This piece is an accompaniment to our newly launched ranking of German startups and scaleups to watch for 2022. Check it out in full here.
The heavyweight player of continental Europe, German tech has for a long time set the highest of standards for neighboring ecosystems. Steady growth, sizeable exits and sectoral diversity have made Germany an attractive destination for investors’ money, both from within and more recently from abroad.
The country already counts 30 VC-backed unicorns — companies valued at over $1bn — including the likes of Personio, Celonis, Gorillas and Flink. And there’s a remarkable fleet of fast-growing new players.
But 2022 you have been off to a surprisingly slow start, with round sizes decreasing from the earliest to the latest stages, as investors say that some turbulence is to be expected with rising interest rates and geopolitical concerns.
Things could be picking up in Q2, however. Grover and chocolate both pocketed some healthy checks in the last week, raising a $330m Series C and a $111 Series B extension respectively, while Staffbase broke through the $1bn ceiling earlier last month.
Amongst these exciting developments, we’ve ranked the startups we think will be making moves in 2022, including some fresh faces, some rising stars and some heavy hitters.
Startups making their debut
Riding in between the digital health wave and the fast delivery hype, on-demand medicine delivery service MAYD has racked up €45m in funding and has grown its team by 184% in just over six months. Founder Lukas Pieczonka previously launched McMakler, one of the most well-funded startups in our list.
Backed by Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek, Helsing is an AI and security company focused on supporting modern democracies. With a strong founding team — CEO Torsten Reil previously founded Oxford spinoff NaturalMotion, then sold it for $527m — it raised €103m in its first year, and placed itself amongst the fastest growing companies in Germany.
Hamburg-based 1Komma5° has capitalized on the carbon-neutral heatwave homes, pulling a €200m Series A from Eurazeo, Porsche Ventures, ECAPITAL, btov Partners and others. Cofounder and CEO Philipp Schröder was Tesla’s Germany and Austria country director, and sits on the supervisory board for CAPinside.com.
Berlin-based Composable Finance has entered the crypto space with a $32m Series A — the largest crypto round in the country to date — to further develop crypto technical stacks. Fourteen investors joined, including Coinbase Ventures and Blockchain Capital.
At its second appearance in our German ranking, wealthtech superapp Vivid Money is a competitive player in European fintech, having raised around €160m since its last feature. Vivid is also included in our European fintech list.
Happily bankrolled from its $150m Microsoft acquisition, Wunderlist’s founding team went on to launch Pitch, a collaborative presentation software backed by Index Ventures, Lakestar and Tiger Global, among others. Cofounder Charlotte Prévot also appeared in our female-led exits list.
B2B invoicing platform Billie has been growing steadily since its 2016 launch, attracting funding from Global Founders, Creandum, Tencent, Picus Capital and Speedinvest, as well as Klarna. Its Series C last October was the largest in the B2B buy now, pay later space.
Other familiar names in the ranking include Hy2Gen, Moonfare, Isar Aerospace, CoachHub, Getsafe and Taxdoo. The ranking does not include pre-seed and seed stage companies, which we track for our Pro briefings. For in-depth research on the most exciting startups across all European countries and sectors, visit our briefings catalog here.
Federico Scolari is a data intern reporter at Sifted.