This Month in German, Swiss, and Austrian (GSA) Startups — June 2022
Welcome to This Month in German, Swiss, and Austrian (GSA) Startups in June 2022 by Startuprad.io. My co-host is again Chris from New York. This recording is sponsored by Invest-in-Hessen and Startupraven.com. It is in radio syndication with our very own station www.startup.radio, and our partner station IBGR.Network.
We recorded this new episode on Monday, June 27th, 2022. Keep in mind, that we will have a summer break and be back for you with another news episode on Labor Day, which is September 5th, 2022. In this episode, we will wrap up July, and August.
As always: All news not yet included here will be published in our next news episode in September.
We will also slightly change our publication schedule for this July and August, mostly going to one publication every two weeks. You can keep up to date with our Google Calendar for all publications:
Startups in GSA also shedding headcount, including unicorns that recently raised money. All signs point towards them extending their runway, expecting a recession. Some startups face a challenging fundraising environment, but others like WeFox want to almost double their valuations. Also, Personio and Trade Republic raise additional funds.
In our “stay ahead of the curve” section, we have a lot of articles an entrepreneur should read to prepare for the potential downturn.
German economic minister Habeck is unveiling his new startup strategy, considering even a minimum investment in VC Funds for German insurers and pension funds.
The fast delivery startups seem to hit a wall and even formerly mighty Gorillas now explores strategic options.
Let’s talk startups:
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This is just a selection of the current bloodshed going on in listed and non-listed tech around the world. Again we are focusing on the GSA market, but this is currently a big thing, especially for the workers fired.
- Global startup job cut reaches 17.000 people. Recent job cutters include unicorn Berlin Brands Group with 10% of their employees https://buff.ly/3mO4IBH
- German neobroker unicorn Trade Republic raises 250 m € at 5 bn € valuation, despite challenging market environment (for trading and fundraising). This is up from a 4.4 bn € valuation at their last fundraising in Mai 2021 https://buff.ly/3NGM5f7, despite that they are joining a long list of startups to cut expectations and jobs https://buff.ly/3Qr1TV5
- Crypto trading platform Bitpanda cuts headcount by a third https://buff.ly/3HQjzoW
- A few weeks ago Berlin-based crypto startup Nuri announced to ax 20% of its headcount. Now they have to freeze withdrawals from some of their accounts since their partner Celsius Networks did so https://buff.ly/3QlYW84
- Rocket Internet has already cut headcount: 30% of their workforce at their Global Founders Capital (formerly 94) and 50% at their Flash Ventures (formerly 40) https://buff.ly/3QBzdse
Fast Delivery Startups in Trouble
Berlin’s Gorillas lays off 300 and exits four markets https://buff.ly/3aoYUvF They are not the only ones, Getir (also active in Germany) is also shedding headcount https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/25/getir-the-12b-instant-delivery-startup-plans-to-axe-14-of-staff-globally-and-cut-aggressive-expansion-plans/ They are also reportedly in search for other options, which may include a merger or acquisition as well. Read more here: Gorillas Burns 80 m US$ a Month. Now Explores Options, Weighed Deals With Delivery Rivals https://buff.ly/3OuwZZT
Instant delivery firm Jokr is leaving the US https://buff.ly/3zLtEBB Its founder — Ralf Wenzel — is also known as the founder of Foodpanda and helped Softbank with the reorganization of WeWork
- Gorillas Startup Dream of Food Delivery and Office Raves Falters https://buff.ly/3NTkqrh
- Ultra-Fast Delivery Startups May Have Moved Too Fast https://buff.ly/39KZ1Sg
Challenging Fundraising Environment
But Some persevere for example
- Personio nabs $200M at a $8.5B valuation as its HR for small businesses hits the big time — Making it one of Europe’s most valuable startups https://buff.ly/3NbqhXC
- Insurtech Startup Wefox Seeks Funding at Over $5 Billion Value https://buff.ly/3bmw67l almost doubling their previous valuation
And others start to think about all options
- Solarisbank is Exploring All Options From Fundraising to a Sale to a PE Fund https://buff.ly/3R3A1Xp
Plusdental is a Berlin-based startup working on mouthguards. In March 2021 said they were looking at a unicorn valuation. Now they exit for a mere 131 m € to a swiss based company https://buff.ly/3lHySGf
Wingcopter receives 42 m US$ new funding, plans expansion https://buff.ly/3xA90BO They are building a unique drone, that combines vertical lift-off capabilities with wing-assisted flight for long distances (much like a V 22 Osprey), already working in the Pacific on remote atolls and in Africa. You can more about the company here: https://buff.ly/3O9Fl9v
This brings the total investments tracked by RhineMain.vc in 2022 so far to 460+ m €
After The Downturn on the Horizon…
Germany has a new startup strategy — Which is still in the making, and far from final yet, BUT here are the first hints in the German press:
There May be a much better fundraising environment for German startups in the future, if the German minister of economics Habeck gets his will. He wants to make it easier for German startups to raise venture capital. German insurers and pension funds should get a minimum VC investment quota https://buff.ly/3m7k4RH
Right now their investments are minimal. Just to give you an idea of what is in the making here, the German insurers had at the end of 2020 more than 3 trillion Euros (3.17 trn US$) in assets. If the quota would have been set to 1%, there would be 30 bn € additional LP funding for VCs.
The overall strategy has 10 points. You can learn more here:
German Federal Ministry of Economics presents plans for strengthening the startup scene https://buff.ly/3Q9EreJ
Delivery Hero Leaves DAX
After a regular review by Deutsche Börse, they decided that delivery hero has to leave Germany’s leading stock market index and be replaced by Beiersdorf (known for care brand nivea). DH will also not be able to join DAX for the next two years. Also, with new rules in place, they have to be profitable in order to have a chance of joining the index again. https://buff.ly/3u41X38 Delivery Hero found a new home in Germany’s MDAX, the little brother of the DAX index.
Housekeeping & Time to Brag
- You guys know that we changed our hosting service? We are heard each week in (as of June 27th) more than 90 countries across the world (it was actually 94).
- Also, we passed in June the 2 m views mark on Youtube!
Thank you guys, we are very happy to have you as an audience.
- We just had the English world premiere of Kranus. Now they are in the news with their Series A funding of 6.5 m US$ https://buff.ly/3bgZuvU You can learn more about the founder in our English world premiere here: https://buff.ly/39MD3hO
- European Capital Report found only 61 newly founded investors in 2021 in Europe. 43 of them VCs, 10 of them in GSA. Much more data is in the report (link opens PDF) https://buff.ly/3PGRmo8
- Investors expect down rounds for most startups and scale-ups https://buff.ly/3LS6cox
- Value of US and European IPOs tumbles 90% this year https://buff.ly/3NrQWR4
- Disappearing Term Sheets and Down Rounds: Inside Venture Capital’s New Normal https://buff.ly/3MpinJZ
- Within 4 years of GDPR in Germany, the authorities punished 1.072 violations, with a total of 1,6 bn Euros in fines. Nearly half of it came from Amazon, for not asking users explicitly enough to get targeted ads. https://buff.ly/393SUIm
- Germany’s Federal Cartel Office opens investigations in Google Maps since the service can not be combined with other maps https://buff.ly/39FxfGZ
- Let's end this section with some good news. The expected downturn is not the end of all days and: Tech startup M&A picks up in the downturn https://buff.ly/38ApiSQ one example here is the recent acquisition Zalando made learn more below
There are many deserving startups, cities, and entrepreneurs who will never get any English coverage, would it not be for us. This is why this section exists. This time Chris is channeling his inner geography teacher and has his own order :-)
- LOVR found a market niche. With more and more consumers replacing meat, there is also less leather to go around. Now LOVR form Darmstadt raises a seed round for their plant-based leather replacement. The company behind the LOVR material is called Revoltech and they did not disclose the total funding https://buff.ly/3OGKNAH
- Frankfurt, Germany-based solar energy startup Enviria collects €22.5 million in Series A rays “While the vast majority of solar energy-related projects hailing from Germany focus on residential installations and rental and maintenance services, Enviria is taking a different route, focusing instead on photovoltaic energy solutions including energy-as-a-service products customized for the distinct needs of businesses.” https://buff.ly/3OIgsBH
- Bosch VC (headquartered in Frankfurt) launches $295M fund for deep tech startups https://buff.ly/3axDsVd
- Keep in mind the good news from Wingcopter
- Frankfurt-based SaaS startup Autengo is sold to Kaiserslautern-based Saltow AG, which in turn is owned by Tyre24. Autengo offers SaaS solutions for car dealerships https://buff.ly/3HEAScy
- Code Intelligence Raises $12M in Series A Funding — FinSMEs https://buff.ly/3aTA07P
- Finn is a Munich-based startup for car subscriptions. They now raise 110 m US$ after “brutal weeks” of fundraising https://buff.ly/38mk2C8
- Our own blog post: Munich-based e-bot 7 Was Acquired for More Than 50 m US$ by S&P600 company LivePerson https://buff.ly/3xve4aD
- OroraTech is a startup, dedicated to detecting wildfires from orbit. Their first satellite was launched in January with a SpaceX rocket. Now this satellite and its AI detected the first wildfire https://buff.ly/3NdUJQU
- Hannover, Germany-based Tennis startup Wingfield raises 4 m Euros Venture Capital https://buff.ly/3NuQKAo
Braunschweig (not too far from Hannover)
- Braunschweig-based startup Okapi Orbits raises 5,5 m Euros seed funding to protect satellites from collisions with space debris https://buff.ly/3QlYbMg
- Accenture buys a bank data center in Tirol, Austria called ARZ. They gain 600 new employees and want to use it to build up further https://buff.ly/3QcgPGc
- Do you know Vienna-based anti-Robin Hood fintech Froots? They just raised 2,5 m to encourage long-term investments https://buff.ly/3NFle2J
- Wemakeit, a Swiss crowdfunding platform is taking an unusual route to fundraise. Within a few days, they raised 6,4 m CHF by selling shares to 4.400 backers https://buff.ly/393FH2c
- The crowdfunding market in Switzerland approaches 1 bn CHF. It has reached 792 m CHF in 2021 https://buff.ly/3QizlNs
- Swiss proptech startup Foxstone raises 10 m CHF venture capital to invest in their real estate platform https://buff.ly/3mMSWaR
- Swiss traveltech startup Chain4Travel raises 4,5 m US$ to build their blockchain solution https://buff.ly/3MJxhea
- Zug, Switzerland-based Klarpay AG raises CHF 3 Mio., to accelerate growth https://buff.ly/3sXnuds
General News / Tech News / Companies News Section
- More bad news for one of Germany’s largest investors: Tiger Global’s 52% Plunge Prompts Fee Cut, Redemption Plan https://buff.ly/3H5jrBC
- Meet getquin: Social network for investors from Berlin scores $15 million to expand beyond DACH https://buff.ly/3mvvZZy
- Founders of Penta challenger bank started Pile, a B2B crypto startup. Now Pile raised 2,8 m € pre-seed funding, led by Anthemis and Barclays Female Innovators Lab, investors also include N26 CEO and soccer player Mario Götze https://buff.ly/3mMLBrO
- Former Penta co-founder launches crypto API startup with €2.8 million backing https://buff.ly/3N1eATC
- Berlin-based financial management startup Airbank (which offers financial management for SMEs) raises $20 million https://buff.ly/39s4UDQ
- Germany-based investment API Upvest scores $42m https://buff.ly/3HF5JFX
- Despite Klarna being in crisis mode „Buy now, pay later“ fintech Mondu from Germany raises 43 m US$ in series a funding, investors include Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures https://buff.ly/3mCiQOu
- Jones Lang Lasalle’s VC arm invests in Berlin-based proptech ecoworks in a 7,7 m € investment round, amongst other investors https://buff.ly/YnX6Bg https://buff.ly/3zlWYyr
- Do you see the trend to API focused startups?
New VC funds
- Project A Ventures raises the largest fund to date of $375m https://buff.ly/3mR9RsK
- Also, keep in mind the Bosch VC fund for Deep Tech Startups mentioned in the Frankfurt section “Bosch VC (headquartered in Frankfurt) launches $295M fund for deep tech startups https://buff.ly/3axDsVd”
- Berlin-based Climate-tech VC World Fund just added PwC as an anchor LP to its $365 million fund. Check out the 17-slide pitch deck it used to land the deal. https://buff.ly/3n6KZh1
A very very few selected VC fundings
- CoachHub raises $200M led by Sofina, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, just 8 months after their last funding — Despite the large funding, they are not a unicorn (yet). https://buff.ly/3xPRVFo
- Silicon Valley Bank approves 100 m US$ for Berlin-based Recap Platform https://buff.ly/3HI86b3
- Omio tops up with $80 million as travel bounces back
The capital raised will be used by the Berlin-based startup to reinitiate global expansion activities including M&A deals and new strategic partnerships https://buff.ly/39Kg4nt
- Berlin’s Distribusion — a B2B marketplace — rakes in €30 million to make ground transportation accessible online https://buff.ly/3xH59D0
- Berlin-based ecolytic gets €13.5 million to empower more sustainable consumer habits https://buff.ly/3H9hYuh
Some Startups Did Not Make It …
- Kurando is a German fast delivery service for pharmacies. Now they have to file for insolvency. Operations have already ceased https://buff.ly/3biWH5t
- AgTech Agrando raised 12 m € venture capital in the summer of 2021, but now has to file for insolvency https://buff.ly/3Ow8o75
- Retirement savings fintech Vantik has to file for insolvency. They wanted to offer the savings with a cash-back scheme and had to make the filing due to a busted funding round https://buff.ly/3Q4tL0T
- Doordash closes shop in Germany, only the brand will be retained by Wolt there https://buff.ly/3xfZhk2
- Hinted already in the top news, when we talked about M&A activity picking up:
Zalando acquires majority stake in Highsnobiety, bringing together content and commerce https://buff.ly/3NYmJt6 Highsnobiety is a fashion and lifestyle media brand founded in 2005 and currently generates 60 m US$ global revenue, based in Berlin
- Do you know Autodoc? It is a Berlin-based online marketplace for spare parts. It is completely owned by its three original founders and generates 1 bn Euro revenues https://buff.ly/3zDZDn7
- 10 Most Innovative Food Waste Startups Around the World https://buff.ly/3ns7i0R including @Choco_app
Stay ahead of the curve
- Venture Capitalists’ Soaring Pay Is Tempting Fate — Bloomberg https://buff.ly/3NBThsy
- As fintech valuations fall, even Stripe isn’t immune to a changing market — TechCrunch https://buff.ly/3xbOqrc
- Q2 SaaS multiples have collapsed https://buff.ly/3tBIhUk
- How startups should handle the downturn https://buff.ly/3aR9POQ
- Read Sequoia’s newest presentations to portfolio companies on how to survive the next 3 years https://buff.ly/3MU7EHu
- There’s still good news out there for software startups — TechCrunch https://buff.ly/3Nqm5Ev
Back on September 5th with the summer wrap-up.