This Month in German Startups – May 2020

This Month in German Startups – May 2020

If you are new to our podcast(s), we are wrapping up the startup news of the German-speaking area in a monthly recording from Frankfurt and New York. Have a look at our website or and you will find all the links to our recordings and the articles we are quoting from there. Some of the source articles are in English, some are in German.


Reach out to us


If you like our podcast, consider supporting us on Patreon


This recording was made possible by (Hessen Trade and Invest). Learn more about our enabler here:

Together with our enabler, we are running a podcast called “Tech Startups Germany”, which will focus on startups at a Serie A stage or even more mature. You will also find all the videos we produce for this podcast on our YouTube channel This podcast is available directly on our device as an audio and video podcast. Yes, makes the first downloadable video podcast. Find all options to subscribe here: 

Video Recording – YouTube (the video will premiere on Thursday, May 28th 19.00 CET / 1 pm Eastern) 


Housekeeping – Time to brag 

  • The current situation looks a bit better, so we feel ok with a tiny bit of bragging 🙂 We made it in Russia’s Apple Tech Podcast Charts (up to #121) and PR China Apple Tech Podcast Charts (up to #485). This gets the total to 30 countries!  We are also now on Patreon. If you like your podcast, become a patron! (
  • We published again some cool interviews, where we wanted to highlight especially this month’s interview with IDA, where we talk to the CEO and Co-Founder Hamedo Ayadi of Intelligence Data Analytics. At the start of the coronavirus outbreak, 70% of their employees worked related to aviation, which was completely stopped by one phone call. He tells the story of how they changed strategy fast to survive: 

Coronavirus / Covid19

  • German government approves the corona aid package for startups. A two billion fund will add to private funding from the package (30% private, 70% public) this is called „Corona-Matching-Fazilität“ (CMF). The package was put together quite fast since the first announcement has been in mid-April. There will be another pillar, called “Startup-Schutzschild” (startup shield), which will assist the instruments of Germany’s 16 states for startups, who have no backing by investors yet. 
    • Related we found news about two of the measures of single states: 
    • Bavaria: LfA sets up a new loan program for small and very small enterprises – Munich Startup 
    • Hamburg: They call their program InnoStartup – Hamburg Startups (some more information in the Hamburg Hub section)
  • Corona cases in Amazon logistics center in Winsen, Germany: Verdi demands to close the location
  • German unicorns like Dreamlines, Flixbus, Getyourguide, Homelike, Hometogo, Omio, Tourlane and Trivago write an open letter to Google to get 75 mn € advertisement money back  the letter is also signed by the head of German startup association
  • 50% of startups have 6 months to live & other insights from our COVID-19 survey – Slush 
    • Highlights:
    • Startups will need to raise funds at any cost
      • The importance of networks at a new high
      • Recruitment at a halt, but existing staff is largely kept on
      • Remote work is taking a toll “ Working from home has put a strain on startup employees.”
      • As sales drop, new winners are emerging “B2C startups are doing better than those selling B2B, and pure D2C companies have actually experienced a net increase in sales.”Good news: (Chris)
  • KML Vision is an #AI startup from Graz, Austria. It claims, it’s software could recognize Covid-19 on x-ray pictures 
  • In a podcast, Marc Cuban “Why Coming Out of The Pandemic Will Be The Best Time In The History of Mankind To Start A Business” 
  • He was also guest on the show of our friends at “Remote Daily”, a format building a nice business community via daily Zoom calls. There he spoke about leadership in times of crisis. 
  • German online grocery store sees the big impact of #COVID19 on its business. They signup increased 25fold 

Affiliated Links

  • Is your startup in need of a bank account in Germany? Try our partner affiliate Penta
  • Looking to open a bank account to shift between crypto and fiat? Try our partner Bitwala with this affiliate link here


  • German Venture Capital Barometer sets a new record low due to #Coronavirus. All indicators in the red. The business climate index for the German VC scene is calculated by the German VC and PE association (BVKAP) and KfW, the government-backed development bank The quoted specialist finds it likely the VC investors will focus on their portfolio and not make significant new investments 
  • VCs in Germany only finance 8% of startups co-founded by women.  That is 17% of their investments 
  • Startups banking in Germany: According to a recent analysis, approx 5% of startups in Germany have a bank account with neobank Penta. The younger the startup, the more likely they are to bank with a challenger bank. The share of established players with newly founded startups is shrinking fast, especially the share of Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank is holding up well. From the established players the German thrift organizations (Sparkassen) are the leaders in startup banking, but they are 385 institutions. Also, the Volksbanken, cooperative banks, are doing pretty well. The Volksbanken and Sparkassen are usually the only banks of which you will find branches outside of larger cities.  
  • More than 50 companies now have permits to trade in medical cannabis in Germany. This crowding leads to a decline in revenues, from „six-digit a month“ to „five-digit a month“ 
    • Related:
      • More cannabis news: Deutsche-Startups has a list of 13 startups, headquartered in Germany working in the market they only forgot Frankfurt-based cansativa, the startup was the reason for a partial lockdown of the city, as they started out because their super-secure warehouse gave a false alarm. 


This time we have to show a bit more on the less known places, where still interesting startups exist. As you know we like to highlight that here. Note on this section: The order of the articles and hubs is in the order we found them – no other particular order. 

#Frankfurt (Rhine-Main)

  • The app Aliah supports communications in the hospital and takes away some of the burdens of the medical personal 
  • There is a webinar for the STEP program of the German-American Chamber of Commerce in New York City, which enables German startups to make a first “step” to New York. It will take place on June 30th form 14 – 15 CET. You can register here and startups from Hessen can apply for 1.500 Euros funding 
  • Aareal Bank, Wiesbaden-based bank specializes in property financing, wants to sell shares in their IT subsidiary after pressured by an investor

Also Rhine-Main Area: Mainz

  • There is still business going on during Corona. Mainz-based Mailtastic (a GDPR conform marketing platform) completes exit („seven digits“) to New York-based Cognism 


  • Seven digit Venture Capital investment for Erium, which helps to minimize errors in #manufacturing processes – Munich Startup 
  • Wikimedia Germany starts an accelerator program called Unlock in #Munich. All startups working towards an „open knowledge society“ can apply 


  • Hamburg-based YogaEasy is booming like Netflix – Hamburg Startups  
  • Hamburger Corona Soforthilfe (HCS) is seen as a great success. Of the program 25 mn € are earmarked for startups (HCS InnoStartup), which already approved 2.3 mn Euros  


  • There are still startups founded during corona. Deutsche-Startups highlights 7, including one from Hannover

#Göppingen (close to Stuttgart) 

  • Permira sells TeamViewer shares worth $1.1 billion – Reuters
    The PE investor bought the German startup outright and listed them later at the Frankfurt stock exchange. Now they sold approx 20% of their stake 




  • German startup Flightright (a startup getting buying passenger compensation claims) sues Lufthansa due to open refunds 




  • EIT Digital Challenge is looking for fast-growing European ‚deep-tech‘ companies, handing out 350k in prizes
  • N26, #Berlin-based #fintech unicorn
    – felt first impact (lower transactions) in march
    – in April they sent 150 employees in government-backed Kurzarbeit (10% of their global workforce)
    • now they raise 100 mn US$, with a „steady“ valuation of 3.5 bn US$.  
      The news comes from the Vienna / Austria-based blog, they are usually very good, since both remaining founders are natives of Vienna (Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal)  and moved with N26 from there to Berlin. The blog further speculates that the increase of their Series D (now 570 mn US$) – 1 ½ years after their initial Series D round –  suggests a short term need for the money. 
  • One of the former founders of #Berlin-based #todolist darling Wunderlist announces a new productivity app called Superlist 
  • Soundcloud founders start with a new mobility startup
  • Porsche Invests in Berlin-based Blockchain Startup to develop Platform for Vehicle Management 
  • Jumia (started by #Berlin-based Rocket Internet): The e-commerce start-up that fell from grace via BBC Africa
    A year after its much-heralded debut on the New York Stock Exchange, e-commerce start-up Jumia has shut down in three African states, struggled to turn a profit and got dumped by its original owners,
  • #Berlin-based „B2B Food Group“ with brands like Caterwings, Lemoncat, Monbanquet, and OrderIn retreats from the German home market as a consequence of #Covid19, to focus on other markets 


Stay Ahead of the Curve

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert.