With their very own “Silicon Allee” and countless start-up events across the city, Berliners seem to be nurturing their start-up scene fairly well. The “Berlin buzz” is real and growing.

A myriad of laptop-friendly cafes, several “hip” coworking spaces, and fruitful networking events – was Berlin designed with start-ups and freelancers in mind?

These are the Berlin start-ups to watch out for in 2020. But first, let’s take a look at some numbers.

Funding

German venture capitalists see the true potential of Berlin start-ups. Consider that 76% of all start-up investments in the first half of 2019 went to the ones in Berlin.

That’s a pretty large percentage, check out the stats in EY’s recent Start-up Barometer. Note that you may feel light-headed for a second – the page is covered in German.

The industries that are seeing the most funding are Fintech / InsurTech and Mobility, with €704m and €659m respectively out of a total of €2.1billion invested in Berlin. 

e-Commerce, which reigned in 2018 with over €1billion, sharply declined to €208m in 2019.

Start-ups to watch out for in the coming year 

TIER Mobility

Micro-mobility is becoming a big thing in Europe. I’m sure we’ve all seen tourists or businessmen and women whizzing past on colourful e-scooters.

Berlin hosted the Micro-mobility Berlin Conference on the 1st of October. Several of the largest European and global electric scooter operators united and discussed the future of urban transport – how exciting. J

But Berlin-based TIER Mobility is the true star of the show.

It secured $60m (€540m) in Series B funding and is growing faster than siblings Bird and Lime. TIER has become the fastest-growing micro-mobility company in Europe and is valued at €271m.

N26

Living in Germany with next to no German skills? Chances are, you bank with N26. It’s the branchless, English-speaking neobank that’s redesigning banking as we know it.

The fintech start-up has seen tremendous growth since its birth in 2015. Now, in 2019, the bank handles €2 billion in monthly transactions over two dozen European markets.

A brief look at Statista shows that N26’s overall funding surpassed 680 million USD in July, making it the highest-funded online bank in Europe after the series D round.

The neobank has 3.5 million customers, coming second only to Revolut, who has a million more. But N26’s value is twice as high as its UK-based competitor and is bound to catch up. This could spell bad news for Revolut and traditional financial institutions.

Frontier Car Group

This three-year-old start-up develops, deploys and operates online, used-car marketplaces for vendors within emerging market economies.

In November, the group raised $400m (approximately €360m) series D, bringing them to $502m (€460m) overall funding.

With operations in Nigeria, Mexico, Chile, Pakistan, and Indonesia, they’re leading the digitisation of the automotive sales sector in emerging markets.

Most Innovative Early-Stage Start-ups in Berlin

Teraki

At the beginning of 2019, the team of this five-year-old automotive AI company announced that they had raised €2million in additional funding to build a DevCenter.

Their mission? To help the automotive industry tackle the gigantic data demands brought on by IoT. Their tech processes edge data 10X more efficiently by condensing data to as little as two per cent of its original size.

They’ve steadily been accumulating funding throughout the years without garnering too much attention. But now, they’re about to enhance the performance of IoT devices across the automotive and insurance market.

Plantix 

The AgriTech start-up PEAT GmbH is behind the app that trains phone cameras to recognise crop diseases. The company raised €6.6million to improve its AI-driven app and enable farmers and gardeners – or anyone with a phone – to spot diseased plants and cure them quickly.

With a valuation of €26-€40million, Plantix is small but ready to decrease crop losses using the secrets of computer vision.

Potential Unicorns

Berliners in the start-up ecosystem are constantly trying to predict who will become the next Unicorn. There are some promising start-ups on the road to hit the 1 billion mark, but will we see them succeed? Here are a couple to look out for.

Friday

Born just two years ago in 2017, Friday is already valued at €300m – €450m. The InsurTech start-up secured 75m at the start of 2019 with a Series A round. The investor was its parent company: Swiss Baloise Group.

With paperless settlements and kilometre-accurate billing processes, the start-up may just simplify the way we apply for vehicle insurance.

McMakler

Founded in 2015, this real estate broker combines digital analytics, communication and marketing technologies. Valued at €200m – €300m, the company aims to personalise real estate services using the latest technology.

 

Disrupt Berlin

With Disrupt Berlin around the corner, TechCrunch is giving us the top picks for the event that will be held on the 11th of December. Haven’t heard of this series of conferences? Any self-respecting start-upper or start-up-lover should have a look.

In short: TechCrunch organised Disrupt to debut revolutionary start-ups. Here are a few of their top picks:

Cyanite.ai

Everyone knows Berlin’s relationship with music and technology, this start-up combines the two with its music analysis tool. AI and ML-driven mood analysis for your musical compositions.

It measures the emotional effect of your music based on 8 mood categories. Pretty neat!

Anytype.io

An operating system for the Web 3.0. It enables file sharing, note-taking, and lets you create software without any coding skills. In fact, keep an eye on this entire ‘no-code’ industry as it looks set to take off in the coming years.

Healthy Quit

Uses an ‘artificially intelligent’ treatment algorithm and medications to help patients quit smoking and vaping. Using tech to kill addictions – will we really get there?

Take a quick look at the full list of top picks here and a useful map of start-ups in Germany here.

  

The Berlin buzz is truly helping start-ups grow. Even today at the Data Natives Conference in Berlin, a stage has been set aside specifically for start-up-talk.

Will Berlin keep its place as the European start-up hub? And will these start-ups take Europe by storm in 2020? Only time will tell!

💜 Happy Planning!

From Emma at immerj

 

[Main photo by Levin on Unsplash].