Innovation Over Tradition: 5 Munich Startups to Watch

top munich startups in 2020

Innovation Over Tradition: 5 Munich Startups to Watch

For reasons unclear, the Bavarian capital tends to be somewhat neglected through the Berlin-centric goggles of international reporting on the German startup scene. Have you heard anything about Munich startups? Maybe not? Undeniably one of Europe’s top tech and science hubs, with particular strengths in fintech, healthcare and mobility, Munich shouldn’t be overlooked anymore. It’s livable – ranked as 3rd most livable by Mercer, way above Hamburg in a paltry 19th position. Established – 30% of the DAX companies are based here. Full of great universities and research institutions. Oh and before we forget: It’s gut-bustingly innovative to boot. Just saying, the winning team of Elon Musk’s Hyperloop comp came from the city every year between 2015 and 2017!

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The superlatives – and not just serious ones* – just keep on coming. It’s one of the most dynamic and innovative startup ecosystems in Germany, with over 700+ Munich startups and more than 50 venture capital as well as private equity firms with offices in the city. Plus opportunities to mingle with the brightest lights in the entire tech world are ten-a-plenty, with Bits & Pretzels a powerhouse on the tech festival calendar, alongside the likes of Fraunhofer Venture, MUST, BioAngels, BayStartUP Venture Conference, Venture Wiesn and Cashwalk.

Don’t forget, DCMN also has a hub in the Bavarian capital. We asked our team of marketing experts over there, which Munich startups are worth keeping an eye out for. Here’s their selection for 2020. *Munich also sports Germany’s BEST football team, the opportunity to SURF in the middle of the city’s biggest park, and mountains like two mins away…ahhhh…Berlin WHO?


Eating healthy can be easy, individual AND delicious? Foodpunk says so.  Founder and CEO Marina Lommel, a nutritionist herself, started the company in 2015, with the app launching in early 2019. Both innovative and firmly on the pulse, it’s a new idea that’s rightly earned a lot of hype. At Foodpunk, dieticians, food technologists and biochemistry experts create effective diet plans, perfectly supporting your individual goals – combined with expert tips, an active community and a line of Foodpunk food products. You could call it a digital culinary private coach for everybody’s pocket. Perfect for those who find it all daily grind and no daily green. P.S. The slogan sums up their mission nicely, with “Iss dein Ding” a double entendre of “eat what you want” and “it’s up to you” in German. Is an international expansion soon incoming? Eat’s up to you!


Water is essential, just a lil’ boring, you know? It’s a shame that something so easily accessible is so hard to jazz up, leading you to unhealthier – but ultimately more satisfying – juices and sugary drinks. Enter AirUp, who entered the market in 2019. Founders Fabian Schlang, Jannis Koppitz, Simon Nueesch, Lena Jüngst and Tim Jäger developed a worldwide unique drinking bottle system where water gains flavor through scent. When drinking from the AirUp bottle, a ring-shaped fragrance pod derived from real fruits, plants and spices released scented air into the water. In the pharynx – that’s the part of your throat behind the mouth and nasal cavity – this scented air rises to the olfactory centre and is perceived by our brain as taste. Shazam! Where do we start with the benefits? It’s sustainable, as each pod can aromatise at least five litres of water, something AirUp claims is 50 times more sustainable than most traditional soft drinks. With zero sugar, zero calories and zero unhealthy additives, AirUp is upping the taste quota whilst sacrificing none of the healthy ones. Oh so 2020 – and we mean that in a good way.


Here’s one that’s making big inroads on a worldwide scale. Maybe you’ve even used it already without realising! Run by Philipp Roesch-Schlanderer (CEO) and Florian Sauter (CTO), eGym is a modern, digitised fitness studio that has user gyms from Denver to Hamburg, with 18 different machines available. Connecting fitness equipment with an app, it helps to optimise your training sessions and then some. The equipment is a world away from the scratched, creaky equipment of many gyms –top-notch to a tee. Members can scan in with their bracelet and the machine remembers their settings, automatically adjusting the weight to suit their needs. With large growth in the US –the world’s biggest market for fitness –and a bout of acquisitions later – from the Netpulse app to Qualitrain in 2016 – has left smartie pants eGym looking mightily ready to take on the next decade.


Telemedicine is a growing trend, a hugely exciting field, in which TeleClinic is leading a charge alongside a whole host of hawttt startups.  Your hips hurt? Or are you suffering from a mysterious array of baffling symptoms? With the app or website it’s possible for patients to speak to a doctor online and look for solutions to their problems. Whatever the specialty, the doctors at TeleClinic, of which there over 100, are available around the clock. Say goodbye to an interminable wait at the bricks-and-mortar clinic. Instead here you jump on a video chat and get started with your consultation. TeleClinic moulds the personal with the virtual, making a service that’s both effective and essential. Teleclinic joined the glut of Munich startups in 2015 and was founded by their current CEO, former lawyer Katharina Jünger, who actually grew up in a family of medical professionals – meaning she’s well aware of the usefulness of on tap, immediate medical advice. With their Series A funding round of 7 million euros from Idinvest Partners in 2018, they’re well primed for the next step.


Remember when a holiday was all about sauntering down to the local travel agent and booking a package trip? Airbnb, and budget air travel – amongst many many more – have taken over. Travel has democratised and become so much easier in the last twenty years. But with regards to holiday homes, fragmentation still exists. One of the more established Munich startups, Holidu was founded in Munich in 2014 by the brothers Johannes and Michael Siebers. They’re focused on private accommodation metasearch, but also for making things easier for rental owners with their brand Bookiply. Bookiply distributes properties to travel websites, synchronises calendars and creates multilingual descriptions and professional photos. The numbers are more staggering than stuttering: The search engine for holiday homes is now active in 21 markets, with more than ten million visitors per month now using the platform. Using image recognition technology, the startup compares the prices of more than 15 million rentals on 600 different websites. It hit €40 million in its Series C funding last year to boot, with plans to open more international offices on the cards. We aren’t just about currywurst and clubbing in the German capital. Did you know we have a base in Munich too? We’re able to help your branding glow, or improve your advertising game and media planning. Write to us at