Investment in Berlin startups jumped by €1 billion this year, study shows

Investment in Berlin startups jumped by €1 billion this year, study shows
Berlin at night. Photo: DPA
Venture capital investments in German startups hit a record level in the first half of 2017, with Berlin seeing a huge rise in funding for its startup scene, a new report shows.

Funding rounds for startups in Germany and the overall value of funding hit record levels in the first six months of this year, a report released this month by professional services firm EY reveals.

The total number of investments in German startups rose by 6 percent in comparison with the same period in 2016, to 264.

But the really explosive growth was seen in the overall size of investment. In the first half of this year, €2.163 billion of investors' money went into startups, an increase of roughly €1.2 billion in comparison with the first half of 2016.

That growth was mainly driven by the e-commerce sector. At €939 million, over 40 percent of overall funding went into e-commerce. But health, FinTech and software startups all saw significant investment growth.

The report also confirmed that Berlin is the unrivalled startup capital of Germany. Forty-four percent of all investment deals happened in the capital – the size of Bavaria, Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse combined.

And while the number of investment rounds in Berlin stayed stable, the size of the investments increased massively. Whereas in the first half of 2016 Berlin startups raised €531 million in investment funds, so far this year they have pulled in €1.48 billion – a 178 percent increase.

Two deals in particular contributed to the eye-watering growth in Berlin. Food delivery firm Delivery Hero, which made its stock market debut in June, took in a €387 million investment round. Meanwhile Auto1, an online used car marketplace, banked a €360 million investment earlier this year.

There was good news outside the capital too, though.

Hamburg was actually the city that saw the largest growth in investment relative to the first half of 2016. While in the first half of last year startups in the harbour city raised €53 million, this year they pulled in €178 million – a 236 percent increase in funding.

This was just the latest good news for Germany's second-largest city. A study published in June by German government-owned bank KfW showed Hamburg beat out Berlin for the first time in terms of the number of people who started a business per capita. Between 2014 and 2016, Hamburg had 253 new founders annually per 10,000 working people. In Berlin, this figure was 238 business starters.

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