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List of German startups to watch in 2020. Part I

Germany is one of the leading startup powerhouses in Europe, attracting $4.8 billion in venture capital funding in 2019. The Sifted team has chosen a list of startups to follow in 2020. AIN.TECH publishes the first part of 20.

  1. Lilium

Founded: In 2015 by Daniel Wiegand, Sebastian Born, Patrick Nathen and Matthias Meiner

Valuation: €327-€491M

Munich-based startup Lilium develops on-demand air taxi service. Its Lilium Jet is one of the world’s first all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) jets. The company is taking the kind of ‘jump jet’ technology that the military has been using for some time but making it cheaper, quieter and more eco-friendly by using electric engines. Lilium has been promising to get services up and running by 2025.

  1. N26 Group 

Founded: In 2013 by Valentin Stalf, Maximilian Tayenthal

Valuation: €2.95B

N26 is a millennial-targeting online bank that offers mobile banking solutions to EU customers in 24 markets. It provides international money transfer, investment, overdraft, and cash withdrawal and deposits at stores. The startup is famous for its “Not your grandad’s bank” and “F¥€K Fees” advertising campaigns.

  1. Raisin

Founded: In 2013 by Frank Freund, Michael Stephan, and Tamaz Georgadze

Valuation: €400-€600M

Raisin is a savings and investment marketplace that connects retail customers with banks looking to expand deposit reach. The company’s goal is to provide savers with the best interest rates. Raisin now has more than 84 partner banks from 24 countries and eight platforms covering all of Europe and the UK.

  1. Pitch

Founded: In 2018 by Adam Renklint, Charlette Prevot, Christian Reber, Eric Labod, Jan Martin, Marvin Labod, Misha Karpenko, and Vanessa Stock

Valuation: €109-€164M

Launching its product in 2020, Pitch is the presentation platform with ambitions to make Microsoft PowerPoint a thing of the past. While it will have various custom options and contemporary templates, Pitch’s main selling points are enhancing how teams collaborate on their presentations and providing easier ways to connect to other tech tools.

  1. Comtravo

Founded: In 2015 by Jannik Neumann, Michael Riegel, Simon Schmincke, Slobodan Utvic

Valuation: €84-126M

Comtravo is a travel and tourism company that specializes in travel management, business travel, and online booking. It features machine learning and software platforms that help SMEs to book, manage, and expense their business travel. In 2021, the company has its eyes set on automating 80% of travel management processes.

  1. CoachHub

Founded: In 2018 by Matti Niebelschuetz and Yannis Niebelschuetz

Valuation: €14-€22M

Coachhub is the “mobile coaching cloud” and enables personalised coaching for employees at all career levels. A pool of certified coaches from all around the world and an application for web and smartphone allows live coaching sessions via video conferencing. It has a global network of over 500 coaches available for coaching sessions in 32 languages.

  1. Deposit Solutions

Founded: In 2011 by Tim Sievers

Valuation: €1B

Deposit Solutions is the provider of the Open Banking platform for deposits connecting banks and depositors across Europe. Its software already links 100 banks in 18 European countries. The company’s mission is to establish open banking as the new industry standard for the deposits business. 

  1. INFARM

Founded: In 2012 by Osnat Michaeli and the brothers Erez and Guy Galonska

Valuation: €364-€545M

Infarm makes modular vertical farms and distributes them throughout the urban environment to places such as grocery stores, restaurants, shopping centres and schools. Such supermarkets as Casino, Intermarche and Auchan as well as Amazon Fresh in Germany, Switzerland, and France among its clients.

  1. GetYourGuide

Founded: In 2009 by Jochen Mattes, Johannes Reck, Martin Sieber, Pascal Mathis, Tao Tao, Tobias Rein

Valuation: €1.6B

GetYourGuide operates an online platform for booking tours, attractions, and activities worldwide. There are more than 56,000 experiences on the site, half of which are in Europe. The company has its headquarters in Berlin with additional offices in North America and Europe.

  1. AUTO1 Group

Founded: In 2012 by Christian Bertermann and Hakan Koc

Valuation: €3B

AUTO1 Group is a pan-European used-car marketplace with its own certified and diversified inventory and a technology platform. It values and buys used cars from individuals, dealerships, and manufacturers — then sells them for a profit to dealerships. The Group owns business units like AUTO1.com, Autohero.com or wirkaufendeinauto.de. AUTO1 Group operates in almost 30 countries.

  1. Omio

Founded: In 2012 by Naren Shaam

Valuation: €909M

Berlin-based Omio is a multi-modal travel booking platform. With this platform, users can compare prices, schedules, duration, and other variables for several routes in both markets at-a-glance. At present, Omio is available in 21 languages and attracts an average of 27 million users per month from more than 120 countries. 

  1. FlixBus

Founded: In 2011 by Andre Schwammlein, Daniel Krauss and Jochen Engert

Valuation: €1.82B

FlixBus is a mobility provider, offering environmentally-friendly travel via the FlixBus and FlixTrain brands. Thanks to its business model and technology, the startup has quickly established Europe’s largest long-distance bus network. It now serves more than 2,000 cities in 29 countries, with headquarters in Munich and Berlin.

  1. Blinkist

Founded: In 2012 by Holger Seim, Niklas Jansen, Sebastian Klein, and Tobias Balling

Valuation: €68-€103M

Blinkist is a book summary service with an app that allows its users to read or listen to the most important insights from over 2,500 non-fiction books in 15 minutes. The startup now connects 6-million readers worldwide.

  1. Ecosia

Founded: In 2009 by Christian Kroll

Ecosia is a search engine like Google, but it donates 80% of its ad revenue to plant trees where nature and people need them most. The Ecosia community has already planted millions of trees in Ethiopia, Brazil, Indonesia, Spain, as well as many other biodiversity hotspots.

  1. Wandelbolts

Founded: In 2017 by 7 scientific employees of the Faculty of Computer Science of the TU Dresden

Valuation: €25-€37M

Wandelbots is a startup that enables non-programmers to teach industrial robots faster and cheaper using smart clothing. Based on sensors attached to clothes, the Wandelbots software backend tracks human motion to live-control industrial robots. Operators can teach automation tasks by demonstration. 

  1. Contentful

Founded: In 2011 by Paolo Negri and Sascha Konietzke

Valuation: €118-€177M

Contentful operates as a content platform to build digital experiences at scale. It unifies content in a single hub, structures it for use in any digital channel, and integrates seamlessly with hundreds of other tools through open APIs. Spotify, Urban Outfitters, Jack in the Box, The British Museum, Xoom, Lenovo, and many others rely on Contentful’s content platform.

  1. EyeEm

Founded: In 2011 by Florian Meissner, Gen Sadakane, Lorenz Aschoff, and Ramzi Rizk

Valuation: €65-€98M

EyeEm is a photography company 
that builds computer vision technology 
to connect its global creative community with iconic brands. EyeEm’s collection features more than 90 million images from more than 20 million photographers around the globe.

  1. Volocopter

Founded: In 2011 by Alexander Zosel and Stephan Wolf

Valuation: €200M

Volocopter is an urban air mobility service provider that builds electric air taxis. The platform is flexible and permits piloted, remote controlled and fully autonomous flight. 

  1. Zeitgold

Founded: In 2015 by Jan Deepen, Kobi Eldar, and Stefan Jeschonnek

Valuation: €40-€60M

Zeitgold develops AI-powered software solutions to empower business owners, freelancers and accountants to prepare their bookkeeping digitally and highly automated in a fraction of the time.

  1. Babbel

Founded: In 2007 by Lorenz Heine, Markus Witte, and Thomas Holl

Valuation: €80-€120M

Babbel develops subscription-based language learning apps for the web, iOS and Android. It currently offers courses in 14 different languages from 7 display languages. Babbel’s original learning content is developed in-house by a team of over 100 educators and linguists.

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