You’ll be aware of Germany’s reputation for engineering, but its newfound startup prowess may have passed you by. Research suggests that Berlin is now Europe’s 2nd largest startup destination after London, and the balance is likely to tip following Brexit. Here are 8 of the most promising startups emerging from what the Germans call ‘Silicon Alley’.
Crealytics cite themselves as the fastest growing PPC specialists in Europe, and it’s easy to believe them. The ad tech company have found an innovative way to muscle in on an extremely crowded market, linking two areas of a business that would scarcely have been possible before ‘big data’.
Their proprietary technology joins eCommerce, product advertising and paid search together in an interesting fashion. By tapping into a company’s enterprise resource planning, their algorithms can optimise campaigns based on factors like stock levels, ensuring that people only see ads for products that are available to order.
Having started in 2010, Crealytics have started 2017 with a bang, raising $9.3m in Series C funding from Optima. They count three of Europe’s top 10 fashion retailers among their current clientele, and are helping to optimise ads in 20 different languages.
Founded in 2015, Honeypot encapsulates the work that’s going on in Berlin’s bustling tech sector. As a service that connects talented developers and coders to top companies, it benefits from it directly, too.
Users of the service can connect their LinkedIn or Github profiles and take a short aptitude test, similar to the ones many companies already use for recruitment. The service then determines your suitability for certain roles, and pitches you to potential clients.
As one of the few purely tech-based recruitment sites in Europe, Honeypot has thrived since its 2015 inception, and is already Europe’s largest developer-specific jobs platform.
Another flourishing tech company in Berlin, Data Artisans are capitalising on the big trend in the 2017 tech world: big data. The term ‘data artisan’ was coined in 2013 to refer to people with tech and business skills, who were able to interpret and apply large amounts of data being collected from users. The company embodies this idea in an extremely popular package.
Founded by the creators of Apache Fink, an open source (i.e. free to use and edit) software framework, Data Artisans is their way of turning its further development and application into a money-making enterprise.
The software essentially allows data to be streamed and processed extremely efficiently. It’s so good that the company’s inaugural convention in 2015 drew 250 attendees, with the company expanding to Silicon Valley this year. They have received funding from Intel’s venture arm among others to the tune of $6.3 million.
Another tech startup based in Berlin, Thermondo offer something a little bit different. They operate in the growth area of cleantech – new technologies for eco-conscious businesses and consumers. Where they differ in particular is that they are applying technology to identify problems, and using good old fashioned engineering to solve them.
Thermondo have digitised many of the processes involved in identifying energy inefficiency, including materials planning and project management. They then offer retrofitting services and energy efficient installations, such as boilers and solar panels. On top of all this, their website acts as a community portal, helping to clue people in about the changes they could be making to help themselves and the environment.
Thermondo have received almost $37 million in investment, including a large chunk from energy giants EON. They grew by 638% last year, and are planning to expand to a fully integrated energy service, providing utilities as well as optimising them.
Berlin is battling hard with London for fintech dominance, and Kreditech is the jewel in its crown. Their MO is simple: a more accurate, reliable and up-to-date credit check, based on factors others don’t consider.
Kreditech’s algorithms check a person’s entire online presence, crawling their social media profiles and browsing history. Scanning their shopping habits and the sites they visit – gambling is a no-no – they can assign a score based on potential behaviour as well as past behaviour.
Based in the northern port city of Hamburg, the company has shipped its product around the world in five short years, operating in six countries. They recently received over $100 million to expand into India, taking them to a lifetime total of nearly $300 million in investment.
If you’re aware of the Berlin startup scene, you may have heard of Movinga before. Earmarked by many for success through 2016, the online home removal platform reportedly burnt through $25m in funding and suffered mass layoffs after scaling way too quickly.
Having reconsolidated and changed leadership however, Movinga is back on the move. Using algorithms to provide quick quotes for removals based on house size, Movinga puts customers in touch with local removal companies. More than this, it keeps track of where these companies are, creating a more efficient roadmap for vans moving between locations.
The company received a Series C funding boost of $17m from the majority of its previous backers, including Rocket and Earlybird. Having over-promised and under-delivered, signs are that the company’s software is now living up to the hype, and its workforce is decidedly happier.
Open A European Company.com founder Heather Landau has honed her skills in service advisory from the pragmatic to the practical. With 25 years experience in international marketing and business development, Heather is a leading voice on company formation in Germany, and operates similar services across Europe and North America.