IT Portrait of Germany: The Most Innovative Startups in the Country
November 8th, 2016
Germany is famous not only for its robust economy but also for some brilliant inventions. For example, the mp3 format and the taximeter were both invented in Germany. The startup culture and the IT sector are also quite developed in the country.
National Geographic describes Germany as “the strongest European country from an economic and industrial point of view,” and it’s not surprising, considering how much time and effort Germany invests into research, technology, science, and education.
The Grossum Research survey participants from Germany have identified five major IT centers in the country. These cities are Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Dresden.
Five major IT trends that interest members of the IT community in this country are fintech, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, e-marketing, and big data.
Fintech is the most active in development: there are over 250 startups are working in this field, collectively employing over 13,000 people. And besides being the capital of the country, Berlin is also the Fintech capital since there are 70+ startups working in this sector.
According to the University of California, “since 1997, Germany has witnessed an unprecedented boom in high-tech start-ups and IPOs.” Within the last three years, there is an unusually rapid growth of technology companies, turning the country into a European leader in the field of innovation and high-tech production.
Germany’s booming startup market is one of the most unique in Europe. The country’s capital, Berlin, along with the other main cities, is a second home to developers, security experts, successful startup founders, and all this contributes to the beneficent technological climate of this country for the most innovative startups around the world.
We have prepared a list of the top startups in Germany - those that have appeared quite recently as well as those companies that have been on the market for several years.
SoundCloud is one of the most famous music companies in Europe. Its service provides musicians and DJs with an opportunity to upload their own music and remixes, while fans can listen to and download music as well as keep an eye out for the news from their favorite record companies and individual performers. Back in 2014, Twitter was talking about acquiring SoundCloud for $1 billion (£638 million), but the deal fell through.
EyeEm is a startup from Berlin, the main product of which is an application for sharing photos. EyeEm is different from the Instagram, since, in addition to the ability to simply upload and share photos, its users can also sell their photos through the app. Yahoo laid an eye on the EyeEm in 2014 and was in talks of acquisition, but looks like it was just a rumor.
Nello startup (formerly known as Monkey) was launched in 2015 in Munich. This is one of the most famous German startups in the Internet of Things category. The service the company offers is a “smart gatekeeper.”
Nello provides residents and service providers with access to homes without keys. Nello products allow the user to create virtual keys to the house and provide easy access for delivery services, cleaners, visitors, family members and friends, as well as to control the duration of the access via smartphone.
The goal of Berlin-based fintech startup called Number26 is to revolutionize technologies in the traditional banking sector. Their particular interest lies in changing the way people spend, store, and send money. Created in 2013, Number26 positioned itself as the most advanced banking services company in Europe.
Traxpay company is headquartered in Frankfurt and offers corporate customers the world’s first B2B Dynamic Payments platform. Traxpay development is based on cloud technologies and provides a way to make secure and flexible electronic payments in real-time (24/7), processing all structured and unstructured data related to the transaction.
Blacklane is the German response to Uber. Although it only has been founded in 2013, the company moved beyond Germany, offering its services in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, France, and the UK. The company now also operates in North America and in 50 other countries around the world.
In total, the company currently is present in 185 cities and 300 airports. International expansion has been a top priority for Blacklane - they even made a decision to close the Smart car rental business in Berlin to concentrate on taxi business expansion.
As a social network for scientists, ResearchGate allows them to share and discuss the ideas and findings. Researchers can upload their studies and determine how popular are their ideas among the colleagues. This gives an opportunity to find out what areas of research are the most useful and exciting.
The startup actually was founded in 2008 in Boston, MA, but soon moved the headquarters to Berlin.
German company 6WunderKinder specializes on applications development. The app that brought fame to the enterprise is called Wunderlist, one of the most popular applications in the category of to-do lists in the App Store. Apple praised Wunderlist, saying that it’s the best Mac app of 2013. By the end of 2014, the service has created a huge customer base that amounts of over 10 million users. The company has also created a Wunderlist app for the Apple Watch.
No more ads. Eyeo company from Cologne is known for its popular AdBlock Plus extension for the Internet browsers that blocks online ads. The first version of the extension was released 10 years ago, in 2006.
The company claims that the desktop browser extension has been downloaded over 400 million times and now they believe there are about 50 million active users. The extension also contains the “white” list of good advertising and advertisers pay to get into it.
Deposit Solutions startup is a fintech startup has developed a platform with an open architecture to place deposits. The platform allows banks in need of money to put their proposals on savings management and client banks can sell these deals to their customers.
The main feature of the solution is that the clients can put money into one joint account and they don’t need to open multiple accounts in different banks.
10. AX Semantics
Stuttgart startup has been creating software for natural language recognition and generation. AX Semantics tools allow to generate natural language texts, which are user-friendly enough for even a person without any programming experience can use it. These tools use own markup language called ATM3.
AX Semantics tools can be used to describe product solutions, adjust the digital assistant's operation, writing reports, etc. Currently, the system is available in 12 languages.
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