Startup News Germany May and June 2019

We announce all our live streams on Meetup. Join our meetup group there, it is for free and you won’t miss a stream

For logistic reasons, this news recording was done upfront. We will bring you the September News live again. brings you in a Frankfurt-to-New-York-Live-Hangout the startup news Germany. 

Find the hosts here:

Joe Menninger / Twitter  / LinkedIn / Video Interview (2018)

Chris Fahrenbach / Twitter / Homepage / Video Interview (2018)


Have a look down here, you will find a link to our blog post with all the links and our text. 


Scheduling Message – Summer Break

Hi, Joe here. I came back from the moving break and so we do today two months of startup news compressed. 

We will have our normal summer break after this news podcast, and be back with a summer news-wrap-up end of September. Until then we will publish one interview a week.  


Sorry for the interruption, Joern moved house and this lead to some delays:

Sponsoring Message supports this program. is like online dating for startups and investors. It is by far the easiest and most efficient way to research potential investment candidates or look for potential investors. Learn more here: 



Time to shine – Don’t get your city overlooked. Show off your ecosystem
European Startup Initiative | Survey 

German app market sees an all-time high in 2018 according to Bitkom: AppStore and GooglePlay saw 2 bn app downloads in Germany. 3/4th of the revenue is from in-app purchases 


‘E-commerce in Germany will grow to €57.8 billion in 2019’, that’s a plus of 9 percent and only includes consumers buying goods, no B2B 


Unicorn Hunters: These Investors Have Backed The Most Billion-Dollar Companies  #VentureCapital
Tiger Global Management (42)
Sequoia Capital Ch (35)
Sequoia Capital (33)
Kleiner Perkins (30)
DST Global (29)
Fidelity Investments (28)
Andreessen Horowitz (28)


Housekeeping – Time to brag 

We made it in the Top 100, Top 200, Top 400 and Top 1.000 iTunes Podcast Charts. Now 22 countries and counting. Learn more here: 


As usual, there is a lot going on on our YouTube channel
We publish one interview a week. For example:

  • Tesla should fear or buy the deep tech startup Sax Power
  • CASHLINK is a Tokenization Platform for Venture Capital
  • ThinkOwl wants to take over the European Market from ZenDesk This interview is also noteworthy since our interview partner Andreas is heading the AI working group of Bitkom, Germany’s digital association.  



Our Media Partnership with Frankfurt Forward brings us straight to our Hubs section



#Frankfurt / Rhine-Main

Frankfurt is among the “Top 5 emerging fintech hubs” according to World Finance


Strong growth in the Frankfurt Rhein-Main Area. There are more than 120 FinTechs calling the area home. 


Global Finance: The Innovators 2019: Innovation Centers
Though still relatively new themselves, the world’s top #fintech labs are helping startups, banks and governments devise fresh solutions and uncover untapped opportunities”, says Global Finance. Their shoutout includes Accelerator Frankfurt and Finlab AG Congratulations!  


Wiesbaden-based Fitvia: 70 percent of the shares of the Wiesbaden-based startup was taken over by pharmaceutical manufacturer Dermapharm. Rumored to be valued at 50 mn € 


Sebastian Diemer is known as a former fintech founder and now founder of Farmako, a Frankfurt-based medical #cannabis importer. Now the claims of his startups are under fire. Talks of false numbers and lies are reported by several media outlets


Investor sues Frankfurt-based #crypto #savings startup savedroid. The investor wants his initial investments back


#Würzburg (greater Rhine-Main)

AI-assisted service suppliers search tool ScoutBee raises 10 mn € (12 m US$) #VentureCapital lead investors are Holtzbrinck Ventures and US-based Toba Capital



  • Hamburg-based #startup Cybus stores sensible machine data for industry clients. Now they raise “millions” in #VentureCapital. Investors include @btovPartners’ Industrial Technologies Fund 



  • Munich-based HolodeckVR raises millions in funding to scale its location-based social VR experiences | EU-Startups
  • Shareholders voted down a proposal to take Scout24 private in a transaction that would have been valued at 5.7bn Euros 





  • Berlin-based GetYourGuide picks up $484M Venture Capital, passes 25M tickets sold through its tourism activity app. That makes them a unicorn, valued higher than $1bn. – TechCrunch 
  • Berlin-based startup Adjust raises $227 million in a bet on mobile ad growth – reports Douglas Busvine at Reuters. This is 2019th 2nd largest venture capital round in Germany led by Eurazeo Growth, Highland Europe, Morgan Stanley AIP, and Sofina htttps://
  • Atomico and existing investors like Balderton Capital, Astanor Ventures, Cherry Ventures, and TriplePoint Capital invest 100 mn US$ Venture Capital in Berlin-based startup Infarm. They offer installations for city farming.   
  • Berlin-based fintech incubator Finleap is starting its own online comparison portal for financial products, looking for 40 mn Euros Venture Capital at 100 m € valuation reports Gruenderszene exclusively 
  • Goldman Sachs invests in German fintech startup Elinvar, a platform for wealth management 
  • New York Hedge Fund 683 Capital invests along with existing investors an “eight-digit” amount #VentureCapital in Berlin-based, RocketInternet-backed startup Instafreight, which offers a freight platform to B2B customers 



  • Biathlon sports celebrity Andrea Henkel invests in Berlin-based fitness startup Aeroscan. Their tool is a sensor for breath analysis, determining oxygen and carbon dioxide in your breath, originally developed for ESA for the ISS
  • Former Formula One Ace Nico Rosberg Bets on Berlin E-Scooter Startup Tier Scooters 


We did leave out a lot of financing round announcements and only brought you selected ones here. We don’t think you want to listen to an endless string of numbers here. Follow us on social media to get the funding news when they happen:



Fraudsters claimed to invest their victim’s money in binary options and defrauded investors of more than 100 million Euros. Now the prosecutors are also looking at the payment providers, including Wirecard

Problems with direct banks: Fraud cases: Volksbank blocks payments to N26 and Co.  | 



Soul Zen – financed by Rocket Internet’s Global Founders Capital (GFC)  – filed for insolvency due to illiquidity and overextension. The shop was selling #yogamats and spiritual items


The next stage of Rocket Internet via The Economist

“Five years after going public, analysts think Europe’s startup factory should take itself private

Rocket Internet is helping about 200 businesses reach for the stars, and has invested a total of €400m ($445m) in them. When the startup incubator unveiled its first-quarter results in Berlin on May 29th, analysts focused not on these firms but on Rocket itself—specifically, the next stage in its trajectory.”


Helpling 2017 Numbers:
Loss down to 1,4 mn Euro (3,6 m)
25,6 mn Euros Cash reserves- 20 mn spent so far



Germany’s No2 in #ecommerce, Otto Group, increase online revenues to €7.7 billion

Berlin-based curated fashion startups Outfittery and Modomoto join forces to accelerate the European expansion | EU-Startups


Stay ahead of the curve

StartupGuide writes on how entrepreneurs connect with Germany’s tech and automobile giants 

Public Markets Expose the Myth of the Unicorn 

How Firms Can Avoid the Mediocrity Trap via INSEAD Knowledge 

How Adam Savage built a real Iron Man suit that flies

“Five of the six most valuable firms in the world are built around these types of platforms. … The problem is that #platforms fail at an alarming rate.” 80% fail
A Study of More Than 250 Platforms Reveals Why Most Fail – HBR 

Disruption Starts with Unhappy Customers, Not Technology

Five phases of FinTech (2005-2027) – Chris Skinner’s blog  

Crypto Spring? – AVC