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Insights from the 2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report - Focus on German, Austrian and Swiss Startups

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2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report

The startup world is evolving rapidly, and the 2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) offers an unparalleled glimpse into the trends and dynamics shaping entrepreneurial ecosystems worldwide. Analyzing data from over 4.5 million companies across more than 300 ecosystems, this report is essential reading for anyone involved in the startup scene. At, we’re particularly excited to share key highlights and insights with a focus on the German-speaking area (GSA) startups.

Key Global Trends and Insights

The 2024 GSER provides several important insights into the global startup landscape:

Series A Funding and Large Exits Decline

2023 saw a significant drop in Series A funding, down 46% from the previous year. Similarly, the value of large exits ($50M+) fell by 47%. However, projections for Q1 2024 indicate a potential rebound, with higher Series A funding amounts and deal counts expected compared to Q4 2023.

Unicorn Creation Slows

The number of new unicorns in 2023 dropped by 58% from 2022 and 87% from the 2021 peak. Silicon Valley led with 15 new unicorns, although this was an 80% decrease from 2022. Notably, Tashkent, Lyon, and Rhineland each celebrated their first unicorns, highlighting emerging innovation hubs.

Generative AI and Deep Tech Lead the Way

Generative AI and Deep Tech sectors dominated in 2023, with more than half of the new unicorns emerging in these areas. Generative AI, in particular, saw a funding surge, capturing nearly 20% of all VC funding, a threefold increase from 2022.

Cleantech Momentum

Cleantech startups raised 2.5 times more funding in H2 2023 than in H1 2020, with Europe outperforming the U.S. and China in Cleantech Series A funding growth from 2021 to 2023.

GSA Startup Ecosystem Highlights

Berlin: Germany’s Startup Powerhouse

Berlin continues to be a major player in the startup world, ranking #15 globally and #4 in Europe. Key highlights include:

  • Startup Hub: Berlin is Germany’s startup capital, with 468 startups founded in 2023, representing one-fifth of the country’s total.

  • Diverse Workforce: The city boasts residents from over 186 nationalities, with 49% of startup employees being non-German.

  • Financial Reforms: Late 2023 saw the introduction of reforms aimed at boosting the tech industry, including tax deferral on employees’ stock options.

  • Growth Fund Germany: A $1.76 billion fund to invest in German VCs, and the DeepTech & Climate Funds initiative also launched with $1.76 billion for growth-stage companies.

  • Government Strategy: 45% of Germany’s $32.3 billion startup strategy has been implemented, focusing on venture capital, skilled workers, and reducing bureaucracy.

Notable Berlin Startups and Events

  • Enpal: Raised $2.4 billion in funding.

  • Flink Food: Secured $1.2 billion in funding.

  • Solaris: Raised $464 million.

  • Pliant: Raised $107.7 million in a January 2024 debt financing round.

  • Merantix: Announced a $110 million fund to invest in AI startups.

  • Nuventura: Raised $27.4 million in a Series A round.

  • Ostrom: Raised $22.8 million over five rounds.

  • NeoCarbon: Secured a €3.2 million seed round.

Berlin also hosts major events like, the Venture Capital World Summit, and the Rise of AI conference.

Zurich and Munich: Rising Stars

Zurich and Munich are also making significant strides:

  • Zurich: Ranked #31 globally and #6 in Europe, Zurich had five large exits, tied for eighth among European ecosystems.

  • Munich: Ranked #33 globally and #7 in Europe, Munich achieved seven large exits, tied for fifth among European ecosystems.

Rhein-Ruhr Area and Greater Lausanne Region

  • Rhein-Ruhr Area: Ranked #14 in Europe, the region is gaining recognition for its innovative startup environment.

  • Greater Lausanne Region: Climbed 16 positions to reach #11 in the Emerging Ecosystems Ranking. Notable for its strong collaboration between universities, research centers, and businesses.

Frankfurt and Vienna

  • Frankfurt: Scored in the top 25 in Europe, reflecting its growing importance as a startup hub.

  • Vienna: Ranked in the top 30s in Europe, showcasing its potential in the startup ecosystem.

Sector-Specific Highlights

Fintech in Berlin

Berlin’s Fintech scene is particularly vibrant, with over 10% of startups in Germany being Fintechs, and one-third of these located in Berlin. The city attracts top international talent thanks to its high level of English adoption and startup-friendly laws.

AI and Robotics in Greater Lausanne Region

The Greater Lausanne Region is a leading hub for AI and robotics, with significant investments and initiatives:

  • EPFL AI Center: Launched in December 2023, joining the IBM AI Alliance.

  • MedTech Funding: Swiss startups raised $2.9 billion over 383 financing rounds in 2023, with Medtech funding seeing a 41% increase.

Life Sciences in Greater Lausanne Region

The region is also a powerhouse in Life Sciences, hosting more than 150 companies and academic institutions at Biopôle, the largest Life Sciences park in Switzerland.


The 2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report provides a comprehensive overview of the global startup landscape, with detailed insights into trends and regional highlights. The GSA region, in particular, is showing remarkable growth and innovation, with Berlin, Zurich, Munich, and other cities leading the way.

For startups, investors, and policymakers, these insights are invaluable for understanding the current state of the ecosystem and identifying future opportunities. Stay tuned to for more in-depth analyses and updates on the global startup ecosystem, and leverage these insights to drive your startup's success in 2024 and beyond.


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