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This Month in German Startups (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) — January 2022

This story was migrated from our old blog, originally published on January 27th, 2022

New Blog

This blog post first appeared first on old medium publication (, and was moved to this blog with the relaunch of our website in summer 2024.

This Month in German Startups — January 2022

Happy New Year guys! Welcome to This Month in German Startups in January 2022 by — in a news recording with Chris from New York City and me Joe, from Frankfurt am Main. This recording is sponsored by Invest-in-Hessen and It is in radio syndication with our very own station and our partner IBGR.Network.

We recorded this new episode on Monday, January 24th, 2022. All news not yet included here will be published in our next news episode. There will also be a special episode on Atomico’s State of European Tech 2021 together with Bill, the founder of the IBGR Network, as an audio-only podcast.

This is a new year with 365 blank new pages, so let’s write the best story possible.

Our highlights: The last year was amazing for the German startup scene, there are now officially 25 unicorns and we feel that there will be more. 60 mn for sunfire from the federal government, Go Student’s tutors and students start to critique the company, Tado is looking to IPO via a SPAC. Also, Cherry Ventures had been good in snatching up stakes in unicorns early. Now Cherry raises their 4th fund.

Let’s talk startups:

Tune in to our Internet Radio Station here: is globally a Top 75 Science Podcast, Top 125 Tech Podcast, and Top 650 Business Podcast (

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The video will go live on Thursday, January 27th, 2022 at 16.00 CET

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Top News

25 Unicorns And Counting

Meet Germany’s 25 unicorns, including Frankfurt-based Clark learn more about Clark here (including two one on one interviews with the founder) Two in Austria (Bitpanda, Go Student)


Do you know Sunfire GmbH from Dresden, Germany? Well, you should. They raised 109 mn Euros venture capital — the largest fundraising to date for sustainable hydrogen. Now the federal government adds 60 mn Euro in grants for industrializing the process

Go Student faces critique from tutors and students

Online tutoring startup from Austria, Go Student, raises 300 m Euro venture capital at 3 bn Euros (3.4 bn US$) valuation. They inch closer to Austria’s most valuable startup Bitpanda, valued at 3.6 bn Euros ( 4.1 bn US$) / Critique


Munich-based Tado (a smart home heating control, similar to Google’s Nest) wants to IPO via a SPAC deal at a valuation of 450 mn € ( ~510 mn US$), merging with GFJ ESG Acquisition I based in Luxembourg

NeoBroker Wars in GSA Update

  • N26 publishes details for 2020 (in the news we say wrongly that they are 2021 numbers, sorry!): revenue increases to 110 m Euro, 2,9 m active customers

  • N26 plans to add 300 people to their team in Brazil, even though they just declared a “Europe first” strategy

  • Former customers of N26 in France sue the neobank. Their account has been closed by N26, they are locked out, BUT they never got their money back. More than 600 are already gathering in a Facebook group

  • New hires at neobroker unicorn Trade Republic. They hire two top bankers for their management team with experience at Citi, Noris, and Deutsche Bank, as well as Erste Group

  • The Austrian fintech unicorn Bitpanda now offers its clients more than 1.000 shares and assets for trading and investing Just to put this in perspective: The Lipper Funds Database from Refinitive has more than 350.000 active share classes across 80+ markets. So there is still room to grow

  • New competitors join the market from abroad

  • NeoBank Revolut starts in Germany with their European banking license going head to head with N26 in the German market. A German office is in planning

  • Also, French fintech Qonto raises 486 mn US$, of which 100 mn US$ are intended to expand their business in Germany

Cherry Ventures with a new fund

SellerX, Flink, Auto1, Forto, and Infarm are all unicorns, where Cherry Ventures invested. Now they raise closed their 4th fund with 300 mn Euros (340 mn US$)

Listen Notes (the world’s largest podcast search engine) ranks as a global Top 0,5% podcast

Housekeeping — Time to Brag

We just put the numbers together, we officially reached more than 5 million investors and entrepreneurs in 2021. We are globally a Top 75 Science Podcast, Top 125 Tech Podcast, and Top 650 Business Podcast. Listen Notes (the largest podcast search engine) ranks us as a global Top 0,5% podcast and ranks our podcast, as well as our sub-podcasts Fintech, Blockchain, Startup News, Deep Tech, and Security Sutra in their top 10 recommendations for Entrepreneurship in Germany!

Thank you, our audience for making this possible and for being one of the thousands downloading an episode each week! We are very happy to have you as fans! ranks’s podcast, as well as our sub-podcasts Fintech, Blockchain, Startup News, Deep Tech, and Security Sutra in their top 10 recommendations for Entrepreneurship in Germany


  • 96.000 open positions in IT in Germany, according to the Bitkom association. Also a significant increase from 2020

  • European tech 2021: in data by Sifted. Just two highlights $113bn raised. 247 $100m+ rounds. 78 new unicorns. You will notice, the data is not matching PitchBook’s or the one from CrunchBase or others …

  • Sharing Economy in Germany: According to research data by Fraunhofer Institutes, the sharing economy could fail in Germany, because many Germans can not imagine sharing e.g. clothing or other daily items


Yes, Michael from Saint Anthony, they are a little bit random BUT we want to draw your attention to the fact that more than 80% of startup activity is taking place outside of Berlin. There are many deserving startups, cities, and entrepreneurs who will never get any English coverage, would it not be for us. This is why this section exists.


  • Seed Funding for Frankfurt-based Splitt App (via press release by email. Reach out as well contact(at) They help to digitize restaurants and bars with online orders and payment processes. They raise six digit seed funding from Venture-Capital-Fonds Hessen Kapital III (EFRE) and Angels Daniel von Wedel, Alexander von Wedel, Olaf Kempin, Michal Jarocki and MR Beteiligungen.

  • Deutsche Börse (owner of Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Xetra, STOXX, and DAX index families) buys Zug, Switzerland based Crypto Finance AG a marketplace for digital assets only two months after investing in the company

  • Multi banking fintech Finanzguru raises 8 mn Euros venture capital

  • COBI.Bike Founder Andreas Gahlert leaves Bosch’s eBike unit, which he joined as an executive with the acquisition of his startup


  • Former #biotech shooting star Curevac had to ditch their corona vaccine efforts, now they want to make a comeback with a dedicated Omicron vaccine

  • Biotech startup CureVac will start clinical phase 1 trial on corona vaccine of the 2nd generation in Q1 2022


  • Germany’s Lecturio raises €39.89M to accelerate the growth of its medical and nursing education platform


  • Heimkapital raises 300 mn Euros from undisclosed investors to buy shares in homes in Germany


  • BAMTicketing Vienna-based blockchain ticketing startup raises 1 mn Euros from investors and crowdfunding and wants to take on big clients now

  • Graz, Austria-based startup Easelink raises 8,3 mn Euros in Series A funding for their Matrix Charging, a fully automated charging integrated into parking spots for electric vehicles


  • Swiss army drops #WhatsApp in favor of Threema, since military personnel could still leave traces in WhatsApp They are not the only ones. The German Army developed their own messenger, available since November 2020.

  • Swiss digital asset bank Sygnum secures €79.5M funding, eyes global expansion

  • Over CHF 5M raised to advance EH Group Fuel Cell Technology

General News / Companies News Section


  • Berlin-based crowdfunding platform Neufund is shutting down: Why We’re Shutting Our Successful Fundraising Platform

  • German fintech oversight Bafin investigates #crypot startup Cake Defi for potentially offering unlicensed financial services in Germany. They are formally headquartered in Singapore but founded by a German entrepreneur, but without a valid financial services license in Europe

  • Peter Thiel invested — amongst others — 40 mn US$ in #Berlin-based #insurtech Coya, which is now acquired by French competitor Luko

  • Berlin-based fintech Moss raises 75 mn Euros in Series B, valued at half a billion US$. Investors include Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, bringing the total investment to more than 150 mn US$ for the corporate credit cards startup

  • VC funds of German billionaire Carsten Maschmeyer and fintech unicorn Personio in #Berlin-based travel expense startup Circula “eight-digits” #VentureCapital

A very very few Venture Capital investment rounds

  • Katjes Greenfood invests in impact startup UNMILK — vegconomist

  • Circularity Capital and Keen Venture Partners, as well as existing investors, invest 80 mn Euro (30 m equity, 50 mn debt) in #Berlin-based #SaaS startup Lendis to be “2023 the leading SaaS solution for hybrid work in Europe”

Stay ahead of the curve


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