12 fascinating start-ups from Frankfurt to watch

19 Apr 2018

Frankfurt skyline. Image: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Known as Germany’s business capital, Frankfurt is also a powerful digital innovation hub, as these 12 start-ups prove.

Frankfurt is home to major financial institutions such as the European Central Bank, the Bundesbank and the German Stock Exchange, and more than 70,000 people are employed in its financial sector.

But Frankfurt is also an important innovation hub. It is home to the renowned Staedelschule art school, while important educational institutions such as the University of Mainz and TU Darmstadt are nearby, as is the ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt.

When it comes to tech start-ups, Frankfurt has had its share of breakthrough successes, such as BuyVIP, which was acquired by Amazon, and Fintech 360T, Germany’s largest start-up exit, which was acquired by Deutsche Boerse in 2015 for $796m.

Frankfurt also boasts the largest transport hub for passengers in Germany, has its busiest highways and has the country’s largest internet exchange point, DE-CIX.

To catch wind of important meet-ups and events on the Frankfurt start-up calendar, a good stop would be Startup Digest. Other useful start-up resources include Rhein-Main Startups and Startuprad.io.

Here are the Frankfurt start-ups to watch in 2018.


Acellere has created a software analytics platform called Gamma, which helps developers to identify and mitigate bugs and structural issues in software code, and to prioritise problems that arise with the integration of AI components. Founded by Sudarshan Bhide and Vishal Rai, Acellere recently raised a Series A round of €2.25m led by Capnamic Ventures and business angels.

Antelope Club

12 fascinating start-ups from Frankfurt to watch

The Antelope Club team. Image: Antelope Club

Antelope Club has developed a muscle-activating sportswear series, which consists of compression clothing with integrated electrodes that are controlled via a smartphone app, strengthening muscles during physical activities. Founded by Kay Rathschlag, Patrick Thumm and Philipp Schwarz, the company has raised $2.1m to date.


Awamo provides a mobile and easy-to-use microfinance management solution for microfinance institutions in emerging markets. Established by Benedikt Kramer, Philipp Neub and Roland Claussen, the young fintech has raised $2.3m in seed funding.


Bd4travel provides real-time personalisation by a unique profiling of every visitor to online travel stores, combining big data with self-learning algorithms to surface the most relevant content and offers. Founded by Andy Owen Jones, Ibrahim Husseini and Melanie Sickenberger, it has raised $4.2m in funding to date from investors including Talis Capital and Hoxton Ventures.

Blockchain Helix

Blockchain Helix has created a digital identity platform that enables end users and institutions to exchange personal or business information in a secure manner. Blockchain Helix was established by Oliver Naegele in 2016.


Also known as Personal MedSystems, CardioSecur provides mobile health services and products for people with cardiac symptoms. In particular, it provides instant cardiac monitoring platforms and specialises in high-level 22-lead ECG technology that provides a 360-degree view of the heart. Founded by Dr Markus Riemenschneider and Felix Brand, the company last year closed a €5m Series B financing led by KPN Ventures.


Covomo is an independent comparison portal for supplementary insurance products, including travel, pet and device insurance. Founded in 2015 and led by Simon Nörtersheuser and Eberhard Riesenkampff, Covomo has raised $2.3m in funding to date.


Robo-adviser fintech player Ginmon enables private customers to invest in exchange-traded fund portfolios using its state-of-the-art software. It enables users to determine their investment profile and adapt their strategy accordingly. Founded in late 2014 by Lars Reiner, Raphael Vosen and Ulrich Bauer, the company raised a seven-figure investment in 2016 led by London-based Passion Capital.

Record Evolution

Operating at the intersection between the world of modern data science and the internet of things (IoT) world of machines and sensors, Record Evolution is the creator of the Repods platform. The company was founded by Marko Petzold. Repods provides a platform for collaboration within a secure and private data warehouse.


Savedroid is an AI-based saving and spending algorithm that comes in the form of a mobile app that enables users to save up for their wishes without thinking about saving. Founded by Dr Yassin Hankir, Marco Trautmann and Tobias Zander, Savedroid raised a €1.5m investment in January from the Investment and Economic Development Bank of Rheinland-Pfalz, Weidner, serial fintech investor Alfred Schorno and others. It launched an initial coin offering in February, recently bringing its total funding to more than $53m.


Traxpay provides a dynamic financing platform, and partners with banks and B2B networks to provide a range of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and blockchain-based payment solutions. This helps banks to generate untapped revenue. Founded by Markus Rupprecht, Traxpay has raised $19m to date from investors including Commerzbank and Earlybird Venture Capital.


Vaamo is a robo-adviser platform dedicated to providing private individuals with easy and intuitive access to capital markets, helping them to achieve personal finance goals. Led by Oliver Vins and Thomas Bloch, Vaamo has raised €3m in funding to date from investors that include Route 66 Ventures.

Updated, 9.30am, 19 April 2018: This article was updated to clarify the location of Mainz University, TU Darmstadt and the ESA European Space Operations Centre, and also to update figures with regard to the total funding raised by Savedroid.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years