Speedinvest Blog

German Tech Startups | A Look at Speedinvest's Portfolio in Germany

January 18, 2024


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Since 2011, we've invested in more than 300 startups in more than 40 nations. Germany, the United Kingdom, Austria, France, and Spain are currently the countries we've invested in most in Europe. Why and in what companies? Keep reading for a deep dive into our German portfolio and exclusive market insights from our sector-focused investors. Click below for a breakdown of our other top European markets.

Austria | France | Spain | United Kingdom

German Tech Startups: A Hub of Innovation

Germany has been steadily cementing itself as a preeminent hub of startup innovation and investment, not just in Europe, but globally. Europe’s largest economy and the combined German-speaking market of DACH account for more than 100 million affluent customers, representing a highly attractive market to conquer at the heart of the European Union. That’s why a number of internationally successful tech companies, both in the B2B and B2C space, initially launched in Germany, such as SAP, Delivery Hero, Zalando, N26, Scout Group, Celonis, Contentful, Personio, Instana, and TeamViewer.

Looking at GP.Bullhound’s Titans of Tech 2023, we can see that some of the biggest unicorns come from Germany, specifically fintech and marketplaces –– which feeds into our sector-focused approach. And over the past decade, Berlin alone has seen investment in its startups rise, totalling $4.8 billion in 2022.

According to Deutscher Startup Monitor, there are nearly 5,000 founders who’ve started 1,825 startups across the country, employing approximately 32,000 individuals as of September 2023. Their report also shows that 20.8 percent of German startups are headquartered in Berlin and 13.4 percent are based in Munich where we have Speedinvest feet on the ground.

But Germany’s startup landscape is ultimately decentralized with deep tech clusters around universities, like RWTH Aachen, TU Munich, and KIT in Karlsruhe as well as Frankfurt’s fintech presence and global startup hubs, such as Berlin. That's why we have two dedicated German offices in Berlin and Munich, and investors from our six dedicated sector-focused teams on-the-ground across the country. With nearly 80 investments in German tech startups (so far!), we're clearly excited about the opportunities in the market. And we're just getting started.

“At Speedinvest, we’ve been fortunate to help shape the rise of the German startup ecosystem over the years and we continue to be excited about its potential. While the number of German tech unicorns and startups have been steadily growing, Germany’s VC investment per capita is still lagging behind leading economies, such as the US and the UK, demonstrating the amazing potential Germany still offers.” –– Mathias Ockenfels, General Partner at Speedinvest

Speedinvest's Germany Deal Flow

With such a mature ecosystem, it’s no surprise that Germany remains one of our leading sources of deal flow with thousands of founder pitches received over the last several years alone. Total pitches received continues to increase year on year, despite a very small COVID-related dip last year, 2023 pitch levels are back on track.

Pitches from German startups increased 154% between 2017 and 2023.

An Overview of our German Tech Startups

From our offices in Berlin and Munich, we’re constantly scouring for additional opportunities for investment in Germany. No matter what the state of the market is,  our cross-sector investment teams actively partner with founders building Deep Tech, Fintech, and Health & Tech Bio to Climate Tech & Industrial Tech, Marketplaces & Consumer, and SaaS & Infra startups.

For the very latest list of publicly announced German investments, visit our portfolio page.

Pick a sector

Deep Tech 

cylib founders

For decades, Germany has led the way in European deep tech innovation. Munich is home to the Quantum Valley, a hub that bridges the gap between research, industry professionals, funders, and the public at large. This is on top of multiple universities and major startup hubs, like Berlin, where we’ve been working with founders since launching in 2011.

A perfect example, we partnered with cylib, a spin-out from RWTH Aachen University, which is developing the most efficient and sustainable proprietary process for recycling lithium-ion batteries on the planet. The female-led team with proprietary E2E recycling technology has opened its pilot plant in Aachen to scale up and industrialize their tech. 

Munich-based planqc, is taking quantum computers to the next level. By storing information in individual atoms –– nature's best qubits –– they’re building the fastest way to scale to thousands of qubits, a prerequisite for industry-relevant quantum advantage. In 2023, planqc won a €29 million contract from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to develop a digital neutral-atom-based quantum computing hardware and software platform.

“In Germany, deep tech has become increasingly important as a source of innovation and economic growth, especially among quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence and advanced materials. We love the German deep tech ecosystem and we’re looking forward to working with scientists and engineers who have deep knowledge of a particular field to create new industries and make a significant impact on the world economy.” –– Rick Hao, Partner at Speedinvest


Julian Teicke, CEO and founder of wefox

Germany is the fourth largest fintech market in the world, so it’s no surprise that we’re heavily investing in this space, with portfolio companies like Unstoppable Finance, Receeve, Afilio, and Upvest

Berlin-based soonicorn Billie raised a $100 million Series C to help small businesses get access to working capital by allowing them to finance against open invoices. 

Then, of course there’s wefox, a Berlin unicorn that allows customers, brokers, and insurance companies to digitally manage their insurance products. 

“Speedinvest has been a value-add partner from the very beginning,” said wefox CEO and founder, Julian Teicke. “They not only helped us establish a successful framework for testing and optimizing our growth and marketing strategy, but have also been instrumental in our international expansion efforts.”

CANDIS raised a $16 million Series C to continue growing the company, expand their team, and improve their product that helps small and medium-sized businesses automate bookkeeping and financial workflows using artificial intelligence.

“Despite the gigantic rise of financial technology in Germany over the years, incumbent banks and insurance companies have innovated little and still keep very dominant market shares. This clearly tells us that we’re just on the brink of a much more tectonic change in the financial services landscape in the years to come. With Germany as the largest financial hub in the EU and with Berlin as European crypto capital, we at Speedinvest are keen to double down on fintech.” –– Tom Filip Lesche, Partner

Health & TechBio

The nilo.health team

Germany’s healthtech ecosystem is a mature, booming market forecasted to grow to approximately €38 billion by 2025 based on information from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

We reported on 2021 being a record-breaking year for both healthtech founders and investors in DACH. We argued that one of the reasons for more activity in the digital health space was regulatory advancements and a number of initiatives, specifically in Germany, such as the country's commitment to investing significantly in the modernization of hospital IT systems and fostering digitization. This environment and regulatory tailwinds have led to an increase in the quantity and skill of founder teams tackling challenges in the healthcare system. As a result, serial founders from other sectors are more likely to start something new in this space, and healthcare professionals are challenging the status quo more often with solutions they want to build from the ground up.

Challenging the status quo is precisely what we’re looking for, which is why we're excited to partner with the team at Doctorly, who are bringing practice management software to the 21st century. Another disruptive German healthtech company we are excited to back is DasLab, which is building digital lab test infrastructure for the entire healthcare ecosystem. The German healthtech startup recently partnered with Zava to offer reimbursable, at-home diagnostics in Germany.  We’ve also recently partnered with nilo.health, which provides mental health & well-being support for a company's entire workforce.

Another partner, Molecule, is a pioneer of DeSci that uses an open platform to bridge the gap between life science research and funding. This empowers stakeholders in drug development to work together and expedite the process of bringing novel therapeutics to patients.

“Boasting a buzzing tech scene and one of the best healthcare systems in the world , international digital health startups are moving at full throttle into Europe’s largest healthcare market. We’re excited to contribute further into this ecosystem.” –– Hendrik Steenfadt, Analyst at Speedinvest

Marketplaces & Consumer 

We’ve been especially active in Germany’s Marketplaces & Consumer sector. Back in 2018, we already launched The Marketplace Conference in Berlin. The annual event focuses on all things marketplaces and unites marketplace entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts. It provides a platform for exchanging knowhow and best practices, attracting marketplaces entrepreneurs and investors of all stages.

GoStudent became Europe’s most successful edtech in the midst of COVID, raising an impressive $340 million Series D to help fuel their push into additional international markets. They followed that with an additional $95 million. And another company that we’ve backed since day one is Berlin-based CoachHub, a pre-Seed investment turned soonicorn that’s offering a turnkey solution to transform your managers into highly effective, inspiring leaders. CoachHub launched the world’s first AI coach and Innovation Lab in 2023. The company closed a $200 million Series C in which we participated as well. Our partner Inkitt also closed an impressive follow-on round with a €50 million Series B. The digital publishing platform uses a unique algorithm to predict book success and connects popular authors and their manuscripts with publishers.

CoachHub founders

B2B Marketplaces are also a growing focus of our investment strategy in Germany. Schüttflix, which announced a €45 million fundraise, is a B2B marketplace and delivery platform for bulk construction supplies. The first of its kind, connecting suppliers and truckers directly with customers in the landscaping and heavy construction industry with remarkable same-day service and four-hour delivery to their core market.

We are convinced that marketplaces and platforms with strong network effects are also key to solving the climate crisis. That’s why we actively partner with climate-focused platforms like Planetly, one of our team’s most successful exits to date. The Berlin-based company was acquired by US-based OneTrust in 2021 where they’ll continue their mission of lowering carbon footprints with their digital tools that empower companies to analyze, reduce, and compensate for their CO2 emissions. And Raus secured an additional €8.5 million to accelerate expanding its nature immersion platform across Europe.

Additional partnerships include B2C food-focused startups GoTiger and Milano Vice.  Since EdTech is an important pillar of our investment thesis, we also led a Seed round in Complori, an online learning platform teaching kids 21st century skills through free gamified coding content and paid live programming classes taught by experienced tutors.

“Marketplaces and Platforms require scale for network effects to kick in and unfold. Companies like Delivery Hero, HelloFresh or Zalando have proven that Germany can give birth to billion dollar marketplaces and consumer exits. As Europe’s largest economy, Germany is the market to conquer for any marketplace founder with big, international ambitions. With companies like CoachHub and wefox under our belt, and with our feet on the ground in Berlin and Munich, we’re here to support you in doing so.” –– Mathias Ockenfels, General Partner at Speedinvest

Climate Tech & Industrial Tech

Climate and Industrial Tech have long been a focus of ours with partnerships with startups like Recyda, Trawa, and PurposeGreen. Another portfolio company based in Germany is NeoCarbon where they’re offering DAC (direct air capture) solutions for industries at significantly lower costs. We also co-led a €10.5 million Seed fund for one.five where they're researching sustainable (and affordable) packaging alternatives that can be deployed at scale. Industry needs sustainable solutions and we will continue partnering with startups working in this space.


That is why we’ve also partnered with TWAICE where they’re creating more sustainable and reliable solutions to reduce battery development and testing costs for electric vehicle manufacturers, as well as providing real time insights of the status of batteri. They’ve since partnered with TÜV Rheinland, sharing their technology to help assess the status of used batteries in cars. The new Battery Quick Check service offers customers a detailed report about the health of their battery. And there’s our partner, Resourcify, that helps companies control and improve their recycling through a waste management platform. They raised a €14 million Series A.

In the industrial tech space, we partnered with the aforementioned Schüttflix. We also helped with CELUS’ €25 million Series A. The additional funding is set to help the Munich-based startup boost their mission to automate electronics design––a trillion dollar market. Our Climate Tech & Industrial Tech team are also proud partners of Sunhero, Remberg, and Fernride. All are on the journey to change their industry segment.

“Industry is the core of the German economy but it’s also facing enormous challenges due to demographics, decarbonization and deglobalization. This means transforming industry into a more sustainable and more digital future is key, and we think startups and innovation will play an important role in that generational shift.” –– Andreas Schwarzenbrunner, Partner at Speedinvest

SaaS & Infra

Gigs product view

SaaS & Infra in Germany is an especially promising field, one we’ve been actively investing in for years. So far we’ve racked up more than 10 investments in this space and have no intention of slowing down. 

We’ve partnered with Gigs, the first telecom-as-a-service platform with custom phone and data plans that allows customers to subscribe and manage their phone plan with just a few clicks. They pulled in an impressive $21 million Series A to help them scale in response to growing demand.

There’s also our partner Gitpod, an open source development platform for teams used by more than 750,000 developers to efficiently and securely develop software together. On the heels of their $25 million Series A led by Tom Preston-Werner (Founder of GitHub), Gitpod introduced Cloud Development Environments (CDEs) to solve the ‘works on my machine’ problem and announced a new partnership with the Linux Foundation.

Elsewhere in SaaS we partnered with Legal OS. They’re transforming your contract library and legal expertise into a digital knowledge base with the goal of making contract drafting easy without sacrificing quality and have recently closed their Series A.

“We’ve seen many outstanding SaaS companies in Germany, next to amazing applications also (and especially) in the API and dev tooling space. Hence we’ve decided to double down on the German market and recently increased the size of our SaaS & Infra team in Germany. We’re beyond excited to meet the next wave of outstanding entrepreneurs.” –– Markus Lang, Partner at Speedinvest

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