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This Month in German, Swiss, and Austrian (GSA) Startups — April 2024

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.

WELCOME TO’s Episode 425!

Welcome to our April 2024 wrap-up with vital news from the startup and tech entrepreneurship scenes in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in 30 minutes or less 🙂.

Our startup news is recorded with Chris, today in Perugia, Italy, where I’m attending the International Journalism Festival, a place that this year has a huge emphasis on AI in media, and Joe in Frankfurt. The recording date is April 19th, 2024 and all news not included will be in our next news to be released on May 30th, 2024. We recorded this episode a bit early due to our schedules.

Doing Business and Traveling in Germany:Upcoming Public Holidays / Bank Holidays

In this section we give you insights that may matter to you, if you are doing or consider doing business in Germany. Also, if you are planning to travel in Germany.

Note that May is littered with Holidays. Not all of them are holidays across all German states, but they may impact your travel or business.

  • May 1st is a public holiday across most European states, it is International Workers Day, so German Labor Day, as well as spring festival in Germany. This year it is a Wednesday, so expect people to take days off around this day. Many people in Germany will go out dancing the night before “Tanz in den Mai”.

  • May 9th is Ascension Day when we celebrate Father’s Day in Germany. It is always celebrated on a Thursday. Many people will take off the following Friday. If you are wondering: The following Sunday is Mother’s Day.

  • May 20th is a public holiday across Germany, Whit Monday.

  • May 30th is the day of our next news publication — sorry for the joke. It is also Corpus Christi, again celebrated on a Thursday. Again many will take off the following Friday.

Many international viewers and listeners will complain about the many holidays we have, BUT the next public holiday is only on Thursday, October 3rd, the Day of German Unity.

Our Highlights:

In April 2024, the German startup scene witnessed seismic shifts and groundbreaking achievements. Among the headlines, Novo Nordisk’s acquisition of Cardior Pharmaceuticals stole the spotlight with a staggering €1,025 billion deal, marking a monumental milestone in biotech. Cardior Pharmaceuticals, a spinoff from Medical School Hannover, pioneers RNA medications for heart disease prevention, showcasing the transformative power of innovative research.

Meanwhile, Zolar illuminated the renewable energy landscape by securing a substantial €100 million credit line from BNP Paribas, propelling their mission forward with ‘Zolar Easypay’ financing options. Berlin solidified its status as the Fintech Capital, boasting 160 fintech startups, while ELEMENT surged ahead in the InsurTech arena with a €50 million funding round. Mynaric’s Munich-based team achieved a significant milestone by initiating volume production of the CONDOR Mk3 Space Laser Terminal, a testament to German ingenuity driving global space development. These developments not only redefine industry standards but also underscore Germany’s position as a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurial prowess. Stay tuned for more insights and revelations in the dynamic world of GSA startups.

Let’s talk startups:

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This recording is supported by HTAI and the Enterprise Europe Network Hessen

This recording was made possible by HTAI and the Enterprise Europe Network Hessen. These organizations have made tremendous contributions to helping startup businesses succeed and thrive, providing a range of services from helping to find grants to ongoing partnerships. By taking advantage of these resources, startup companies can network and develop innovative strategies for success on the international stage. The dedicated support of HTAI and the Enterprise Europe Network Hessen is paramount in providing startup businesses with the tools for lasting success. Look for our dedicated sub-podcast in partnership with them: Tech Startups Germany on our

Top News

Billion Dollar Exit

Big news in the biotech world! 🧬💊 Novo Nordisk acquires German BioTech Cardior Pharmaceuticals for a whopping €1,025 billion, including so earn-out conditions. The company is a spin-off of Medical School Hannover, founded in 2016. They develop RNA medications to prevent heart diseases. Learn more about this game-changing deal here:

Volocopter wanted 300 Million and Now gets 150 M

🚁 Despite warnings, Volker Wissing (federal minister for transportation FDP) pledges €150 million to support Volocopter’s futuristic dream of flying taxis. They originally wanted to have double the amount. The state of Baden-Württemberg backed out of the deal and Der Spiegel reported that auditors of PwC also warned Mr. Wissing. Read more about this ambitious venture here: Volocopter’s Munich-based competitor Lilium btw gets no money. Volocopter needs the money to start production if they want to take off during the Paris Summer Olympics in July.

Zolar Secures 100 Million

💡💰 Zolar, just secured a whopping €100 million credit line from BNP Paribas. 🌿 Now, they’re offering customers a new financing option called ‘Zolar Easypay’: Learn more about them and their founder on Joe’s side project Starting Y: (Published in December 2021) As we always say: You may not have heard about our guests in the past, but you will in the future

ELEMENT Secures € 50M

ELEMENT, German InsurTech innovator, secures €50m in latest funding round

They write: “Founded just a few years ago in 2017, ELEMENT has quickly distinguished itself in the InsurTech arena. Operating under a cloud-based model, the company has earned a reputation for its innovative white-label insurance products.”

Berlin remains the Fintech Capital

Berlin remains the hub for German fintech startups! 🚀 The capital city hosts 160 fintech companies, surpassing major cities like Frankfurt, Munich, and Hamburg. The scene continues to thrive with companies like N26 and Wefox leading the charge

German Lasers for US Space Development Agency

Mynaric, based in Munich, Starts Volume Production for CONDOR Mk3 Space Laser Terminal — Via Satellite

They write: “Mynaric hit a product maturity milestone by starting volume production for the CONDOR Mk3, its flagship optical communications terminal, … began production for the communications terminal in early 2024 and completed the first shipment last week.

The initial shipments … will be part of the U.S. Space Development Agency (SDA) Tranche 1 Transport and Tracking Layer programs, …”

Housekeeping & Time to Brag

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  • After Bitcoin Surge, Crypto VC Creeps Toward a Comeback writes Bloomberg Bloomberg writes: “Crypto startup deals are back. After a brutal year for cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies, venture capital investment in the industry ticked up by nearly one-third from the previous quarter, according to new data.”


  • Talent Shortage in Deep Tech: ‘We can’t find a single German or European applicant’: Deeptech startups feel bite of talent shortage

  • March 2024 witnessed a shift in the fintech landscape as European startups navigated a 30% decrease in fundraising, totaling €4.4B across 304 deals. Dive into the details here:

  • The maturation of Munich “The Bavarian city has grown into a hub for more growth funds, international law firms and big banks in recent years”

  • Megarounds make a comeback in Europe


  • Big changes are ahead in fintech as the German government proposes stricter rules for credit checks, potentially impacting businesses like Klarna. Dive into the details here:

  • Since we are a bit early with our recording, we don’t have a current ifo Business Climate Index


Here we want to highlight some hidden gems and cities of general startup interest.

Frankfurt — Rhein/Main

  • 🌟 Scavenger AI just secured €1.1M in Pre-Seed funding! 💰 This Frankfurt-based AI startup is revolutionizing data analytics. Learn more about their game-changing technology and backers here:

  • Speed and efficiency are crucial in food delivery. Knuspr just automated its warehouse for the Rhein-Main region, offering a peek behind the scenes of online supermarkets! 🛒 Learn more about their innovative approach:

Karlsruhe (but Finsmes writes Frankfurt)


  • Forschungszentrum Jülich and eleQtron team up to develop a modular quantum supercomputer with a €21 million boost from the NRW government. This partnership marks a significant milestone for the deep tech industry:


  • Exciting news! Dresden-based Watttron secures €12M in Series B funding to revolutionize sustainable packaging solutions. 🌍💡 Read more about their mission and investors here:


  • Protembis just closed a €30M Series B financing round led by Segulah Medical Acceleration, XGEN Venture, and TechVision Fund. Read more about their innovative cardiovascular medical device here:


  • The Tyrolean savings app Monkee just secured a seven-figure investment from new investors, along with existing ones Don’t miss our interview with Monkee’s founder for more insights:

  • 🚀💰 Taxefy, a Vienna-based startup, is making waves with a relaunch, complete with updates and its own tax consultancy. Check out the full story here: we had them in our news recently with not so nice news. Now they seem to be turning the corner.

  • Vienna’s unicorn, GoStudent: 🚀 They’ve achieved full profitability in Q1 and are restructuring their leadership team. Jaume Bresco joins as CTO to drive innovation, while CFO Duncan McIntyre bids farewell

  • Vienna’s chatbot startup,, is being liquidated. Once a promising venture in the age of Facebook’s chatbot hype, it couldn’t keep up with evolving AI tech. Read the full story here:


  • 🌐 Exciting news from our former guest! Swiss American startup Swisspod [Interview here] and UK-based financial service provider ICM are teaming up to supercharge hyperloop technology worldwide! 🚀🌍 learn more here

  • Proton from Switzerland acquires Standard Notes from Chicago creating a new era of privacy-first digital services

General News / Tech News / Companies News Section

New Funds, in case you are looking for money (also only a selection):

  • 1kx just secured a whopping $75M for their latest fund! 💰 Based in Berlin, they’re diving deep into the crypto world, focusing on DEFI, NFTFI, and more. Their recent investment in Botto, an AI artist, is making waves! Read more:

  • Tiger Global VC [known as a large ticket investor in GSA] Fund Closes 63% Below Target With $2.2 Billion. The firm told investors in 2022 that it aimed to raise $6 billion PIP 16 is dwarfed by the previous fund, which raised $12.7 billion

  • Spotify-backer Lakestar raises $600m for early stage and growth stage fund

  • Liqid, the online wealth manager, has surpassed all expectations by raising €130 million for a new venture capital fund, allowing private investors to participate starting from €200,000. Learn more:

Green Tech News — Yes this section is new!

  • Proxima Fusion raises 20 M € venture capital to get closer to green energy from nuclear fusion

  • Carbon removal is the name of the game! 🌍 Startups are racing to secure the biggest carbon removal deals, with Berlin’s ‘Senken’ and ‘Exomad Green’ recently closing an impressive deal for 81,600 tons of CO2. Learn more:

  • Fifty Investors and Founders Launch The Climate Brick To Fast Track European Climate Tech

Fintech News

General News

  • Massive data breach at Urban Sports Club exposes thousands of member records! 😱 Personal info, invoices, and even ID copies were found on an unprotected cloud server. Read more:

  • SEC settles insider trading charges against Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Arista, Sun Microsystems

  • René Köhler buys back from Signa after the Benko empire’s downfall. Read all about it here:

  • Former guest Gülsah Wilke joins DN Capital as partner and head of the German Office Ture to our motto “you may have never heard of our guests, but you will in the future”

  • We talked about it before, so this did not make our top news this time: Munich-based startup Flix aims to dominate the global bus and train market as it gears up for its IPO. Will Flix become the next top stock? Dive into the details here: Check out the CEO’s insights in our interview:

  • 10 German startups to watch in 2024

  • Getir even after the expensive deal buying Gorillas is considering to leave Germany according to a recent press report:

  • New developments in the Watchmaster case! 🕵️‍♂️ Following a daring heist that led to insolvency, the former CEO is now under investigation for insurance fraud. Learn more about this intriguing twist here:

  • RTL Ventures the VC arm of one of Germany’s largest TV stations will be shut down after not even one year

Schumpeters Schöpferische Zerstörung ⇒ Creative Destruction Still Ongoing:

  • Switzerland: Babyfood startup yamo shuts down operations immediately despite efforts to secure funding. After 7 years of innovating fresh baby purees, they’ve achieved significant milestones, like expanding with products in over 2.000 stores:

  • Fulda-based Green Pioneers has to file for insolvency

  • Sad news: Veloine announces it will halt operations by the end of April due to tough market conditions and failed funding efforts. Despite past accolades, including the ISPO Brandnew Winner and Eurobike Gold Award. Source:

  • Berlin’s startup scene takes a hit as water purifier innovator, Mitte, files for insolvency. Despite early investor backing, the venture struggled to deliver, ultimately offering a pricey alternative to established brands. Source:

End on a High Note: Successful Fundraisings and Exits:

Keep in mind this is a small selection. The news here and their total value show how resilient the startup scene is. We included only selected fundraisings above 5 million Euros or USD. This month, there were so many announcements that we could not include ALL funds raised. We will only bring you highlights here.

Fundraises from Switzerland:

  • EUR 20 million for underrepresented founders

  • Following the FDA approval for its OdneFill and OdneCure solution, Swiss dental startup Odne (former Lumendo) has raised USD 5.5 million to fund the upcoming US market launch

  • Bakery Bakery secures CHF 1.4M from 700 backers for Swiss expansion, while qiibee’s Rewards Marketplace receives over CHF 1M from just 75 supporters. 💰 In total, 7 startups rake in a whopping CHF 4.1M! Read more:

  • AddexPharma and Perceptive Advisors join forces to launch Neurosterix, a new venture with $63M funding for advancing preclinical assets and drug discovery tech. Learn more:

  • Zurich’s own Progile just launched, an AI platform turbocharging software development! With a fresh round of seed funding, they’re ready to revolutionize tech and conquer new territories. Dive deeper:

  • Fotokite AG, which is revolutionizing emergency response with fully autonomous tethered UAVs, just closed its latest Series B financing round. Learn more about their game-changing technology

  • Fribourg-based cleantech Bcomp closes €37.6 million Series C to foster mobility decarbonisation

Fundraises from Austria:

  • Austrian health tech scale-up Xund extends seed round funding to €8M to digitize the patient journey: Here’s how

  • Econetix, an Austrian startup, just secured a major investment to revolutionize carbon tracking with sensors. 🚀 Dive into the details here:

We will be back on May 30th with the next news episode and the next regular episode will go live next week.

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The Hosts

The news are co-hosted by Jörn “Joe” Menninger, startup scout, founder, and host of And Christian “Chris’ ‘ Fahrenbach, co-founder, freelance reporter, lecturer, author and blogger . Reach out to them:

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