Mathias Ockenfels
Sep 11, 2018 · 3 min read

A Speedinvest x & Frontline collaboration: The German-speaking startup and VC ecosystem


For the 3rd edition (we started back in 2016) of our annual presentation of the German-speaking startup and venture capital landscape, we’ve extended our scope from Germany to factor in the increased importance of other hubs in the German-speaking ecosystem. We’ve also included Austria and Switzerland in our analysis, effectively broadening the scope of the presentation to include the entire DACH-region.

Main highlights from the presentation:

  • Swiss city Zug jumps into top 3 cities in terms of funding primarily driven by its growing crypto-community (Zug now also referred to as “Crypto Valley”)
  • Over 10 debut funds launched in last 12 to 18 months in DACH
  • DACH attracts highest level of international VC-investment in Europe
  • Overall fewer VC deals in DACH, but more capital per deal i.e. overall capital invested constantly increasing but deal count fluctuates significantly YoY
  • 3 DACH-cities in top 10 EU-cities by deal volume
  • DACH is home to an increasing number of unicorns and unicorn-investors and saw several successful exits & IPOs over the past months

As in previous years, this presentation is primarily based on our own secondary research and aims to summarize findings from existing reports and research papers on the German-speaking tech ecosystem. In addition to our own observations and analysis, we have gathered feedback from different market participants and key players to improve the content of the presentation. Many thanks to all contributors and a special shout out to Stephan von Perger of innovatorsroom who even contributed a few new slides (more on that below).

While we try to provide a complete view of the entire ecosystem, we cannot claim that this presentation is exhaustive. Hence, we continue to rely and very much appreciate feedback from our readers and the entire ecosystem to steadily improve the quality and accuracy of our research.

Since we do not just want to mirror findings from primary research, we added our own interpretations, opinions and observations where applicable. We hope you appreciate and value this additional nuance and take it for what it is: our own view and interpretation of the current state of the ecosystem.

Here’s a short overview of the main updates and changes we`ve made compared to the last version:

  • Complete design overhaul
  • Added general overview of DACH region
  • Added slide on unicorn investors from/in DACH
  • Added several slides with data on VC performance in DACH
  • Added slides on corporate venture capital activity in DACH — kindly contributed by Stephan von Perger of innovatorsroom
  • Did recap of 2017 predictions & how our 2017 “startups to watch / hidden champions” have performed since
  • Added new predictions and new cohort of “hidden champions”

We hope you enjoy flipping through the slides and that the presentation proves helpful for your own business activities in the DACH-region. We’re curious to get your feedback and input for the next update. Many thanks to Thomas Olszewski and the entire Frontline Ventures-team for the continued collaboration over the years. Special thanks to all our loyal readers and your invaluable feedback!

State of the Startup & Venture Capital Landscape in DACH 2018 (corrected)

You can download a PDF-version of the presentation via Dropbox.

If you want to meet some of the key players of the DACH ecosystem with a particular focus on marketplace-related investments, check out The Marketplace Conference on November 28th 2018 in Berlin.


We are a seed investor that offers both capital and operational resources.

Mathias Ockenfels

Written by

I ❤️ network effects! @Speedinvest ❌ | Alumni: @Uniplaces @PointNineCap @Naspers @ricardo_ch | Passion for startups, 🏍🥋🥊 ☕️🍫🏃 | VAMO


We are a seed investor that offers both capital and operational resources.

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