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Venture Funding in greater Rhine-Main surpassed half a billion already

Q3 of 2019 was another great quarter. The startup scene across the greater Rhine-Main Area raised more than 57 million Euros in total funding, beating Q3 2018 by 237%. This is what we would call booming. This leads to a total of 476,1 mn Euros, which is half a billion, to be exact US$ 524,95 mn US$, at today’s exchange rate.

Peeking in Q4

As of writing this post the IPO of BioNTech already took place. So due to the importance, we want to make a note here, since it leads to the first listed unicorn in Frankfurt / Rhine-Main.

The successful IPO is great news, but not as good as expected. When we wrote our Q2 post, there was speculation of the IPO of BioNTech, raising up to 800 mn US$ in their IPO. As of October 15th, “only” 150 mn US$ (136 mn Euros) have been raised in the successful IPO.

This is none the less a great achievement and congratulations to the whole team of BioNTech who made the long way from the idea of individual cancer treatments to a multimillion-dollar IPO at NASDAQ.

Back to Q3 — with a hint of what is coming

Therefore, the current state of venture funding in greater Rhine-Main looks like this (with “already raised” hinting at the BioNTech IPO).

Venture funding greater Rhine-Main Area, Q3 with a hint at the BioNTech IPO, which already took place.

The main driver of this quarter has been Volocopter, which is headquartered in Bruchsal, 1h 20 minutes south of Frankfurt by car. They raised 55 mn USD (50 mn Euros).

For every German reading this, there would be an impulse to say … “NO, this is not greater Rhine-Main.” But one of the points for criticism on the German startup scene is its “Kleinstaaterei” or sectionalism. For the purpose of becoming really a startup hub on a global level, Rhine-Main needs to change it’s understanding and reach. In the US there is no criticism in including every county around San Francisco in the “Bay Area.” From one of the most northern points — Knoxville CA — it may take you almost 2,5 hours to get to the center of SF. And please keep here in mind that the difference in population between Frankfurt and San Francisco is just 134.000. So we are stretching a bit the broader accepted definition of greater Rhine-Main for our purposes, but keep in mind: Rhine-Main needs to stretch itself (in many dimensions) to become a startup hub on the global map.

A personal note from the author of this post: People from Volocopter can be met regularly in Frankfurt, so this is really not too far fetched.

Keeping track of deals and volume in Q3

Overall the picture is quite promising since Q2 and Q3 have beaten their 2018 peers by a considerable margin. With the data present has accounted for 26 deals with a volume of more than 476 mn Euros (~ 525 million USD, 417 mn GBP)

Venture funding in greater Rhine-Main, as tracked by as of October 15th, 2019

Deals in Q3

A surprising fact is to us that pure fintech does not seem to be the main driver of investments in terms of volume, but by deal count. Fintech deals by number are way ahead of other industries.

Also noteworthy are the increasing investments of two Frankfurt-based Blockchain investors, FinLab and Iconic Lab. Both are giving a great boost to the Frankfurt Blockchain Scene and help to bring Blockchain in No2 in terms of deal count.

FinLab is in addition also one of the main drivers of fintech investments and therefore an indispensable building block of the Rhine-Main startup scene.

Deal count as of Q3

Keep up to date

You can keep up to date, by following our Blog here, our Twitter account or on Facebook. On the social media channels, we also post on these channels content related to venture financing in the greater Rhine-Main Region.

Hashtags to follow

Have a look on Twitter for Frankfurt and the wider Rhein-Main area: #rheinmainrocks, #frmstartupscene #rheinmainstartups #frankfurtvalley or #startupradio

Jörn Menninger for the partners of



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