Germany

Berlin #16

"Berlin is the city of startups. They are crucial partners in addressing and solving the challenges we face today and tomorrow. Berlin welcomes innovators from all over the world to work on a better and sustainable future."

Stephan Schwarz
Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises
Top 5 European Ecosystem in Talent & Experience
#3 European Ecosystem in Funding
#2 European Ecosystem in Performance

Highlights

One of Europe’s hottest startup senses is only getting hotter. In 2021, €10.5 billion ($11.6 billion) flowed into Berlin’s startups, compared with $6.9 billion for all German startups in 2019. Berlin’s ecosystem accounted for 60% of the total capital invested in Germany. The number of deals also rose 60% year-on-year to 503, including Germany’s largest transaction ever: Berlin-based delivery service Gorillas raised €861 million in September. This was one of eight financing rounds of more than €500 million ($551 million) in Berlin in 2021.


The health sector saw a particular spike in deal making in 2021. Berlin startups in the space closed 57 financing rounds, receiving a total of €519 million ($566 million). A recent healthcare industry study by the WifOR Institute and SNPC ranked Berlin among the top three locations worldwide.


The government is looking to take additional steps to bolster startups. In June 2021, Germany announced unlocking €10 billion ($12 billion) to support startups in their growth phase. The money is to be distributed via an investment fund and is intended to address difficulties startups face when trying to raise venture capital.


Startup support organizations within the ecosystem include Berlin Partner, which supports companies looking to expand. WomenTech Network promotes ​gender diversity in tech and connects talented professionals with top companies and startups that value diversity. At the GREENTECH FESTIVAL participants from around the world discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

Ecosystem by the Numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
(2019H2-2021)
$3.5 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$687 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(2019H2-2021)
$94 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$28.6 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$1.3 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$671 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$7 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2021)
$62 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$46 k
23 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
11.3 bn
334
GLOBAL AVG.
101
Amount ($)
Count (#)

Exits

(2017-2021)
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH TIER (2018/19 VS. 2020/21)
7
Calculated on a scale of
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2017-2021)
$23 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.5 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2017-2021)
6.8 years
GLOBAL AVG.
9.4 years

Sub-Sector Strengths

Fintech

One in ten of all new startups in Germany since 2018 are Fintech companies, and of the 639 Fintech companies in the country, 28% are in Berlin. Much of the success in nurturing Fintech startups can be attributed to a thoughtful approach to regulation, which makes it easy to avoid compliance issues. Trade Republic raised €747 million ($824 million) in May 2021, digital banking platform Solarisbank raised a €190 million ($210 million) Series D round in July 2021, and N26 raised €775 million ($855 million) in October 2021.

AI, Big Data & Analytics

Berlin is a leader in developing AI solutions for the health sector. The annual revenue of AI companies in Berlin is expected to reach over €2 billion ($2.2 billion) by 2025. In June 2021, Science & Startups announced it would receive €6.85 million ($8.2 million) from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to fund spin-offs in AI. In March 2021, appliedAI launched German AI Startup Landscape, a centralized database of AI startups, corporations, and SMEs. Virtual customer service agent builder Ultimate.ai closed a $20 million Series A round in December 2021.

Reasons to Move Your Startup to Berlin

A Dynamic Economy

Germany offers many advantages to startups, including its large domestic market, spirit of innovation, location at the heart of European transport networks, and highly skilled workers. Germany is a leader in science and research with 62,105 patent applications in 2020. With a per capita spending power of €24,412 in 2021, Germany ranks among the countries with the highest purchasing power in Europe.

Diverse & Multicultural Community

Germany is a country of immigrants. In 2020 alone, almost 1.2 million people came to live in the country from abroad. Berlin’s diverse and family-friendly culture make it an attractive option for those looking to relocate.

Ease of Relocation

Berlin makes it simple for overseas talent to relocate to the city, with both Berlin Investment Bank and Berlin Partners offering funding programs for startups and offering guidance to founders. Municipal services for registering a business and other processes are available in English to simplify setting up a startup for non-German speakers.

Selected Startup Organizations

Startup Genome
Partners

Factory Berlin
Finleap
Gruenderszene
Microsoft Ventures
Project A Ventures

Get connected

Are you interested in diving deeper into this ecosystem? Drop us a message. Our Ambassadors and Partners can plug you in.