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This Month in German, Swiss, and Austrian (GSA) Startups — January 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.

Our Highlights:

I already did a 2023 review focused on valuations and investments. All publications more or less agreed that 2023 was hopefully rock bottom for startups, their valuation, funding, and founding of new ones and it should get better. Thumbs pressed for that (as is German custom).Our former guest Finn raises 100 M€, unicorn 1Komma5 Grad is looking for 100 M€, Unzer loss amounts to 400 M€ and Everphone raises 270 M€. Despite the dire situation, almost 2,500 new startups were founded in Germany. Also one should take notice of Karlsruhe, a city with a world-class technical university, that is home to INTERATEC which raised 118 M€ for efuels.

Please, take a moment and match again all the bad news we have gathered here and weigh it against entrepreneurs sticking their heads out and even raising hundreds of millions from investors. Congratulations to those brave ones!

Let’s talk startups:

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Our Enablers

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

The best way to identify investors and cooperation partners for early-stage startups. Sign up for early access here:

Top News

2023 Was A Very Bad Year For Startups — Many Imply We Hit Rock Bottom Already

January is always the time to look back. Joe already did this Tuesday. 2023 was a bad year for startups all around the globe, even though valuations in the US did soare. We have this article from Crunchbase as one prominent example:Sounds about right: Global Startup Funding In 2023 Clocks In At Lowest Level In 5 Years

There are many pieces of research out there that give you the same bottom line: 2023 was a bad year for startups and startup investing with many failing startups. We have more data and stories on them below, highlighting a bad 2023 for fintechs and travel tech startups. AI and Greentech did well though.

Our Guest Finn Raises 100 M Euros

Munich-based FINN tows in €100 million Series C to accelerate its shift towards a fully electric fleet

Learn more about the CEO and the company in our 30-minute podcast in-depth interview

Unicorn 1Komma5 Grad is looking for 100 M€

Greentech unicorn 1Komma5 Grad is looking for 100 M € venture capital before the planned 2025 IPO They want to IPO before Easter 2025 and looking for a final liquidity injection. According to the article they generated 458 M€ in revenues in 2023 generating a profit of 48 M€.

Even In Rough Years Entrepreneurs Plow Ahead

Almost 2500 startups were founded in Germany in 2023. Berlin and Munich are slowing, but Hamburg’s growth is strong (+10%). Frankfurt only makes it to No 6 :-(

Unzer Loss for 2022 Totals 400 M€

Berlin-based payment company Unzer registers a 400 M € loss with 200 M € revenue for 2022. Most of the loss can be attributed to the depreciation of goodwill. Unzer is the result of KKR’s buy-and-build strategy, with former Heidelpay as the center. The buying spree may be the main reason for this large loss. By now Unzer is already sold to Alcentra, Goldman Sachs, and Partners Group

Joe Everphone Raised 270 M€

Berlin-based smartphone and gadget rental company Everphone raised 270M€ from Citi, KfW, Phoenix Insurance, and Capnor. Funny background story: We received the press release one week before. I added it to the social media tools for after the end of the embargo on January 17th but sent a message to the PR company that we added it to the social media queue. It almost made the poor person in charge have a heart attack. Sorry, Jakob :-)

Housekeeping & Time to Brag

You can now find us on, as well as on BlueSky, but since both tools don’t yet work with our social media backends, there is not yet a regular posting in place.

We are more than happy to tell you that in December alone we have reached more than 1.2 million founders and investors alone. Thank you to all the people out there listening to us and supporting us!

There are a lot of lists, podcast charts, and highlights of that we could talk about. If you like to, there is a press release that even Yahoo Finance published:

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  • State of Venture 2023 CB Insights Global Take is Here:

  • Tracking travel startup investment trends in 2023 — Another tough year for travel startups, ending with 6.3 bn US$ in investments vs. 14 bn in 2022


  • European startup investors look for 2024 for possible IPO options to exit

  • 2023 was a difficult year for fintech startups in Europe — no surprise there — but it ends with a glimmer of hope



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

Frankfurt — Rhein/Main

  • Insurtech: Unicorn Clark gives up the Austrian market. Former CEO for Austria takes over the business in a management buyout

  • Link11, a Frankfurt am Main, Germany-based specialized IT security provider, raised €26.5M in funding

Frankfurt — Obituary

We are very sad to inform you that Professor Philipp Sandner, a frequent guest and one of the main evangelists of blockchain in German-speaking academia has passed away. He founded the Blockchain Center at Frankfurt School and was an expert consulted by the German government on the law to allow the tokenization of securities, as well as a member of the Fintechrat. We just mailed him before the holidays and now he is gone. Multiple newspapers and blogs announced his death, but a cause of death was not given.





This small city with its world-class technical university appears more often in our news. Take note!

  • INERATEC raises 118 M€ in Series B funding for their efuel from 14 different investors, including Samsung Ventures, TDK Venturs, our former guests Planet A Ventures, and HTGF

Norderwöhrden — Yes, a bit different news, but still important

We are sure you have never heard of that small town with a population of 282, and neither have we, but it is here for a reason. The small town was the last one that could block the 4,5 billion € investment of Northvolt for their battery factory (we covered the announcement from Northvolt in our news). They voted 3:4 in favor of the project, so it can go ahead and create 3.000 new jobs. The vote took place just yesterday. The factory is one of the largest industrial investments in recent German history and should start production of new batteries, as well as recycling old ones in 2026. The German federal government invests 560+ M€ and the state of Schleswig-Holstein 130+ M€, plus there are subsidies of 900 M€.


  • Vienna-based food-tech startup AnovonA wins over SalzburgMilch als strategic investor with 9,2 M € funding for their protein drink brand “mucki”


  • Zurich, Switzerland-based AI startup Unique raises an additional 5,6 M CHF, after raising 4 M US$ last year for further development of their Azur and OpenAI-based ai platform

  • Swiss Rivero raises $7M for its payment simplifying SaaS solutions

  • Highly praised, multi-award-winning Swiss startup Nomoko files for insolvency

General News / Tech News / Companies News Section

We include some news we deem relevant from more established companies here as well:

New Funds, in case you are looking for money:

  • EIT InnoEnergy and Demeter launch €500m European battery raw materials fund

  • OpenAI Backer Thrive Capital Plans $3 Billion Fundraise keep in mind, this fund is not yet raised and it will take time.

Fintech News Joe

General News

  • The job cuts keep coming in the German tech scene. This time Handelsblatt reports about hundreds of jobs to be cut in the Berlin-based HQ of Delivery Hero

  • Manager Magazine writes that Tier Mobility flees in a merger with rival Dott

  • Aleph Alpha hires new VP for strategy and communications from Palantir

Schumpeters Schöpferische Zerstörung ⇒ Creative Destruction Still Ongoing:

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. We also included some positive outlooks for 2024 here to keep the news in an upbeat mood

We will be back on February 29th with the next news episode and the next regular episode will go live next week.

Stay Ahead of the Curve

  • Joe’s gathering of 2023 data on the global, European and German startup scene: Deep-Dive: A Recap of 2023’s Startup Valuations and Investment Trends


We are always looking for ways to make the show better. Please take this opportunity and share your feedback with us! We would love to hear from YOU!!!

The Host

This interview was conducted by Jörn “Joe” Menninger, startup scout, founder, and host of Reach out to him:

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