2018 was a good year for the German FinTech startup scene. With Berlin in first place, Germany shines as one of the brightest stars on the European FinTech startup map (among the UK, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland).
It was not only a fruitful year for Germany, it also brought an overnight investment boom within the FinTech industry. Two of the biggest investment transactions, made by N26 ($160m) and SolarisBank ($70m) (KPMG report), brought the rapid annual boost in numbers.
The German FinTech market has been drawing investors’ attention for years now. Berlin, in particular, holds its role as Germany’s most prominent FinTech hub (hosting 27% of the country’s FinTech companies), but Hamburg and Frankfurt (25%) are the next ones to follow.
From the anti-fraud business, through to banking solutions for SMEs, InsurTech, up to Blockchain.
Let’s start our adventure through the most promising German startups of 2019.
1. Fraugster – An anti-fraud FinTech startup
Raised: $19 million
Fraugster, a Berlin-based FinTech startup, was founded in 2014 and has raised $19 million in total funding. It helps users to protect against fraud and increase their profits. How is it done? With the help of artificial intelligence and behavioral analytics.
“It takes our technology less than 15 milliseconds to decide whether a transaction is fraudulent or not. The process is frictionless and provides reliable decisions in real-time to ensure fewer shopping cart abandonments and a better experience for shoppers. No manual review needed.”
As Fraugster CEO and co-founder CEO Max Laemmle claim – for every dollar lost to fraud, $17 is lost through transactions that are wrongly turned down, leading to lower revenues for merchants. Fraugster’s technology has already got that down to $2.
What a result! Fraugster, we are keeping our fingers crossed for you!
2. Zeitgold – A FinTech solution for SME paperwork
Raised: $27.5 million
Zeitgold, another one on the Berlin-based FinTech startup list, was founded in 2015 and has raised a total of $27.5 million in funding. Zeitgold is all about freeing small businesses from monotonous paperwork. By using AI-enabled technology they automate bookkeeping, payroll, and other financial functions for businesses, local merchants, etc.
Zeitgold uses automation technology and optimized processes to capture all of the financial data and turn it into a complete, structured, high-quality and up-to-date data set for the business.
“More often than not, small business owners are overwhelmed by how complex and how much work it is to manage the financials of their business. Every month, hundreds of invoices need to be paid, customers need to be reminded to pay, employees need to receive their salary, bank account statements need to be checked line-by-line for bookkeeping, questions by the tax advisor need to be answered. Zeitgold solves all of this.”Jan Deepen, Zeitgold Co-Founder
3. AEVI – Payment innovation for merchant payment solution providers
Raised: $45 million
AEVI, a Nordhein-Westfalen-based FinTech startup, was founded in 2015 and has raised $45 million in total funding. AEVI provides an open and agnostic platform that enables merchant payment solution providers to move and manage their classic payment propositions into a new world of value added apps and services.
AEVI enables fast and effective innovation, plus enhanced control and flexibility. This combination delivers a reduced total cost of ownership for their clients.
The founder’s path to innovation is never easy:
“Innovation is just a small part of the adventure. It’s the actual execution of the idea where most people fail. There are many obstacles on the way in a heavily regulated industry. To do something new, you have to do a lot to make it happen. Perseverance is key and when you do, it will always be worth the ride.”Mike Camerling, CEO at AEVI
May your startup always be worth a ride, AEVI! We are looking forward to your next innovations.
4. Fincompare – Help in finding the right financial products
FinCompare, another one of the Berlin unicorns, was founded in 2016 and has raised $2.5 million in total funding.
FinCompare solves another pain point of small-and-medium-sized enterprises. It provides access to up-to-date financing products so that a user can compare and select the most suitable financing tool. It offers various types of financial solutions to SMEs: single account receivable, factoring, credit, leasing, inventory financing, and purchase financing.
Right now FinCompare was able to attract more than 2,500 customers and process requests of more than one billion euros.
In their Berlin-based office, the FinTech company employs around 40 people.
5. Bonify – A FinTech startup that helps you evaluate your credit score
Raised: $5.5 million
Founded in 2015, this Berlin-based FinTech startup is a real gem.
Need a loan? Unsure about your credit score?
Bonify will help! Users can use the startup’s platform or app to check and correct their scores, monitor changes, and receive tips on personal finance and how to optimise their scores.
After providing you with your scoring, Bonify offers tools and personalized recommendations to help you optimize your financial situation.
Founded in 2015, by key executives of McKinsey and Zalando, Bonify has received significant funding from internationally leading VCs and successful entrepreneurs.
Making your life financially easier is what we love the most!
6. Penta – A FinTech bank for small businesses
Raised: $10 million
Oh, did we mention that Berlin is a real FinTech startup hub?
We meant it.
Penta is another FinTech blast on our list. Appreciated for the community-driven approach, Penta won favour of the German business community. Having launched in 2017, they are a digital bank account for startups and SMEs in Germany.
What’s the idea behind the startup?
SMEs are often considered to be underserved by big banks. Account opening can be difficult, and the fees that are charged by the bank are high.
Here’s where Penta comes in: it acts as a bank for small and medium enterprises.
Penta’s team now numbers over 400 employees.
Just as Penta CEO and Co-founder Lav Odorovic said:
“We’re grateful to have such brilliant and passionate team as well as investors who have unparalleled skills in building global businesses.”
Penta, good luck!
7. Zuper – A FinTech startup that helps you make wiser financial decisions
This Munich-based, AI-driven FinTech startup wants to challenge how people think about their finances and by using algorithms – show them how they can optimize.
In the same way that a fitness app coaches people to become physically stronger, B2C mobile app Zuper helps people to become financially wiser and capable.
Zuper helps to guide and coach the customer, helping them to either invest in or utilize loans, create savings, and find low-effort financial planning that’s better suited to each person’s needs at each point along the wealth journey.
While working on the Zuper app, we knew how super-important the security of the app was, as well as flawless design. Learn more about what’s important when creating FinTech apps and how we do it for our clients.
8. Coya – A startup modernizing the insurance industry
Raised: $40 million
Coya, a Berlin-based insurance startup, has raised $40 million. It is founded by the former employees of Kreditech and it’s aim is to modernize the FinTech industry.
InsurTech startup Coya has launched home content insurance cover, designed to be “affordable, transparent and easily accessible.”
Coya aims to become Europe’s leading digital insurance company.
By putting clients at the center and by using new technologies, the InsurTech offers clients a transparent and affordable insurance that provides maximum comfort and functionality along every step of the customer journey.
Founded in 2016, the Berlin-based Coya AG now counts over 60 employees from 19 different nations.
With an investment of about $40 million after their Series-A investment round, they are currently one of the top-funded InsurTechs in Europe.
9. Clark – InsurTech in a mobile app
Raised: $45 million
Founded in 2015, Clark, a Frankfurt and Berlin-based InsurTech startup, describes itself as an “insurance robo-advisor”.
Clark’s algorithms analyze a client’s insurance situation and provides feedback with better options than those that you currently have.
Once you’ve given the startup a mandate to act as your insurance broker, the Clark iOS, Android and web apps let you manage and purchase various insurance products, spanning the full gamut of life, health, and property insurance.
10. Billie – A startup redefining SME working capital management
Raised: $30 million
“As B2B transactions are more than twice the volume of B2C transactions, the potential to help our customers is enormous. And, up to now, this market is unserved,”Dr. Matthias Knecht, Billie Co-Founder
Founded in 2017, Billie wants to bring to B2B invoicing and payments to the same level of convenience, as seen in B2C payments and e-commerce.
Billie’s customers are SMEs, large e-commerce shops or transnational marketplaces. All having one aim – to take invoice factoring to the next level.
11. Finiata – FinTech factoring for SMEs
Raised: $15 million
Finiata, who claims to already have 5,000 customers, provides data-driven, automated services micro-factoring for freelancers, self-employed people and SMEs. There are no minimum requirements (such as lifespan or turnover) to become their client.
Sebastian Diemer, CEO of Finiata.
“The problem we are trying to solve is to provide freelancers, small companies and startups with fast, easy and cheap [factoring]. This customer group is ignored by banks and other financial institutions that offer factoring services that have largely been directed almost exclusively at large corporates and companies with minimum sales of 100,000 Euros,”
That’s the no-boundaries approach that we like!
12. Neufund – A blockchain and equity investment platform
Raised: $3 million
Finally, it’s time for Blockchain! Berlin’s Neufund is a Blockchain-based and investor-directed platform. Founded in 2016, Neufund has managed to establish a link (which is legally-enforceable) between on-chain token and real-world equity. The Neufund technology enables any corporate entity worldwide to do a public offering on Blockchain.
The transaction costs for issuing and managing such tokens are close to zero, investors can buy and trade equity in private companies and it makes essentially illiquid assets immediately liquidZoe Adamovicz, CEO and founder.
Startups like Neufund are really proving that the new wave of user-centric startups is here. Its Founder, Polish entrepreneur Zoe Adamowicz, is working on opening the world’s first stock exchange based on Blockchain.
Well done, Zoe, the Blockchain future looks so promising! We can’t wait for what’s next to come.