When you think of German startups, Berlin’s famed Silicon Allee might be more likely to come to mind than the Bavarian capital. Yet recent figures show that Munich startups have created over €17 billion in value since 2013, and while Berlin has 11 realized or potential unicorns in the bag, Munich has nine. Close enough?
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In 2020, Munich also emerged as a crucial tech hub in Europe and ranked fourth in the number of existing and potential tech unicorns — right behind London, Berlin and Paris. The city’s startup ecosystem is flourishing ground for talent and capital, with success stories like Flixbus, Ottonova and Celonis leading the way.
Whether it’s a new and improved way of brushing teeth, sustainable cleaning, or getting a car at your doorstep within minutes, the local startup scene is truly thriving. To follow up on our first Munich startup piece last year, our marketing experts from the Munich office helped us pick six of the hottest local startups that are giving Berlin startups a run for their money in 2021.
Does Happybrush ring a bell? You might have seen their brand on TV during an appearance on Höhle der Löwen, or The Lion’s Cave, a popular German TV series where entrepreneurs pitch their companies to a group of sought after investors. Founded in 2016 by Stefan Walter and Florian Kiener, Happybrush started with a simple idea — disrupting the oral healthtech scene in Germany. And how? by providing contemporary, sustainable and affordable oral care.
Fast forward to 2021, the duo recently closed series A funding worth €4 million and also ranked on the list of Europe’s fastest growing companies. Happybrush’s range has diversified into various oral hygiene products like vegan toothbrushes, toothpastes and a climate-neutral electric toothbrush. As the company has grown, the focus on sustainability has only become stronger. Their packaging is recyclable, electric brushes have to be charged only once every four months and the casings for toothpaste as well as mouthwash are also entirely recyclable. Happybrush guarantees you a happy smile, while making the planet smile too.
Car on delivery? You read that right. Founded in 2019 by Max-Josef Meier, Finn.auto’s mission was to do away with the concept of owning a car. To make mobility fun, shared and sustainable, Finn.auto offers long-term and short-term car subscriptions, all while being climate neutral. Users can browse through a selection of cars, pick their plan and have a car delivered to their doorstep.
However, Auto.finn is not a typical car subscription service as sustainability is a key driver for this company. They set off their CO₂ emissions by planting trees in collaboration with ClimatePartner. Finn.auto’s services are great for people who love driving but do not wish to get bogged down in the maintenance struggle and want to avoid the hefty costs associated with owning a car. In 2020, the company also secured €20m as Series A funding.
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Another smart mobility player has made the list! Cluno is a digital car subscription with fixed monthly prices, excluding fuel costs. Users can subscribe, switch up the cars or pause a subscription any time they like. All within a few clicks and for a monthly fee which covers the car, tax, insurance costs and maintenance.
Founded in 2018 by Christina Polleti, Nico Polleti and Andreas Schuierer, this startup was recently taken over by Cazoo, a UK-based mobility company. We’re definitely excited to watch what’s next in store for this collaboration, especially within the German market. Cluno takes care of the stress of buying and selling cars, so all you have to do is – drive.
E-bikes for less? Yes, please. The e-bike market in Germany is growing rapidly with over 720,000 e-bikes sold nationwide in 2017 and of course, many more since then! When Rebike came to the market in 2018, founders Thomas Bernik and Sven Erger wanted to create a marketplace where users could easily buy and sell premium ebikes.
E-bikes have become a popular mode of travel for young and old across Europe, and it was about time that a reliable, transparent and safe marketplace to buy and resell older e-bikes appeared on the market. Rebike (formerly known as rebike1 GmbH) offers exactly that and serviced premium ebikes from popular brands, with quality checks and fair pricing.
Hate doing dishes but hate plastic even more? Everdrop is just what you need. In 2019, Daniel, Chris and David set out by ‘de-plasticizing’ their own homes. That’s when Everdrop was born – not with the idea of building a brand or a startup, but with the need to be more sustainable. They had concerns about what the future holds and set out on a mission to reduce plastic waste and CO2. The solution? Eco-friendly cleaning tablets instead of large bottles of detergent. The idea is simple – just pop an Everdrop pill into a spray bottle filled with water, let it dissolve and get cleaning.
Recently, Everdrop won the German Sustainability Award Design 2021 in the pioneer category. And in terms of growth, the startup has raised $21.8 million with Felix Capital. Are we excited to try a new way to clean and reduce our carbon footprint at the same time? Definitely.
Fully-furnished and well designed suites. Long and short-term rentals. Contactless check-ins. Best locations. Home away from home. In case you’re wondering what we’re going on about – this is exactly what Munich-based Limehome offers. Founded in 2018 by Dr. Josef Vollmayr and Cesar de Sousa Freitas, this venture has been leading the digital revolution within the tourism industry. Their digital-enabled guest journey is convenient, automated and offers great value for money.
Limehome has been growing and today, they have over 1700 units across Europe. Whether it’s for business or leisure, simply go to their website, glance through the properties, book and you’re good to go. In 2021, they launched SuitePads for ensuring guests have all they need, at their fingertips. This new feature allows guests to digitally book a range of services like cleaning, laundry or even look up travel, restaurant recommendations around the property. With travel restrictions easing, we’re excited to see how Limehome grows this year.