In this interview we talk to Dr. Tamaz Giorgadze, who came to Germany from his native Georgia, eventually becoming a partner at the German office of McKinsey & Company. During the financial crisis, he saw a demand for retail deposits by banks and decided to jump ship to set up his own company. The company is operating as weltsparen.de in Germany and raisin.com internationally. Joern talks to Tamaz and you get a quick overview of what banks actually do, where they get their money from and how retail investors in Europe profit from this.
Ashok Dudhat and Mario Paladini proudly present the Startup Jobs Fair, an HR event to bring professional and grown startups together with talents who like to gain experience beyond what is possible in a corporate. Those talents who are looking forward to take the challenge to work as a part of a startup team.
The event will take place in Berlin from the 29th of June to the 1st of July. But unlike other HR events, Startup Jobs Fair does not a classical event in an exhibition hall with HR managers in suits behind a desk. It comes with a pre-party and an after beach party, to ensure a good and relaxed atmosphere for face to face conversations.
The event is great for meeting with recruiter’s face to face, networking with other corporations, increase brand awareness and an unique opportunity for job seekers to make personal connections. Tickets can be ordered here and with the discount code: startupradio20 you will get 20% off.
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:
Our story, we left SoundCloud pretty early on! http://www.gruenderszene.de/allgemein/soundcloud-bewertung-geruechte
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Wohoooooo! The first recognition for our English podcast Startuprad.io. 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 EU-Startups.com’s list of “14 entrepreneurship podcasts worth listening to” http://ow.ly/2pI1305Jbe1
We had the first English version of our format www.startupcouch.tv 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.
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 https://t.co/blDXfneh1f
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” pic.twitter.com/ubyeZ5RAu1
FRANKFURT WOMEN IN FINTECH
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. https://www.meetup.com/Frankfurt-Women-in-FinTech/
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 https://t.co/FFn1UTInK6
A pioneer room broker from Germany Gloveler (founded 2009), a kind of Airbnb or couch surfing – ends in insolvency https://t.co/P9zA617MRp
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/vL47YBbmAYhttps://t,co/MtAOol8XbC
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? https://t.co/Xst0hKgRy4
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. https://t.co/znCg0LB1iw
More FinTech: German FinTech Smava raises $34 million. Smava has been around for some almost 10 years now. It offers a credit comparison business https://t.co/mvAN66NI4Y
The deposit marketplace startup Raisin (which brokers bank deposits in Europe) has reached more than 1.7 bn € in invested volume https://t.co/Gv6A5JlVvT
Gründerszene has a long story on Michael Gastauer, founder FinTech WB21, which he wants to IPO in 2020. Now he claims a valuation of 2.2 bn US$. 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. http://www.gruenderszene.de/allgemein/michael-gastauer-wb21-betrug-steuerhinterziehung-urteil-betrueger
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 Otto.de (a former catalogue retailer) is dragging along with 3.1 bn € in revenue, followed by Rocket Internet’s Zalando with 1.2 bn € https://t.co/8EoKPYxwK0
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
In this interview Joe interviews Alex, who is the mind behind the #Brexit hedge for startups, fintechs and their investors www.joinmainland.com. The interview is done outside (link to pictures here) and therefore there is some noise in the background, we apologize for that. The area where both met in Offenbach just undergoes vast construction and will be a posh neighborhood pretty soon.
Alex wants to help #Brexit concerned startups and investors to open an office in this area (Offenbach or Frankfurt) and establish with it a Brexit #hedge. They can soon call up the office of the initiative and ask for help and advice to set up a small and cheap office in Offenbach or Frankfurt (each city opposite the other on the river Main).
The office space in Offenbach is new, high end and very cheap compared to London. You can learn more on the website www.joinmainland.com
This is the first news wrap up after the summer break. What we have been up to during the summer:
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: https://www.startupradio.de/der-silicon-valley-of-europe-update/
We introduced our listeners to a short format “in nuce” (in brief), where we introduce our listeners to several event formats in short podcasts
We had a Sommer-Interview. There is a tradition in Germany to do in the summer outdoor interviews and so we did as well, with Souleyman from Africa Green Tec. We talk about their project the solar container: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp1gZh_pONk
For the FinTech fans here. We did two interviews with Luka, co-founder of the mobile banking app Penta, who want to be the banking interface of choice for small and medium enterprises in Germany and France.
Cloud Computing: Frankfurt is on the way to become the could computing center of Europe writes Wirtschaftswoche http://ow.ly/GV8v303uze6
From one of the first startup guys in Frankfurt, there is now the “Intro to the Frankfurt Tech scene” http://ow.ly/MuVs302S2k9
More signs of life: Relative to its population, Frankfurt is the most mentioned startup city in Germany on the Internet http://ow.ly/pIm6302nFsX
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 http://ow.ly/ZNGY303z8oD
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 http://ow.ly/aWvz3041gCZ
Hit a rough patch in all of 2016 so far:
Home24: Rocket internet slashed the valuation into half, erasing approx. half a billion Euros from the book value of the company http://ow.ly/lGk73041bTV
Delivery Hero is reported by Manager Magazin to have been unable to raise venture capital and therefore went for a expensive loan http://ow.ly/1b5E304BqW9
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 http://ow.ly/XXtx3040Ln9
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 http://ow.ly/TtAl304cd4E
Unister was a talking point all through summer. The company behind several B2C travel portals like abindenurlaub.de (like head for vacation) or flüge.de (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) http://www.n-tv.de/wirtschaft/Unister-Chef-Wagner-ging-volles-Risiko-article18424011.html
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.
In this interview we introduce our listeners to John (who will also conduct interviews in Arabic for Startupradio). Please give him a warm welcome!
John and Joe together interview our guest Luka from Penta, located in Berlin. It wants to be the digital bank interface for German and French Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). Right now they don’t have a banking license.
In the first interview of two interviews, Luka tells us also about his previous ventures. Together with him we take a trip through his live. He tells us how he sold shoes on the streets of New York and about studying in Paris. We learn how he ended up in Berlin and how he approached the idea of Penta. Finally we talk of course about Penta, who is in the current batch of Startupbootcamp Fintech (London). (Disclaimer, Joern is a regular mentor at the SBC Fintech pitch day in Frankfurt)
In the interview Luka also talks aboutmondoin the UK andN26in Berlin and his article of things he did wrong, which you can find here
In the second part of the interview we talk with Luka about raising venture capital and his experiences in Europe and the US doing so.
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)” http://ow.ly/Kc3K3022KEJ
Accelerator Frankfurt, you can apply now! As a startup in fintech, cybersecurity or a web based startup http://ow.ly/d58N3020oeO
Frankfurt based fintech savedroid AG closes 1mn € seed funding and releases its beta version for micro savings https://t.co/7UM2BQ4lzq – Natehelps.de is the startup Chris is talking about, while discussin the news.
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 https://t.co/0ANJPnCkLI
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 deutsche-startups.de 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) http://ow.ly/q2QO302d8jf
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 https://t.co/X8VbptaKHk The Interview was part of our media partnership with Health 2.0 in Barcelona this month
Finally, we have also been live with the periscope app at the Big Data Meetup here in Frankfurt, which you can replay here https://t.co/4msoy22UV0
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 https://t.co/t4oYrLEBi2
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 https://t.co/JVggtZeGyH
Once again there was a lot going on in Frankfurtrecently. 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” http://ow.ly/ZmR6300zfU7
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 http://ow.ly/p6lF300C2hC
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 http://ow.ly/LeM6300C2n3
The RheinMain area is a hidden gem in the global gaming industry. Just some links here:
Amazonhas now started the Launchpad in Germany, where the company helps startups to sell their B2C products and competes with the likes of Kickstarter https://t.co/eNSgjMhAoc
German banks backed payment service Paydirektwants 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 https://t.co/ap4aNlCqCdhttps://t.co/fodEwD6kg3
Rocket Internet, the news podcast is never complete without them. Last month brought more bad news for them:
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 https://t.co/V1VhF8rW2G
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 https://t.co/wXEkE1vd4A
Berin based online magazine http://www.the-hundert.com/ put together a list of the top 100 female founders in Europe. You can download their issues on their website as a PDF.
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: http://ow.ly/4n1O89
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 http://ow.ly/4mZx0G“. 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 https://t.co/BuuyVzSYlS. 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 https://t.co/NZ4u6Jabyw, (here is our tweet https://t.co/8OCTBX3xtr).
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:
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 https://t.co/Vtx4b73TWf
Deutsche bank integrates several Fintech offerings and headquarters it’s the core for the FinTech cooperation the so called “digital factory” in Frankfurt https://t.co/RfKLcE3los
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UhWAWv2byA
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 http://ow.ly/4n69gP
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 https://t.co/TBWczd4vju
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 https://t.co/6wYKI5gzS9https://t.co/lnRPDcVNO4
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 https://t.co/WkaVVSqei3
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 https://t.co/LY1vFgX93v
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 https://t.co/G8sPcYXIeLhttps://t.co/WGenHOKeYv
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 https://t.co/UfslnKBvRo
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 https://t.co/jlhsIOYSWI
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 https://t.co/LFwbRRkl0Y
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 https://t.co/AE0b4Bau94
Jason Calacanis is totally pro Tesla. He sees in a few sentences the pre-order as Tesla’s $11b+ triumph https://t.co/cTeVuupG3Z
Startups in the past Frederick Rueckheim turned Popcorn into a differentiated, branded product: Cracker Jack https://t.co/vlf7nlxyMe
7th Inning Stretch Song: “Take me out to the ball game” Free advertisement for Cracker Jack. This is genius Marketing – YouTube http://ow.ly/4nebyg
Take Me Out to the Ball Game – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://ow.ly/4nebN5
Thomas: EU-Startups Conference – short intro and 15% discount for Startupradio listeners code: Startupradio
Learn more here: EU-Startups Conference 2016 | EU-Startups http://ow.ly/4n8NIo