Hamburg has always been an enterprising city and continues this tradition with a thriving tech start-up ecosystem.
The second largest city in Germany, Hamburg has a bustling seaport and a history of maritime commerce going back centuries.
Examples of this vintage in business include it being the seat of the oldest stock exchange in Germany as well as the world’s oldest merchant bank, Berenberg Bank. Global players include Otto Group, Beiersdorf and Montblanc.
It is also a vital hub for German media with various broadcasters as well as newspapers such as Der Spiegel and Die Zeit based in the city.
These traditions of business and media play well into a narrative for the creation of the digital enterprises of tomorrow.
The city is understood to be home to more than 400 tech start-ups, and entrepreneurship is viewed as a viable career route for young graduates.
Useful information on the scene can be gleaned from Hamburg Startups, Startup Digest Hamburg and the Betahaus Hamburg calendar on events taking place.
And so, here are 10 tech start-ups to watch from Hamburg.
As featured in our list of Europe’s most valuable unicorns last week, About You is an e-commerce player that provides customers with personalised recommendations for clothes and other accessories, and is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce players in Europe. Founded in 2014, About You is led by the management team of Sebastian Betz, Tarek Müller and Hannes Wiese. It is valued at an estimated $1bn based on $300m last year in funding from investors that include German Media Pool and SevenVentures.
Connected Health, creator of the health app LifeTime, allows personal health information such as medical records, radiographs or prescription drugs to be transferred via a patient’s smartphone and be securely encrypted. It enables the direct, digital and secure exchange of data between physicians. Connected Health was founded in 2014 by Dr Johannes Jacubeit and Matthias Lau, and raised €1m in funding in 2017.
— Deposit Solutions (@DepositPioneers) February 14, 2019
Deposit Solutions is bringing an open banking ethos to the deposits industry. It currently connects more than 70 banks to more than 30 savers though partners including Deutsche Bank and Fidelity, with a total volume in transmitted deposits of more than €9bn as of August 2018. Founded in 2011 by Dr Tim Sievers, Deposit Solutions has raised close to $150m in funding according to Crunchbase, including $100m last August in a round led by Vitruvian Partners alongside existing shareholder E.Ventures and other investors.
Dreamlines is an online travel player that specialises in booking cruises and claims to offer the largest portfolio of cruises worldwide, working with 100 cruise operators. Founded in 2012, Dreamlines has raised €106.7m to date according to Crunchbase, including a €45m Series E round last year led by Princeville Global. Other investors include Holtzbrinck Ventures, Target Global, Dimaventures, Hasso Plattner Ventures, TruVenturo and Global Founders Capital.
eBlocker is a smart device that enables its users to anonymise their online behaviour and share only the information they want to share. eBlocker was founded in 2014 by Christian Bennefeld, Dr Reinhard Sell and Boris Prinz.
Event Inc is an online marketplace for event spaces and services in German-speaking regions. Event Inc was founded in 2014 by Janna Schmidt-Holtz, who leads the company with co-CEO Paul Philipp Hermann. Event Inc is understood to have closed a seven-figure seed funding round with several Hamburg-based business angels last October.
We're shouting it out for the whole world to hear… Notifications are coming to your Dashboard! You asked and we delivered. You'll now be updated of the latest product updates, improvements and website tips. Tell us what you think! pic.twitter.com/Tu3xOQhTrp
— Jimdo (@jimdo) March 20, 2019
Jimdo offers cloud-based software that allows users to build their own websites or online stores. The company, which was founded by Fridtjof Detzner, Christian Springub and Matthias Henze, raised €25m in a 2015 venture round from lead investor Spectrum Equity.
— Kreditech (@Kreditech) March 18, 2019
Online lender Kreditech provides credit access to those with little or no credit history, employing machine learning to make decisions. Essentially, its mission is to improve financial freedom for the underbanked with the use of technology. According to Crunchbase, Kreditech has raised roughly $500m in funding to date from investors that include PayU and Rakuten.
Quantilope is a B2B SaaS consumer behaviour insight platform that is aimed at large corporations working in the consumer goods space. Established in 2014, Quantilope is led by CEO Dr Peter Aschmoneit. It has raised $12m to date according to Crunchbase figures, including an $8m funding round last year led by Dawn Capital.
Today we hosted a talk with HR experts about #freelancer. Daniel, CEO & Co-founder, highlighted: "Working with large teams of freelancers is still challenging. It is time to overcome those challenges and to make freelancing finally enterprise-ready". #WorkGenius #digitalworkforce pic.twitter.com/HUyOkuvFNP
— WorkGenius (@WorkGeniusHH) March 20, 2019
Previously known as Mylittlejob, Hamburg-founded WorkGenius is an AI-powered marketplace that matches freelancers with enterprises, based on skills assessments and third-party verification. The company was founded in 2012 and clients include DHL and Unilever. It is headed by CEO Marlon Litz-Rosenzweig and has raised $16.1m in funding to date according to Crunchbase, including an €8.5m round in November 2018.
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