\The Berlin startups startups and scaleups to watch in 2021

\The Berlin startups startups and scaleups to watch in 2021

Startups such as GetYourGuide, N26 and Raisin are at the forefront of the continent’s new economy.

So far this year Berlin startups have raised a record €5.1bn from VC funds, more than the €2.2bn in all of 2020.

But which are the most exciting startups and scaleups? Which are the ones to watch in 2021?

Our team of experts at Sifted have chosen a list of exciting companies we think you need to know about, with an added ‘Sifted take’ on some to provide an extra layer of insight.

It’s a mixture of the big and the small, the well known and the under the radar. But all are making waves. Keep reading below and stay informed about Europe’s new economy!

(P.S The data is from European Startups, with valuation estimates from Dealroom. If there is anyone missing from this list, or anything is wrong, please let us know by email at [email protected]).

Key

Year founded

Amount raised

Last funding round

Valuation

Employees

AUTO1 Group's logo

AUTO1 Group

A leading digital car-selling platform

transportation / search, buy & rent

auto1-group.com

Berlin, Germany

2012

1Bm

CONVERTIBLE

€3bn

1000-5000

Sifted Take

Berlin-based Auto1 is a pan-European online marketplace for used cars. It values and buys used cars from individuals, dealerships, and manufacturers — then sells them for a profit to dealerships. It's worth an estimated $3bn.

Used cars are a huge market, with around 39m cars sold every year in Europe (compared to 17m new). Within the market, Auto1 is a giant. The company has taken in €1bn from Japanese conglomerate Softbank amongst others, and since launching in 2012 has expanded into more than 30 countries. It says it is now trading with more than 35,000 professional partners and selling more than 40,000 cars per month.

But watch out, because there are rivals. Cazoo, the brainchild of Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman, raised €60m pre-launch to sell second-hand cars direct to consumers in 2019. It’s a slightly different model, as it’s selling to consumers not dealers, but still a potential threat as market dynamics in this space evolve swiftly.

Other rivals to Auto1 include Emil Frey and AVAG Holding. There is a torrid history of other used car platforms coming crashing down: notably Beepi. Watch out as well for business cycle vulnerability, in a recession big-ticket items like cars are often the first purchases consumers will put off taking.

Plantix's logo

Plantix

Agricultural app for disease detection, pest control and yield increase

agritech / B2B

plantix.net/en

Berlin, Germany

2015

€12.2mm

SERIES A

€27—40m

100-500

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Back's logo

Back

Organize and automate all of your employee requests on one intuitive platform

B2B / SaaS

backhq.com

Berlin, Germany

2018

€3mm

SEED

€12—18m

10-50

Choco's logo

Choco

Accelerating the world's transition towards sustainable food systems

food / agritech

choco.com

Berlin, Germany

2018

€149mm

SERIES B

€545m

100-500

Bryter's logo

Bryter

A no-code service automation platform that enables business experts to build digital applications

no code / B2B

bryter.com

Berlin, Germany

2018

€80.9mm

SERIES B

€240—360m

100-500

Forto's logo

Forto

The digital freight forwarder across air and sea

transportation / logistics and delivery

forto.com/de

Berlin, Germany

2016

€333mm

LATE VC

€1.1bn

100-500

Sifted Take

Forto is a digital freight-forwarder based in Berlin. It provides data-driven technology solutions and services available to the logistics industry, to help empower people to make better business decisions.

Since its launch in 2016, Forto has raised a total of €333m in funding; its latest funding round – led by SoftBank, Northzone, Citi Ventures, Cherry Ventures, G Squared and Unbound – secured it with $240m. Following a late VC funding round in June 2021, it became a unicorn – with an approximate valuation of €1.1bn.

The raised capital will allow Forto to persist in its ambition to make global trade more sustainable. With around 50% of Forto’s customer base using the company’s carbon-offsetting offer, Forto has applied the '1+1 Approach'. This system doubles the CO2 compensation of every customer to progress towards more climate-positive transports.

Sharpist's logo

Sharpist

Digital, mobile coaching for managers

B2B / SaaS

sharpist.com

Berlin, Germany

2018

€5.5mm

ANGEL

€18—27m

100-500

Vivid Money's logo

Vivid Money

Offers a unique mobile banking app and a distinctive digital investing platform from a single app

fintech / banking

vivid.money/en-eu

Berlin, Germany

2020

€75mm

SERIES B

€360m

100-500

Penta's logo

Penta

Free online business bank account for startups and SMEs

fintech / B2B

getpenta.com/en

Berlin, Germany

2017

€47.2mm

SERIES B

€30—45m

100-500

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Moonfare's logo

Moonfare

Technology-enabled platform providing smarter access to private market investments

fintech / SaaS

moonfare.com

Berlin, Germany

2016

€25mm

SERIES B

€100—150m

100-500

Grover's logo

Grover

Technology subscription platform

fintech / home living

grover.com/de-de

Berlin, Germany

2015

€117mm

DEBT

€338—507m

100-500

Billie's logo

Billie

Receive payments for invoices

SaaS / fintech, B2B

billie.io

Berlin, Germany

2016

€47mm

Secondary

€120—180m

100-500

MEDWING's logo

MEDWING

Recruiting startup focused on hiring temporary and permanent staff in healthcare facilities

B2B / recruitment

medwing.com/UK/en

Berlin, Germany

2017

€28mm

LATE VC

€112—168m

100-500

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