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This Week in Germany: Funding, IPOs, Startup & Accelerator News. And One More Thing. Written by Felicitas Hackmann on 16. January 2015

Here is what happened in Germany’s startup scene this week:


Funding Rounds/Exits/IPOs/That kind of News

Holtzbrinck Ventures Closes $331M Fund To Back More Consumer And E-Commerce Startups

HV (Holtzbrinck Ventures), which opened for business in 2000 as the investment arm of the German media and publishing group but went independent in 2010, is one of the firms leading the VC charge in the tech world. It has also invested in e. g. Rocket Internet.

Kreditech acquires Konotmierz from Poland

Kontomierz from Warsaw, founded in 2009 and employing 16 people, was acquired by Hamburg’s most known FinTech startup Kreditech for an undisclosed amount. With Kreditech’s help Konotmierz wants to expand to Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and Russia. Kreditech employs over 200 people in nine countries. Last year, it raised a $40 million Series B, which brought the total amount of funding to $70 million.
[Gründerszene] (German), [finovate]

Seed Round for CloudRail to help developers solve IoT interoperability problem

The startup from Mannheim just received a €540,000 investment from Leonardo Venture, BWM, and various unnamed angels. CloudRail is working on a technology that enables developers to write to a single API to connect to and handle data translations for an ever growing list of IoT devices and related services.

Berlin-based E-mail Magazine Sugarhigh is bought by a U.S. competitor

Sugarhigh has been bought by Daily Secret, a competitor from the U.S. The E-mail magazine is received by around 50,000 Berliners daily who are keen to know the most interesting and exciting events going on in the city.
[Gründerszene] (German), [prweb]

Omnicom Media Group aquires Trakken

After working for Google and being part of the team that introduced Google Analytics, Lenn­art Paulsen and Timo Aden founded Trakken in 2008. Trakken offers digital analytics and helps to optimize conversion rates. Companies such as Rocket Internet, Beiersdorf, Air Berlin are among Trakken’s clients. The company was now acquired by Omni­com Media Group for an undisclosed amount.
[OnlineMarketing Rockstars]


Eventbrite opens office in Berlin and joins the event discovery market in the U.S

The event ticketing platform Eventbrite has been used in Germany’s startup and tech industry for a while. However, it didn’t take off as quickly into other verticals. To change that, the company will now open an office in Berlin, Renaud Visage, CTO and co-founder at Eventbrite, announced at Bits & Pretzels in Munich on Friday. He also spoke to VentureVillage about the company’s goals for 2015, Eventbrite’s financial situation, and why the German market is difficult to enter.
[VentureVillage] Teams Up With Uber In Germany For First And Last Mile Rides, the German ridesharing startup, starts offering customers door-to-door services by way of Uber. Carpooling is operating as “Mitfahrgelegenheit” and is mostly used for long distance rides in Germany. The two transportation apps have already teamed up in the United States.

Rocket Internet is about to launch a regional grocery shopping service

Seems Rocket is continuing going into the household sector: After ShopWings and EatFirst, it now also gets into connecting regional food producers and the end costumers. From what is known until now, it’ll be called Bonativo.
[Gründerszene] (German)

Berlin-based startup SquadMail ends its operations

SquadMail confirmed today that it has ended its operations. The startup that aspired to be the “Dropbox for Emails” had significant support early on. For example, it was the only German startup accepted into Seepcamp’s London accelerator for a recent round.

Dubsmatch: Pivot until you make it

Dubsmatch, an app that allows people to record a video that is synced over music or often times a quote, is the newest hit in the App Store. The founders launched their company in mid-2013. The app Dubsmatch is actually their third attempt at a product that could resonate with users.

This Startup gives away 3D-Printed Bitcoin payment terminals

By combining hacked cellphones and 3D-printed casings, a startup called “Edelstall” based in Hanover, Germany, has developed a working bitcoin point-of-sale (POS) terminal called Ate PEY. It’s app has been downloaded 150 times last month and is available worldwide, except for China. However, it is only fully functional with the bitcoin payment terminals in Germany.

Atelier Blanche shuts down

Atelier Blanche, a startup from the ProSiebenSat.1 incubator Epic Companies that shut pretty much over night last October, has shut down temporary. Until now, neither a buyer not an investor has been for for the startup that sells oversized clothes.
[Gründerszene] (German) is closing its Berlin office, the portal that provides coupon codes, is closing its Berlin office at the end of February. The website will now be run from its Amsterdam office. The company says that the move is meant to promote synergies.
[Gründerszene] (German)

EatFirst delivers dinner in Berlin

Rocket Internet’s food delivery service EatFirst launched in Berlin in September 2014. For about €7, it delivers lunch within 15 minutes. The service is available in Berlin’s city center as the website describes, which includes Mitte, parts of Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Tiergarten. Besides delivering from 11:45 am – 2 pm, EatFirst will now also delivery dinner between 6:30 – 8:30 pm, starting on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015. for €8.
Dinner delivery in London will start in a few weeks, the company stated towards VentureVillage.

Incubators, Accelerators,…

A new entrepreneurship hub planned for Berlin

The opening of the GTEC – German Tech Entrepreneurship Center was announced today. It will be located at the ESMT campus at Schlossplatz 1. Remodeling of the space will kick-off in preparations to host two accelerator programs (Berlin Startup Academy and TechStars).


Learning to Code: How CareerFoundry Educates To Launch Successful Careers

Amongst the largest technology companies in the world, there is also a startup in Berlin that is looking to educate the next generation in computer science. The startup CareerFoundry was launched in mid-2013 by founder Raffaela Rein.

WHERE THE HECK IS…? Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below!

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Image: Felicitas Hackmann