2020 was a Good Year for German Tech Start-Ups

March 2021

Amidst all the disruptions caused last year by the coronavirus pandemic, Germany’s 100 largest tech start-ups took in an additional USD 3.7 billion in financing – or 37 percent of their total VC investments. That’s according to business consultants Ernst & Young.

Mirroring a trend in the start-up scene in general, there were fewer extremely large investments of EUR 100 million or more, but the sheer number of investments of all sizes increased, and many firms registered  impressive leaps in valuation.

“The high valuations are in part down to the fact that the business models of these companies were digital right from the start,” said Thomas Prüver, Partner Strategy and Transactions at EY, in a statement. “That allowed them to react more flexibly than other companies to digital challenges. The digitalization of the economy is one of the megatrends of the 21st century, and these young companies are showing the way.”

The AUTO1 Group leads the pack with a total USD 1.4 billion taken in since the company’s founding. It’s followed by travel platform GetYourGuide with USD 789 million and neo-bank N-26 with USD 783 million.

All three of those companies are based in Berlin, which is no accident. 64 for E&Y’s top 100 tech start-ups call the German capital home, followed by Munich with 21 and Hamburg with 6.

The founders of AUTO1, Christian Bertermann (left) and  Hakan Koç © AUTO1