This Month in German, Swiss, and Austrian (GSA) Startups - September 2022


Our highlights:

Germany is preparing for a potentially rough winter, in many ways. Now Environmental Action Germany (Deutsche Umwelthilfe): Asked Germans not to put up any Christmas lights this season. Startups in GSA keep laying off staff, but also raising significant funds. We have our usually shortened list a bit longer this month, to show that it is not all gloom and doom here. You will also notice that the M&A activity is up, totaling 55 bn US$ in summer 2022 (for all of Europe), and is still going strong.

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Top News

Berlin’s Everphone extends Series C to $232M

Everphone started with their first fundraising for Series C in December 2021 and now make an additional closing of 32 mn Euros, which totals — according to PitchBook 232 m US$ Series C for their device-as-a-service model

Crypto Boom is slowing

European crypto app downloads have almost halved from 2021 amongst the biggest drops are and unicorn Bitpanda.

Sifted writes “Beleaguered Austrian crypto trading platform Bitpanda saw a 65% decrease in app downloads from 563k in H1 2021 to 197k in H1 2022. In June, the company laid off a third of its employees, admitting that it had hired too fast and needed to cut back expenditure amid the crypto market rout.” VCs keep an eye on their investments and the app downloads are a proxy for growth here for them.

Insolvencies hit household names

Yes, they are not startups, but it gives you a great overview of the current environment, also for the startups

  • Automotive supplier Dr. Schneider has to file for insolvency with 4000 people employed there
  • Shoe retailer Ludwig Görtz is a staple in German shopping streets founded in 1875 with their big stores and 1.800 employees, now they have to file for insolvency
  • German toilet paper producer Hakle is a household staple in Germany. Now they have to file for insolvency, due to high costs of raw materials, energy, and transportation
  • Traditional Austrian lighting company Kolarz, founded in 1918, has to file for insolvency   

Podcast monetization is getting serious with international involvement

Lots of mergers in monetizing podcasts, the first Julep from Munich was bought by Libsyn and now London-based Auddy buys Vienna-based Audiomy 

More firings :-(

Keep in mind here, that most startups are likely not in financial trouble, but they rather try to extend the money they have already raised. The consensus seems to be cutting 15–20% of the workforce for most startups.

  • Berlin-based escooter company Tier fires 16% of employees and freezes new hiring they are firing around 180 people
  • Berlin-based Artnight organizes DIY art events across Germany. They are impacted by Corona and let 1/3rd of their staff go 
  • Infarm lays off staff as energy prices bite and recession looms 
  • Tiger-backed startup Pitch lays off 30% of staff 
  • Urban Sports Club lets go 15% (55 people) of their workforce 
  • Expense management via credit card is the topic of startup Moss. They have to let go of 70 employees (~ 15% of their workforce)   

USDA issued a warning form HelloFresh Meal Kits, due to E.Coli

FSIS Issues Public Health Alert For Specific Ground Beef In HelloFresh Meal Kits Due to Possible E. Coli O157:H7 Contamination | Food Safety and Inspection Service 

The current economic situation even hits the markets for “Germany’s most loved child”

Germans refer sometimes to cars as Germany’s most loved child, but the current situation is also hitting the used car market: Auto1 competitor Cazoo leaves the German market, after launching only in 2021

Despite all the grim news, there is still good news

Former Tesla CTO and co-founder JB Straubel is looking at Germany for a site for a battery recycling plant for his company Redwood. Investment in the site could be around 1 bn USD

Welcome to start Up bread dot Io, your podcast and YouTube blog covering the German startup scene with news, interviews and live efits. Hello and welcome everybody. This is Joe from Startup Right Out, Oh, your startup podcast and you to Block from Germany, bringing you again a new strip up from Germany, this time September. Yes, it's already that late, but fortunately I do have Chris here with me. Ay Chris hiding. I'm good. As you can see, I got the new Epports Pro. I'm happy about it. It's really crazy. The noise canceling is again so much better. And I don't know, don't tell my mother. One day I'm going to get hit by a car and I won't even realize it until it's too late. This podcast is not sponsored by Apple Um, but we would like to welcome you to this month in Germans with and Austrian startups wrap Up fur Um September twenty two and uh. We recorded this news episode on September two. As always, our news not yet included here will be published in our next news episode in our regular October wrap up, which will be published on October, just four days before Halloween. Isn't that awesome our highlights. Germany is preparing for potentially rough winter in many ways now the Environmental Action Germany dodgertive as Germans not to put up any Christmas lights this season. Startups in g s A keep playing off stuff but also raising significant funds. We have our usual shortened list a bit longer this month of fundraising to show that it is not all gloomy doom here. And you will also notice that m AND activity is up totally fifty building you as dollars in summer twenty two for all of your and it's still going strong. So let's talk startups first. I would like to thank our enablers, invest In Hassan. This show was made possible by invest In Hassan. You can learn more about our specialized sub podcasts with them at tech Startups dot Sounder dot m or at invest Months in Months Hassan dot com. Start up raving dot com the best way to identify investors and corporation partners for early stage startups. You can sign up for early access there. And Chris, as we talk before, you are the top news guy. Right yeah, this uh this month, I actually am um because there's a couple of interesting stories that give you a good overview over what's going on in the German startup theme right now. Um it all starts with Berlin's ever phone. Um they extend their Seriously to two hundred thirty two million dollars are quite a significant amount of money. They start the first fund fundraising for Seriously in December twenty twenty one and now make an additional closing of thirty two million euros, which totals, according to pitchbook to at two hundred thirty two million u S dollars for their device as a service model. We have startups startup news that relate to Germany, but that basically in line with what we see all around the world because also in Germany the cryptal boom or as we should say in German speaking like in German language countries, because we always want to think about...

...our listeners in Austrian Switzerland as well, and um, but we see news and signs that the crypto boom is slowing. The European crypto app downloads have almost passed from twenty twenty one. Amongst the biggest drops are blockchain dot com and the unicorn bit Panda sifted for example, right and I quote the legal Austrian crypto trading platform bit Ponder, so a sixty five percent decrease in app downloads from five hundred sixty three thousand in the first half of two thousand twenty one one too only and one hundred ninety seven thousand, so five hundred sixty three to one ninety seven thousand in the first half of twenty two. In June, the company laid off a third of its employees, admitting that it had hired too fast and needed to cut back expenditure amid the crypto market route unquote. Vcs keep an eye on their investment and the app down our proxy for growth here for them, it seems in German not necessarily startup culture, but definitely enterprise and UM business culture. We start the insolvency of a couple of really big household names in Germany because they are they were in the consumer market or they are still in the consuper market, so um we can like it gives you an idea of the current environment in Germany also for startups. So for example, that the automotive supplier Dr Schneider, which had to file for insolvency with at least two thousand people employed there. And then if you've been to a German foosking at Sona, So, German downtown and you were shopping there, you probably saw um the shoe stores of Lupig Girls. It's a shoe retailer staple in German shopping streets. Was founded in eighteen seventy five with big stores eighteen hundred employ ease. But they also now have to solve for insolvency. They claimed. It also partly has to do with consumers being really cautious because of inflation and even the Ukraine War. Then German toilet paper producer Harclare is a household staple in Germany. Now they have to five insolvency due to high cost of raw materials, energy and transportation. As they said, Harkley is really really big in Germany and toilet paper and among the companies, they're who came up with innovation if you believe that innovation exists when it comes to toilet table. But still they came up with Harklett wet White at least in the seventies. So then there's traditional Austrian lighting company Collods founded in nineteen eighteen, which also had to file for insolvency. So as you can see, it's traditional companies and some of them unfortunately have to close shop or at least in big trouble and try to restructure. We have to say because girls, for example, keep is keeping the shops open. Next topic podcast monetization is getting serious with international involvement. Lots of mergers in monetizing podcast. The first jew Lette from Munich was bought by lips In and now London based Audi by Vienna based Audio Audio. My ordeal me no audio mine. I would say audio mine. Um. Both and both pronunciations are totally fine. Chris who knows? Who knows? We don't. I don't want to get emails. Um. We On the more somber side of things, we also got a lot of news about more firings. UM. Keep in mind here that most startups are likely not in financial trouble, but they rather try to extend the money they've already raised. The consensus seems to be that of the workforce for most startups. Bernon based scooter company, for example, Tier fire...

...sixty percent of employees and freezes new hiring. UM. In their case, that means firing around eight people. Berlin based art Night organizers do it yourself art events across Germany. They're impacted by Corona and let off at one third of their staff in farm lays of staff as the energy prices bite and recession looms. Tiger Back start up pitched place of thirty percent of staff Urban sports Club Let's go. In their case, that's around fifty five people of their workforce, and the expense management via credit card is the topic of startup mosque. They have to let go off around seventy employees in their case, that's one chelength of their workforce. No startup news would be complete without talking about new kids. So in this case also it's a bit of a weird news because the usd A issued a warning for a hello fresh meal kids, you do equally? Um so, I mean it happens quite a lot in the US, to be honest, to get warnings about like romaine and letters when it happens to a lot of these fast food or like higher ground hyer roar past yeah, user suspect has been a for example. They also have to fight. Yeah yeah, let's not talk about what my tummy does when I eat you potle. Let's just say I learned my lesson and for the past five years I haven't been to it. Chap portly anyway, f S I S issues a public health alert for specific ground beef in Hello Fresh and Real Kids due to possible equally contaminations. In that case, it's not the lattice, but it's minced meat or like ground beef UM. So hopefully this stays rather small occurrence. The current economic situation even it's the markets for what in Germany is that Germany's most loved child and if anyone wants to take a guess what we claim the Deutschen deeps the skins is so Germany's most beloved kid, it's of course our cars um. But the current situation is also hitting the used car market. There. Auto one competitor Kazoo leaves the German market after launching only in And despite all those grim news, there are still good news. Former Tesla cto and co founder J B. S Travel is looking at Germany for a side for a better re recycling plan for his company, Redwood. Investment in the side could be around one billion US dollars, which right now is around like seventy billion euros giving given the the exchange rate. UM ecosystem News. We see that the top three EU tech ups post covid A, London, Paris and Berlin. According to tech eu Berlin they're knock Darling Dublin out of the top three. We have news about the state of m and A and European tech. In summer twenty twenty two, you can start ups exited at a volume of fifty five billion dollars. Then the German government is preparing for a wave of insolvency filings this fall and winter. You've already heard a few, but in Germany there's really huge pessimism, especially going on with an energy and gas crisis, and um, yeah, it's really a grim mood, I would say, especially for energy heavy companies. Right now you will read about Unza. Wire card is already known, and there are other cases where Germany has proven to be less able to find money laundering. Nowadays set up a new financial crime unit. Russian pro war propaganda is increasingly trying to imitate respectable German news outlets. But you can tell from that spelling. Um, the way where you have to imagine this is that it kind...

...of looks like the news websites, but then when you read it you think, oh, something is a bit off, But maybe those articles are then already shared and people with lesser media literacy probably might be confused. As one of the new strategies of the death information cycles circles, Germany wanted to push ahead with legalizing kindabis for recreational news it Now it turns out that the EO contracts may throw a roadblock that way. Berlin's booming, booming, eighteen billion dollar texting birth unicorns like and twenty six and Trade Republic now founders want the government to help fuel the city growth, cities growth even more, and the European Central Bank picks Amazon Nextican three more to prototype digital euro apps. Just just to give you an idea of what the talk of the town is in the ecosystem, which lets us move on to a couple of cities. Were in what we call our hubs section. As always, um, there are some small, smaller cities that never would get any international press coverage, wouldn't it be for us? That's why this section is here. Frankfort based wealth Tech neamos bought by London based f and Set wealth management platform and we found data from one year uber eats in Frankfurt more than fifty five thousand people already used that top restaurant orders are from First Asian, Second Vision and Veggie, and third Italian restaurants. Most frequently ordered French fries, usually ordered at seven pm on Sundays. You can read more in the show notes. Posa Boulakop that shares its latest video updating update showing its e v t O l Air Taxi is closer than ever to reality. The Beautiful City of Hamburg, Hamburg based Localized raises thirty five million years dollars from investors General Catalyst Visionaries, Club Web Summit Fund and Frontline Ventures for the employee Mobility and Relocation solution and Digital Transformation Capital part As wraps up first close of Equity to Equity three fund at three hundred million years. We'll hear about this again. And Munich based startup Cargo Kites raises pre set round for a big tree. They want to put kites on autonomous cargo ships, so taking harness wind energy and maximum and minimize energy consumption. And Sonomoto is also based in Munich, is on track to put over thirty two thousand solar electric vehicles on the roads this decade. They write dristled Off based online shop for high end food. Gin Nous hunt back stop delivery with a surprisingly short notice. Now the reason is known. Founder Hantskill Pesta unfortunately passed away after short but seriously illness. Tristan based space start up More Voice Space raises twenty eight million US dollars in venture capital for their satellite mobility solution and the city of Ostina Bruck. They want to rival Munich and Berlin as Germany startup capital. They have the first success stories yet. Switzerland media affairs with food tech Planted gobbles up seventy million years to create meat from alternative proteins. Uh. Speaking about crypto, not all this is bad yes. With crypto platform Porto Fino unlocks fifty million to support high frequency traders. Crypto investment product from twenty one shares Parent raises twenty five million, pushing...

...valuation to two billion, securing number one spot amongst Swiss crypto startups. Swiss startup Peak Data picks twelve point one million for its platform connecting farmer companies with healthcare professionals. Desk Bird backs five million becomes a becomes most valuable European set startup for workplace management Swiss eight r tech Bickcom buys our tendem to personalize rewards for employees with wheel Tip performance data. Couros Bioscience um raises six million Swiss frank in a private placement to continue working on that rug for back pain or against back pain. Swiss based Meta Blocks closes one point to five million years all The prec round In launches bitter test going to Austria, where five percent of business angels are in Austria are women and only seventy of startups are founded or co founded by women. The Vienna based coworking space Tribe Space has to file for insolvency and something we will come back to again. Austrian climate and energy fund called green Energy Labs gets one hundred and ninety million years more to invest. We get to your news section VC News and Chris is doing that. Yes, I actually am. So we know from a lot of your feedback that you are always interested in where the money comes from or where there is new funds popping up in Germany, so we decided to make it a new section in this case, calling it the VC News. So X marks the spot as North Zone raises north of one billion euros we mentioned before Handburg based Digital Transformation Capital Partners d TCP wraps up the first closing of growth equity free fund at three hundred million euros. IBB Ventures raises thirty million euros for an impact fund. Successful founders with exits from Zon and SO Plus and Flush and Post joined investor Paulus have put in his VC called the Capital fundraising in two Where we are where We're Going um will is an article that gives you some background information. Keep in mind Austrian climate and energy fund called Green Energy Lab gets hundred and ninety million euros more to invest. UNA Capital kicks off a new fund as it joins the VC scramble for Europe by moving from Parallel to to Luxembourg. And VC firm Light Speed expands in Europe by hiring partners in Paris and Berlin. And as you can tell, these are all articles that are linked in our show notes and are part of um more in depth information at other outlets, but we wanted to give you the overview for that which leads us to the general news tech news company news section. And Joe was kicking off kicking us off with the fintech news. Yes let's kick a little bit of neo bank VV challenger of and twenty six gets its own first financial services license and investment license. Clients can now buy with their license, for example equities and mutual funds. There Unza was known as Idle Pay before KKR brought them. Later on I bought the retail payment business of wire Card. Now they're in trouble with Baffin for not doing enough to prevent money laundry. According to Pressure report, the crypto winter hasn't put off European vcs just...

...yet. You can read more on sifted and according to German press report, Berlin based new bank Penta was bought for one hundred seventy nine million years in count shares and pay out for employees in total two hundred million years. Chris, you got a very long list of VC fundings. As we said, we normally cut this, but we want to show them that not everything here is gloom and doom in Germany, Yes, so yeah, time for some good news, um and let's run through it. Automotive supplier Mala is receiving a loan of three hundred million euros from the European Investment Bank the i D for the development of new technology is related to zero and low emission technologies. Topi raises thirty forty five million dollars to power hardware subscriptions form Be to be merchants. Berlin based Latana picks up thirty six million euros for ND tracking and consumer insights platform. Zolston Saulstan Minneapolis, Michigan and Berlin, Germany based AI based platform which allows brands to understand their customers on a deeply human level as they say to create human experiences, raised twenty two million dollars in the series B funding. Berlin based Condas Banks fifteen point nine million euros to empower small and medium sized enterprises with automated accounts payable processes. Cure is a lagger in Germany's drug delivery companies, but still raises fifteen million euros in a series A funding. Brillain based i agnostics AI agnostics Gnost six scoops fourteen million euros to decode diagnostics with an AI driven pathology platform. Luke On lens ten million euros to personalize nutrition plant based eggs startup next so N E G G S T to get it because it's the next type of egg. Next backs five million euros. UM Berlin based m v P Matched Tech Talent Marketplace raises five million dollars from stage two capital. Berlin based Hate Data welcomes three point three million euros investment to scale it's compliance software solution. Just Home raises three point three million and precede funding. And we also saw a couple of news about a green startups. German based Alchemy picks up ten million years to have decarbonized cement and the concrete industry UM, which actually gets a lot of talk. And by the way, little name drop here, I was talking about this recently with Bill Gates, actually because I had a ten minutes Bill Gates interview and he was telling me about how much it's needed to UM also not just change industries like travel and energy, but also industries like UM, CEMENTUM concrete, and I actually, Chris, of course you will later on tad link and we will link it down here in the Oh Bill speaks German. I made him anyway. Berlin based carbon credits marketplace CAESAR that is ce z e R scores four point two million euros and near carbon once industrial cooling towers to join the climate fight and raises one to five million euros. Precede and c Rulian back Green Trade to offer carbon credits for force conservation ocean restoration. Let the very last little piece move Via Wind delivers first micro wind turbines for radio masts. Were in contact with this very interesting startup and basically we're going to interview them sometime next year. What they do. They have very tiny wind turbines...

...and they attached them all, for example to the radio masts or the cell phone towers. Corona boom times seem to be over for food delivery. Here's another sign delivery Here shuts down Ghost Restaurants Meta formerly known as Facebook Board. Berlin based haptics specialists start up Lovefeld in June. It now emergence. That's all level projects have been stopped. Amsterdam's at tech platform Lepaia quis Germany's AI based online coaching provider v Coach, Mercedes Benz partners with Bravian on electric fans and Kia is incarnating odd ev batteries as energy starge system for buildings using startup of German railway operator Deutscheban. Thank you for listening. We will be back with another Startup News episode on October tw Chris, who's a pleasure talking to you. Thank you very much, and by the way, you owe me a bagel. No sirens in the background today for once. Right, it's really calm outside. I wonder if I don't know, maybe the zombie Parkabitz is on and no one told me and this was the last thing I ever did. Can you imagine? Okay, bye bye. That's all the folks find more news streams, events at interviews at www. Let's start up read dot yo. Remember sharing is carry.

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