13 wonderful start-ups from Vienna to watch

5 Apr 2018

Belvedere Palace, Vienna. Image: Uhryn Larysa/Shutterstock

Vienna is not only in the heart of Europe, it has a beating heart full of innovation that is hard to beat.

Austria’s capital city Vienna is a cultural icon in terms of music, art, history and architecture, and it is also a start-up hotspot.

The scene is rich in variety, with start-ups ranging from e-commerce to robotics and deep-tech enterprise tools.

It is also gaining a reputation as a destination for founders with the Vienna Start-up Package on offer to those considering relocating to the city to start their business.

Attracting talent for your new start-up shouldn’t be a problem, considering Vienna is home to around 190,000 students.

Agencies focused on fostering growth include the Austrian Business Agency and the Vienna Business Agency.

A useful calendar for start-up events has been compiled by AustrianStartups, and regular meet-ups include After Work Network, FuckUp Nights Vienna and AustrianStartups Stammtisch.

Top co-working spaces include Stockwerk and Impact Hub Vienna.

The Pioneers festival held every June is also one of the biggest start-up festivals in Europe.

And so, here are 13 Vienna start-ups to watch in 2018.


Anyline is the creator of a software development kit that allows developers to build real-time mobile optical recognition applications with high recognition rates. This enables phone cameras to scan and recognise text or codes. The company was founded in 2013 by Daniel Albertini, David Dengg, Jakob Hofer and Lukas Kinigadner, and has raised $2.7m in funding so far from investors that include Hermann Hauser and Johann Hansmann.


Byrd is an app that lets businesses ship items with a single click, sending a courier to pick up the items, package them in a warehouse and ship them at an attractive rate. Active in Vienna and Berlin, Byrd was founded in 2016 by Alexander Leichter, Christoph Krofitsch, Petra Dobrocka and Sebastian Mach. It has raised €370,000 in funding to date.


Firstbird is an employee referral platform that connects employers with talent through referrals, effectively turning employees into headhunters by incentivising them to spread the word about new roles. Founded in 2013 by Arnim Wahls, Daniel Winter and Matthias Wolf, Firstbird has raised €3.3m in funding so far, including a €2m investment in January by Investiere and JobCloud SA.


Finnest is a loan platform for SMEs that have a turnover of at least €10m and are trying to attract additional investment. Founded in 2014 by Günther Lindenlaub and Joerg Bartussek, Finnest last year raised €1m in a funding round led by Maxfield Capital along with Speedinvest and angel investors.


JobRocker is an online job search portal that connects applicants’ CVs with job openings using an algorithm and further consulting work. Founded by Günther Strenn, JobRocker raised €1m in a Series A round last November, led by Surplus Invest.


Kompany is a regtech start-up that provides real-time access to commercial registry data globally, including company filings. Catering to know-your-customer (KYC) requirements, it keeps in line with compliance regulations around anti-money laundering for accounting and law firms. Founded by Bernard Hoetzl, Iris Pittl, Peter Bainbridge-Clayton and Russell Perry, it has raised $5.4m in funding, including a seven-digit investment led by Hermann Hauser, IECT Capital Partners and Floor13.


Mimo has created a gamified app that teaches users how to code and build websites and apps through free and subscription-based tiers. Founded in 2016 by Dennis Daume, Henry Ameseder, Johannes Berger and Lorenz Schimik, Mimo raised €650,000 in a seed round last year from Push Ventures and angel investors.


Playbrush has created a toothbrush that is connected to a mobile game for kids, making it fun for them to brush their teeth. Motion sensors connected to a mobile app record how you brush your teeth, and a game algorithm helps children to brush longer, providing statistics and a unique reward system. With offices in London as well as Vienna, Playbrush was founded in 2014 by Matthäus Ittner, Paul Varga and Tolulope Ogunsina. It raised $2m last year from existing investors Speedinvest, Hansi Hansmann and former race-car driver Harold Primat.

Robo Wunderkind

Robo Wunderkind teaches robotics and coding to children from the age of five using various blocks, sensors, cameras and robot detectors. Robo Wunderkind was founded in 2013 by Anna Iarotska, Rustem Akishbekov and Yuri Levin. It has raised $1.7m so far, including a $500,000 seed investment and $246,7612 in a successful Kickstarter campaign.


Tricentis has created software testing solutions that enable enterprises to achieve high automation rates. Targeting the $34bn software testing market, the company’s technology encompasses risk-based test data management and service virtualisation. It is used by more than 400 companies worldwide. Tricentis was founded by Franz Fuchsberger and Wolfgang Platz, and has raised $172m so far, including $165m in a Series B round from Insight Venture Partners.


TourRadar is a one-stop-shop marketplace that allows users to compare and book multi-day tours to more than 200 countries worldwide. Founded by Shawn and Travis Pittman, TourRadar has raised $16.5m in funding so far, including a $6m Series A round led by Cherry Ventures and Hoxton Ventures.


Real-estate player Zoomsquare matches property seekers and providers in a kind of partnership brokerage. The company was originally founded by Andreas Langegger and Christoph Richter. It recently had a management change and is now led by Anita Körbler and Jürgen Leger. The company has raised €540,000 in funding so far, and counts tech pioneer Hermann Hauser among its investors.


Zizoo is a global boat rental platform and community that leads the way in making boat holidays mainstream and open to a mass audience of travellers. The company was founded in 2013 by Anna Banicevic, Sinan Masovic, Ivan Miletic and Benito Gonzalez del Valle. It has raised €2.4m to date from investors that include Axel Springer, Play Accelerator, Founders Fund and Russmedia.

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