Uber, Adding to Departures – The New York Times

Morning Agenda: The Exodus From Uber Continues – The New York Times

In Video, Uber CEO Argues With Driver Over Falling Fares – Bloomberg

Growth vs. Profits: Uber’s Cash Burn Dilemma



SoundCloud needs more money, or it may sell at a fire-sale price wrote Recode here

Our story, we left SoundCloud pretty early on!


Spotify, which would like to go public next year, says it has more than 50 million paid subscribers worldwide. Apple Music says it has more than 20 million paid subs.

SoundCloud’s stall has been out in the open for some time. Investors pegged its value at $700 million in 2014, and since then it has raised money twice — including last year’s $70 million Twitter investment — at the same valuation.

The service says it has 175 million monthly unique users, but it hasn’t updated that number since 2014, either.



The third biggest German Kickstarter ever is bankrupt. It was meant to become a great looking induction designer water boiler, but things didn’t work out. The “remaining money” shall be reimbursed, the founders said. How much of the 800.000 Euros collected still “remained”, was not publicly confirmed.


Marguerite talks about the Single European Payment Area (SEPA), learn more here:



German startup Holoplot wins SXSW Interactive Innovation Award in the category Music and Audio. They build advanced sound walls that allow focused sounds in a train station e.g., coming out of a wall with more than a thousand sound units, specifically aiming at passers-by.


Horse Analytics, offering a wearable for horses, made it into the finals of the SXSW Accelerator pitches. “Your horse in your pocket” is their claim.


Lamp Startup gets an additional 120 million Euro in funding. A true hidden champion.


BaFin said to be close to handing insurance license to Berlin-based fintech incubator FinLeap


Rocket Corner

“Der Fall Ikarus”

German media continue their critical takes on Rocket Internet. This time, it was the weekly Wirtschafts Woche which came up with an analysis about Oliver Samwer and the ongoing crises at Rocket. Summary: “No plan, no profits, no new ideas: Oliver Samwers Startup Manufactory runs in crisis mode. Will Delivery Hero and Hello Fresh offer the chance of a turnaround? Confidential Documents raise concerns.”


Frankfurt:, one of Bloomberg’s 50 most promising startups

These Are the 50 Most Promising Startups You’ve Never Heard Of said Bloomberg in March 2017. Now we want to change that for one of these startups! an InsurTech from Germany, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main.

Here is the interview (we did publish it in the meantime


This is how the Fintech center TechQuartier tries to attract bank related startups.


Frankfurt School of Management’s First startup night – March 16 – a big success!


Parcel service Hermes acquires majority stake in Frankfurt-based startup Liefery


Stuart Cameron emailed us, the CEO of Uhlala – a company which supports, promotes and connects LGBTI people and women in leadership. With their Unicorns in Tech community, they are organizing Germany’s first LGBTI hackathon „Love to the Front” in Berlin on the 31st April. It’s hosted by Erasys.

More at or at, then scroll down to events.



Also, do not miss Startup Radio in Berlin – covering and moderating the technology panel of the first International Cannabis Business Conference to be held in Germany after legalization.


Brief Introduction by Marguerite to Cannabis Startup world – including her coverage of the ICBC April 9-11 event – go to the website in the notes.

Startup News Germany January and 2016 Review


Note: The recording was done on Jan. 23rd and does not include any news following this date.


House Keeping:

Once more our German podcast is number 1 on a #startup #podcast list.

We did a live stream of the Accelerator Frankfurt Demo Day. You can see the recording here #demodayffm

In German: Fintech Review German

Interview with the winners of Deutsche Bank Hackathon




Creathor Venture and IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft invest a seven-digit amount in manufacturer of ultra-reliable communication systems R3 Communications

Could Frankfurt become the new Berlin for startups? ask the local

BAAAAAAM! There it is SpaceStarters a new crowdfunding #platform for air and space tech!

CardioSecur turns Smartphone into ECG

Deutsche Boerse offers gamers place to trade virtualgoods | Reuters

There are now mind blowing 172 meetups in the Rhein-Main Area related to coding, desing, startups and vc investment



Jörn’s input the Smooth-Hawley Tariff (on protectionism with tariffs)
– An article from “In 1930 a large majority of economists believed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act would exacerbate the U.S. recession into a worldwide depression.”



We talked about it before Online auction house Auctionata has filed for preliminary insolvency and plans to spin off Paddle8 | EU-Startups

Management Level employees leave Berlin based fintech OptioPay reports Gründerszene

Alltogehter there are 9 startups aiming to copy casper (matress), who is by the way also selling in Germany by now

Timm Schipporeit leaves VC Index Ventures after Movinga fiasco writes manager magazin



Making art helps this refugee create her new life in Austria


Rocket Internet Corner

Reserach by NGIN Food and Gruenderszene suggest that the owners of Foodpanda took a big hit when merging it with Delivery Hero. Their work suggest that Rocket’s Foodpanda stake once worth beyond 250 mn € (Rocket held 50+% of the company worth 570 mn) went to Delivery Hero for 1,1% stake in Delivery Hero, which they is estimated to be worth only 70 mn €. 

Also, Rocket just announced to have collected a $1bn fund for investing in and financing of startups. It’s called Rocket Internet Capital Partners, RICP and the largest in Europe to date. The stock price didn’t change that much, though, it’s still somewhere below 20€, compared to a high of more than 50€ in 2015.



2016 Review

Germany’s 10 fastest growing #startups in 2016 | HEUREKA magazine

German #FinTech Overview in one big chart

15 largest financing rounds in Germany in 2016 Hello Fresh beeing the largest with 85 mn €

Largest and most important exits 2016 Team View Investor buying P&I the biggest 850 mn €


Accenture „HealthTech Innovation Challenge“ – From our mailbox

500 startups applied globally 

3 US-based companies made it into the finals, which have been awarded that the 35. J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco 

Winner was QuiO, developer of a cable-less injection device with a cloud platform for smart medication

Other winners 

CaptureProof (developer of a camera, including the „Visual Narrative“-App for the exchange of information between all involved parties (patients, doctors…)

UE Life Sciences, Inc.(cancer screening tool for Point-of-Care, developed for developing countries


2017 Preview

“The triangle of Berlin, London and Paris will cement its dominant European position, accounting for the lion’s share of European VC activity. Together they will account for 75%+ of EU’s VC funding volume”

Point Nine Capital 2017 Team Predictions – Point Nine Land – Medium


10 “Next Big Things” that will fail in Media Entrepreneurship in 2017

Among them are Monetization of Facebook Videos and VR. VR? Yup.


From our German Rhein Main Review podcast: Mario and Joern think that the Rhein Main Area is good for 100 mn Euro VC funding in 2017 – Joern bets on more. We will let you know at the end of the year, how it turned out.


Joern’s find

Werner von Siemens, a great innovator would have turned 200 in december 2016!


Stay ahead of the curve

Why Apps Won’t Matter in the Future

The future of money | Neha Narula – YouTube


Startup News Germany – November Wrap-Up

House Keeping

Once again we are Number 1;-) This time our German podcast got put there by a Hamburg based “founder initiative HEI” on their website


Video in English:

  •  We sat down for a short chat with Brant Cooper, NYTimes bestselling author of “The lean entrepreneur”. You can find the video of course on our YouTube channel
    • Brant Cooper – “The Lean Entrepreneur” in a short interview with Startupradio – YouTube


Audio Episodes:

  • An interview with a startup from the social impact lab Frankfurt: MEJO! aims to improve the life of diabetes patients with data science, focusing on the Spanish speaking countries, working with behavioral data –
  • Frankfurt Celebrates Innovation, the award ceremony for the startups, who get to go to the USA with the German Accelerator Program. We interviewed a few startups and you can tune in here for some interviews and event highlights –


Eco System 

Report of the Ministry of Finance: Germany on its way to become a fintech nation (GER)

From the report:

  • A total of 433 Fintech businesses with operations in Germany were identified; 346 of those remain active. The other 87 businesses either did not begin their operations before 2016 or else are no longer active
  • We estimate the total volume of the potential addressable markets of the financing and wealth management sectors in Germany to equal almost 1.7 trillion EUR in 2015. This figure comprises a market volume of approximately 380 billion EUR for the financing sector and about 1.3 trillion EUR for the wealth management sector. In a real case scenario, we forecast growth in the total market volume of FinTechs of approximately 58 billion EUR in the year 2020 and 97 billion EUR in 2025. In 2035 the market could realistically reach a volume of up to 148 billion EUR.
  • Almost 87 % of the surveyed financial institutions currently cooperate with a FinTech business and strive for cooperation with or a participation in a FinTech business in the future.
  • After the UK, Germany is the second largest FinTech market in Europe. Internationally, Germany is rapidly catching up.

And here is a PDF summary of the report in English:;jsessionid=31B1E5E0508FDEF49B49A6302F86D60C?__blob=publicationFile&v=1


KPMG Fintech Pulse: Germany again tops UK for FinTech funding in Q3’16: Germany saw almost 35% more funding to VC-backed FinTech companies than the UK for the second consecutive quarter, led by financings to Smava and FinanceFox. You find the link to the PDF here:




KPMG made a list of 100 FinTech Innovators. The list of the emerging stars from Germany made it Kreditech (#7 Hamburg) and Spotcap (#29 Berlin – Rocket Startup)

In the Global Leaders Ranking made it Pair Finance (# 90 – Berlin) and Solaris Bank (# 96 – Berlin)

Article in German: 


Deloitte UK sees bright future for Frankfurt, as a FinTech hub in its recent report. Around the world in 21 hubs | Deloitte UK


German Fintech Awards been awarded in a ceremony in Frankfurt

  • Seed-/Early Stage: Scalable Capital (Robo Advisor from Munich and London)
  • Late Stage: CRX Markets (An independent marketplace for Asset-Based Financing solutions and connects Buyers, Suppliers, Banks and Institutional Investors from Munich)
  • Growth Stage: webID Solutions (Web based ID from Berlin)
  • Foreign new entrant to Germany: Quantoz (a Blockchain startup from the Netherlands)

You can learn more on the links below (mostly in German)


Coffee retail startup Roast Market raised more than 1 million this year, in two rounds. More details have not been disclosed.


Tech & Startup Events Frankfurt RheinMain – Now every week in English!


In the ministry of finance from the state of Hessen, there have been “countless” requests from banks, companies and startups from the UK after the Brexit vote reports Frankfurter Neue Presse;art801,2347265


From our discussion, the list of InsurTech startups from Frankfurt and the InsurTech meetup. 


Berlin and Hamburg

Everybody seems to be on the hunt to profit from Brexit: Gründermetropole Berlin writes that Berlin and Hamburg now work on a startup tour together to lure startups from London over




We found the captable of hyped Berlin FinTech N26 / Number26 – Bottom line VCs control 54%, management 35,88 %, 8 business angels 6,13%, approximately 3% for Springer’s Plug and Play of the company. The company is therefore valued at 154 mn US$

Related: CTO leaves hyped Berlin based fintech N26


Even established companies fail … frequently in ecommerce: From a unicorn to a “no-corn” the well established chocolate company Ritter Sport wanted to produce a unicorn chocolate, only available online and … two times their online store just broke down. This lead to some ridicule on social media, using the hashtag #glittersport  – So, not only startups fail, but they can surely learn to get load tests before you expected a big wave of purchases


Rocket Internet Corner


move24 vs. movinga. Both startups help you to find the right person to move house now they also have a TV ad battle going:

Keep in mind movinga has already been in the news in the past

so now, there is more competition going on here. We keep you updated.


Startup wins lawsuit in Germany against Ryanair, can still by delay claims from passengers, which Ryanair tried to prohibit. Now the startup flight right can still buy late claims from the passengers

Unister you may remember the company with the many vacation portals that went in insolvency with a questionable end to the founder? We promised to keep you up to date. Now the insolvency administrator sold the first subsidiary


Jörn’s find Icaros gives you with a funny chair and VR glasses the feeling of flying.


Stay ahead of the curve

October Startup News Germany

House Keeping:

Wohoooooo! The first recognition for our English podcast Lately, our German channel was doing well. Now the English one is picking up speed as well. We have been the only podcast from Germany listed in’s list of “14 entrepreneurship podcasts worth listening to”

Roadtrip Interviews and Event Highlights from Bits & Pretzels 2016 – Part I –

myLike – Get Inspired By People You Trust –

We had the first English version of our format last week. We had a live discussion, which we streamed in YouTube and Periscope. We discussed Robo Advisory with founders, bankers and consultants and more than 100 live guests with our friends from the Fintech Meetup Frankfurt.

You can see the recording of our Robo Advisor discussion live from Frankfurt here on YouTube



German Startup Monitor:

Newest Survey of startups in Germany: 23% receive external financing like venture capital or credit

Approx. 9% of responding startups are headquartered in Frankfurt and the surrounding RheinMain Area


Brexit and the uncertainty it causes … is are already hurting … FinTech startups in London writes Business Insider


European tech funding dropped 17% to 3.4 billion in Q3 2016 compared year on year. Also in the numbers are included Israel and Turkey. Notably, investments are down in two very important countries, namely Germany and UK. On the other hand, France was doing quite well. The decline of activity in the UK may be attributed to Brexit. In Germany Rocket Internet is not as active as they used to be




Our friends form Clark found that in Frankfurt there are more InsurTech and FinTech jobs offers, than in Berlin


We did attend the ceremony of German Accelerator Program, here in Frankfurt where the startups have been announced, which will be taken to the US (New York and the Valley) with the program. We will bring you interviews from there of course. Also there CEO Andy Goldstein from the German Accelerator said “Frankfurt is pretty much the center for FinTech startups in Germany”



Frankfurt Women in Fintech has now had its second monthly meeting. The group has grown to 130 members since September. It was founded to help bring more women into the Fintech startup scene, as employees and founders.



Accelerator 500 Startups starts postseed mentoring program in Berlin reports German startup blog Gründerszene



Rocket Internet Corner

Rocket Internet’s cleaning service ZipJet acquires it’s London-based competitor Asteria Cleaners


Rocket internet’s Wimdu and 9Flats merge to compete with airbnb – Let’s see if there is still “room” for them. Recently both have been under pressure lately since Airbnb is far ahead of them


A pioneer room broker from Germany Gloveler (founded 2009), a kind of Airbnb or couch surfing – ends in insolvency


German authorities ask Tesla to stop using misleading Autopilot term in its ads. The response of Tesla remains unclear till now. Let’s see. We will keep you up to date https://t,co/vL47YBbmAY https://t,co/MtAOol8XbC

We discussed:



Many try to imitate Blue Apron. We found some ideas why they all (original and copy cats) seem to be a bit behind expectations: The “big problem [of Blue Apron] is that it’s some combination of three existing businesses, none of which are attractive.” ==> What does this mean for (German) copy cats? We are not sure, but will surely keep you up to date.


The Berlin-based Music Maker JAM is doing quite well, we found. They have now hits 1.5 million registered members and plan to hit 3 million by end of 2016 – Did you know this startup before?


Fintech is hot now in Germany:


  • German Startups Group invests in FinTech de. The new startup of ousted Kreditech founder Sebastian Diemer. The startup offers factoring solutions for freelancers, self-employed entrepreneurs as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • More FinTech: German FinTech Smava raises $34 million. Smava has been around for some almost 10 years now. It offers a credit comparison business
  • The deposit marketplace startup Raisin (which brokers bank deposits in Europe) has reached more than 1.7 bn € in invested volume
  • Bad news for hyped Berlin based startup Cookies. It did not get the bridge financing it needed and therefore went into insolvency– A few days before co-founder Garry Krugljakow was ousted effective immediately, even though he was not in the company 6 weeks prior
  • Gründerszene has a long story on Michael Gastauer, founder FinTech WB21, which he wants to IPO in 2020. Now he claims a valuation of 2.2 bn US$. Now Gründerszene did its homework and found systematic fraud in the past of the founder, spanning London, Switzerland, Singapore and the British Virgin Islands. The swiss courts documents available to Gründerszene show illigeal gun ownership, a traffic accident with an injured police officer and fraud (involving his company G&S), for which he was sentenced to 18 month. He claims to have founded Apax Global Payment and sold it to a malayan company for 480 mn US$, where in the annual report of the acquirer no hint can be found.


In ecommerce in Germany there are depressing news for the locals. Since the Amazon platform is pulling ahead of it’s competition. According to the blog Netzoekonom Amazon generates in Germany 9.4 bn € in revenues, excluding the sales of its platform. With the platform it is even as high as 19.4 bn €. The closest local competitor (a former catalogue retailer) is dragging along with 3.1 bn € in revenue, followed by Rocket Internet’s Zalando with 1.2 bn €


Crowdfunding insolvencies have been collected by Deutsche Startups. They include

Returbo – 1.088.050 Euro

Tollabox – 600.000 Euro

Vibewrite – 560.250 Euro

foodieSquare – 530.000 Euro

Paymey – 400.000 Euro

Twinkind – 350.000 Euro loss for the crowd and 500.000 for a business angel

Sommelier Privé – 300.000 Euro

Carzapp – 250.000 Euro

Lingoschools  – 155.744 Euro

fotovio – 148.640 Euro


5 notable Startup exits in Germany

* – Viral “news” and video portal bought by Funke Media Group

* InnoGames bought by Swedish company MTG

* Käuferportal (buyer portal) received investment from ProSieben Sat1 Media and General Atlantic, which in turn took over the majority

* Myhammer got acquired by US based HomeAdvisor

* Wimdu merged with 9flats, which could be interpreted as a takeover by 9flats. See above


Stay ahead of the curve:

You Cannot Cut Your Way to Growth says the Red Rocket Ventures Blog, read more what it means for Growth Hacking

We found a report on Wholesale Transaction Banking, which is talking about leveraging Fin and Tech

Our friends from EU-Startups write that Germany is getting serious about Alternative Finance

Finally we found an Infographic on how the Industrial Internet of Things could change the world


Startup News from Germany – Summer wrap up

House Keeping:

This is the first news wrap up after the summer break. What we have been up to during the summer:

In German

  • We got for you an update on the billion dollar project of a startup campus. The project shall be called Silicon Valley of Europe and will be located in the vicinity of Frankfurt. We wait for the results of a land auction if the project will get the required area:
  • We introduced our listeners to a short format “in nuce” (in brief), where we introduce our listeners to several event formats in short podcasts

In English: (our German channel) is once again listed as a need-to-know source for every entrepreneur in Germany:



Frankfurt and region making themselves heard in London



Frankfurt turns into #Fintech city writes local newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau, listing 35 fintechs in the city center alone. Here is the map:


  • The robo advisor Ginmon raised “millions” from London based Passion Capital
  • Frankfurt insurance startup Clark raises €13.2 million
  • Cloud Computing: Frankfurt is on the way to become the could computing center of Europe writes Wirtschaftswoche
  • From one of the first startup guys in Frankfurt, there is now the “Intro to the Frankfurt Tech scene”
  • More signs of life: Relative to its population, Frankfurt is the most mentioned startup city in Germany on the Internet

Financing for 42 ha (for americans 103 acres) innovation center & startup campus close to Frankfurt have been secured. We are waiting for the official results of the public bidding. This is associated with out interview mentioned above, but an article by Frankfurt based news paper Frankfurter Rundschau



In Berlin, the flagship startups of Rocket Internet are not doing especially well, but this seems not to matter too much to the overall tech scene


Rocket Internet

Hit a rough patch in all of 2016 so far:


Tesla: A close Musk associate Antonio Gracias has been turned down by a bavarian battery producing sme called Sonnen, writes manager magazin. Tesla seem to have been interested taking a stake in the company

Here is the promised interview of Elon Musk by Y Combinator: How to Build the Future – YouTube

The story of Travador, they started out as a startup for travel flash sales. This did not work out, the did a pivot and developed their own booking platform for short and weekend trips. Now they are profitable


Unister was a talking point all through summer. The company behind several B2C travel portals like (like head for vacation) or flü (flights) are owned by the company. The holding company itself is under receivership right now. The founder apparently wanted to avoid that and fell for a scam (so called rip deals), the founder Thomas Wagner getting a cash loan of several millions swiss francs in counterfeit money, in exchange for posting a collateral in real cash. Than to make havoc on the company absolute …. the private jet in which they transported back the money crashed and killed the jet’s crew and passengers (including Mr. Wagner)


Automated Vehicles / Automated Driving

“German OEMs retain their lead over US automakers when it comes to incorporating automated functions in mass produced vehicles.” writes Roland Berger in their newest research on automated vehicles

The US and Germany lead the field in terms of automated vehicle expertise.


The Economist thiks there will be a starbucks effect in chocolate as well and is asking “Who will be the Starbucks of chocolate?”


Know-how for those with vision

Germany performing well in region innovation rankings, writes the European Commision in a publication

Peter Thiel at Stanford to Share Tips from his book “Zero to One” – YouTube

Peter Thiel on the Global Economy, the State  Tech and Artificial Intelligence – YouTube


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

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

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

Startup news from Germany – March 2016

This time we bring you the recent startup news episode almost on time. Tune in and find out more about the latest startup news in Germany and Europe.

Show notes:

Video of the Live Streams Blockchain and IoT Meetup in English on our YouTube Chanel

Today we worked Excel and it turns out, our German Chanel reached almost 100.000 Downloads in 12 Month Ending Q2 2016 AWESOME!

We have talked about it since the start of the year, now there is confirmation from the US:
VC investing is down: State of the Startup Economy (End of Q1 2016) — Amit’s Meditations
Hedge funds shun VC in 2016 | PitchBook News #venturecapital

There is a lot of talk on Refugees and Immigrants right now in Germany. We have found a study the WSJ is quoting, “Immigrants Founded 51%” of the US Unicorns

There is a hell lot of new regulation coming into force in 2018, called by Bloomberg “The Next Perfect Banking Storm”. This may lead banks only to lend money to the best borrowers and the rest has to go somewhere else. This could be the time for P2P Lenders?

The so called “Startup Haus Tunis” was officially opened on March 15 reports, founded by enpact (an organization backed by German Government, BMW Foundation and other doners from Germany)

The mentioned audio / book is to be found here:

The football club Hertha BSC Berlin was the first one to get into P2P Lending. They borrowd one million Euros from their fans. Is this the way to go?

We found a lot of talk surounding Berlin based startup SoundCloud and music streaming:
Bloomberg sees a problem that SoundCloud becomes more like its competitors (Spotify, Apple Music, …), with offering its own Music Streaming Service. What do you guys think? Is the company big or good enought to beat Apple? This is also a question raised by Fast Company, who writes about the attack of Apple Music on SoundCloud. Apple now offers DJ Mixes and Mashups, which were more the turf of SoundCloud
And finally Soundcloud got its deal inked with Sony Music to take their songs into their streaming service

Hot right now in Germany: Tickets for flights … in the past.
Due to a EU regulation, airline passangers have claims against their airlines for delays and other inconviniences. The ousted founder of Hamburg based Kreditech Sebastian Diemer is now starting such a company with “”. Manager Magazin (a business publication with a country wide audiance) did not leave too much good on this startup, with a very critical article claiming the startup would only take the very save claims and giving the passengers only 50% of their claim. The article does not paint a good picture of Sebastian, who was in the past roumered to be pressured to left Kreditech for his erratic management style The blog Gründerszene sees also a heating of the flight right market, as they call it, since at least 4 startups are competing for this market with the same strategies ( Compensation2Go, EUflight and Flightcash beeing the other startups in the Game)

GoButler, made famous by the investment of Ashton Kutcher, D-Level celebrity Joko Winterscheidt and 30-Seconds-to-Mars-Singer Jared Leto drops now its full service claim. It will still operate on a short message for your, but limit the provided services. This is yet another setback after the company already stopped operating in Germany earlier this year and left for the US (New York). The only service left is a “24/7 on-demand flight assistant”

Daimler the German car manufacturer behind Merceds, Maybach and Smart could recieve its biggest ever order from Uber!? Manager Magazin reports Uber to be interested in the autonomous S-Class. If true this would be not only a big deal for Daimler, but also for Uber. Since skipping the Taxi organisations (for which it got banned in Germany), it is now appears to be skipping human drivers all togehter?

We already talked about them in the past. Two guys from Koblenz Germany founded Shopify, now Gründerszene reports that Google is interested in buying the company (after beeing one of its big customers). Maybe they make what the blog calls Mega-Exit?

Another sucess story of German Entrepreneurs in Germany. Two founders from Germany raised in total 126 mn USD for their startup Mesosphere The Serices C totaled 74 mn US$ and included HP Enterprise and Microsoft So the company, providing operating systems for data centers is now a unicorn. Their client list is like a tech who is who including Twitter, airbnb, Netflix, Paypal, Ebay

Kreditech receives a €10 mn from the Worldbank’s IFC to accelerate its digital banking strategy for the underbanked

One of our interview partners in German, the P2P insurtech Friendsurance raised $15M, to expand to Australia

Munich-based eGym, who is producing high-tech strength equipment and advanced software for organizing the fitness training floors, secures $45m Series C funding to accelerate the international expansion, after beeing present in already “half a dozend” european countries

Food Startups made lots of news in Germany this month
Three startups are out to get the catering market in Germany moving. They are called Catero, Caterwings, HeyCater reports Wirtschaftswoche. All of them are plattforms to search for a catering provider, which is a big market in Germany. According to the article the 10 largest caterers in Germany generate 2.5 bn € revenues anually. The market as a whole could be as large as 11 bn € Former Delivery Hero Lady Doreen Huber starts now its own caterin platform Lemoncat

Rocket backed Berlin-based online takeaway ordering startup Foodpanda is acquaring the Hong Kong based assets of reports Reuters

A shift in Strategy happened at 3,1bn Unicorn Delivery Hero, based in Berlin. It is rumored to get ready for the IPO and is scrapping the logistics subsiduary Valk Fleet

Hungr another Berlin based food delivery company on the other hand threw in the towel.
Antelope from #Frankfurt made it into “50 Innovative Wearable Products From Kickstarter And Indiegogo” writes TopGizmo Congratulations! RheinMainRocks!

Finleap, the fintech incubator of Berlin based company builder Hitfox, now starts its own bank, called Solarisbank. The bank wants to be the premier partner for fintech and ecommerce startups and provide them with regulated banking services. Solarisbank has a German Full Banking License


We are media partner for these upcoming events:

2nd Leancamp Frankfurt – Leancamp | Learn Lean from thesource.

Health 2.0 Europe 2016 – Health 2.0 Events and Conferences

Startup Camp Berlin 2016 – Audio-Interview (in German) via
Final Note from Joern: I learned something new since the last recording. Frankfurt was the birthplace and headquarter for the worlds first real airline

Knowhow for those with vision
What Medieval Knights Can Teach Us About #Disruptive #Innovation
Pitch Deck Template
Assessment: Are You in Danger of Becoming Obsolete?- HBR
Does Your Business Model Look to the Future or Just Defendthe Present?
The business of creativity: Seeking value in the digitalcontent ecosystem | McKinsey
Do-It-Yourself Aid: Refugees and a Humanitarian Revolution |Fast Forward | OZY
The Importance of Robust Angel Ecosystems / Seth Levine #businessangel
Here are Google, Amazon and Facebook’s Secrets to Hiring theBest People – The Cooper Review