Berlin – Where Startups Become Unicorns

December 2021

Europe’s four quickest unicorns all come from Berlin – and that’s no accident. Those are two of the insights to be gleaned from the 2021 report on the state of European tech by venture capital investor Atomico.

Quickest to reach unicorn status was food delivery company Flink, which was valued at EUR one billion only eight months after being founded. Competitor Gorillas ranked second by reaching that level in nine months.

They were followed by a pair of ecommerce accumulators, SellerX and Razor Group, which took 14 and 15 months respectively to pass the one-billion mark. Four German companies made the list of largest financing rounds: Celonis, Gorillas, N26 and Trade Republic. The rounds ranged from EUR 750 million to EUR one billion. Celonis also became Germany’s first EUR 10 billion “decacorn.”

The quantum leap in funding was part of larger trend.

“Europe is firmly positioned as a global tech player in 2021, with a record USD 100 billion of capital invested, 98 new unicorns, and the strongest ever startup pipeline, now on par with the US,” wrote the authors of the report.

In a recent article for online magazine Medium on Berlin as a start-up location, journalist Anais Cisneros listed five advantages possessed by the German capital: diversity of sectors, high quality of life, a large talent pool, internationalism and affordable rent.

“Overall, it has taken a while for Berlin to become the start-up capital we know and love,” Cisneros wrote. “I am bullish on Berlin continuing to attract highly qualified talent and increasingly incubating more European unicorns.”

Berlin, Alexanderplatz © Pixabay