With around 500 new tech startups founded each year, and a new government investment fund for high-growth tech companies, Berlin is likely to be the destination of the next generation of leading GovTech innovators.
Berlin is home to one of Europe’s strongest startup ecosystems, with the combined valuation of new companies in the city most recently measured at €27 billion. More impressively, growth funding for startups in Berlin was amongst the highest of anywhere in Europe in 2017, with startups raising over €3 billion.
These startups are supported by a vast network of local incubators and accelerators– including Rocket Internet, Hitfox, Rheingau Founders and Berlin Startup Academy – as well as world-renowned VCs such as Digital Health Ventures, WESTtech Ventures, and Project A Ventures. Access to capital for early-stage tech businesses is a key strategic priority for the German government. This led to the recent launch of KfW Capital – a new government equity finance initiative to support venture capital investment in tech companies in the start-up and growth phase. With support from the European Investment Fund, KfW’s investment volume in VC funds will reach an average of €200 million per year 2020.
Not only are Berlin’s startups accessing growth funding, 2017 also saw many companies execute successful high-profile exits. Most notably, Berlin-based startups HelloFresh and Delivery Hero managed to jointly raise €648m through IPOs.
Berlin itself is one of Europe’s most digitally-savvy cities, driven by Mayor Michael Müller’s ambitious digitisation strategy announced in 2015. This includes projects to implement 5G connectivity across the city, as well as the opening of the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation – a cross-cutting R&D centre aiming to develop the next generation of GovTech innovations.
The Senate’s Smart City Berlin Strategy, announced in the same year, has also underpinned a number of local government innovation initiatives. Most notably, the city has launched a number of smart mobility projects, including a partnership with Siemens to provides drivers with up-to-date reports on city traffic conditions, as well as new sensor-controlled parking management system across the city.
Besides an encouraging local government and a smart digital infrastructure, the city has a lot to new tech startups. The lower cost of living (with rent prices roughly 50% cheaper than London). has attracted a steady flow of international talent, creating a dynamic market with plenty of fresh ideas.
In the GovTech space, Berlin boasts some of Europe’s most exciting AI-powered healthcare platforms, as well as a leading ecosystem of new transport companies, in line with the city’s commitment to smarter and more sustainable. mobility solutions.
Top 10 GovTech Startups
Door2door is a technology provider of a number of turnkey, on-demand mobility solutions for cities and their local public transport operators.
Ada Health is an AI-powered mobile health app that allows users to report their symptoms and receive automated diagnoses and medical reports.
Lumenaza is a software platform that directly connects local energy producers and consumers in decentralised energy systems.
MotionTag is a smart-phone based ticketing solution that integrates across multiple different transport systems to provide one single mobility solution.
Chatterbug is an adaptive online language learning platform that uses artificial intelligence to deliver tailored language lessons.
Synergist.io uses artificial intelligence to automate creating, signing and negotiating contracts with public sector authorities.
Clue uses is a female health application that uses cutting-edge science and personalised data analytics to help users to discover unique patterns in menstruation and ovulation cycles.
Civocracy is a citizen engagement platform that helps governments to connect with their citizens, through direct communication, idea crowdsourcing, and data analytics
Polyteia is a data analytics and visualisation platform that aggregates city and municipality data from multiple sources to help local governments to make better decisions.
Greencity Solutions has developed a ‘CityTree’ that employs a combination of moss cultures with IoT sensing technology to combat air pollution in cities.