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These 16 German startups are about to become unicorns

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With their Vivid smartphone bank, Artem Yamanov and Alexander Emeshev are on the threshold of a billion dollar valuation.

There are many lists of startups soon to be valued in the billions. However, if you believe the analysts at GP Bullhound, the tech investment bank’s forecasts are proving to be particularly reliable. Since 2019, GP Bullhound has published an annual list of so-called “Soonicorns”. The bottom line: More than 40 percent of the companies nominated in 2019, 2020 and 2021 have actually become unicorns, the investment bank reports. The list of the most promising unicorn candidates for 2022 is worth taking a look at. This is available exclusively for the startup scene.

GP Bullhound has partnered with tech event organizer Viva Technology for the test. Criteria such as employee growth, sales development and venture capital raised were taken into account. Future growth opportunities were also included in the selection. The result is a list of 100 “Soonicorns” from 14 countries in Europe. Germany is represented by 16 companies:

  • any desktop: Develops a remote maintenance software for companies, similar to Teamviewer. The Stuttgart startup last received money in November 2021, at which time 60 million euros flowed in.

  • babble: It has been in the market for years with a language learning app. However, it is questionable whether the Berlin company will become a true unicorn. Babbel was already planning to go public at the end of last year. If this were to happen soon, the startup would be off the list. Because, by definition, unicorns are just start-ups worth billions and not yet public.

  • intermittent: With book excerpts on the smartphone for a billion dollar company? GP Bullhound analysts expect Berliners to have good long-term prospects. However, so far, Blinkist has only raised almost €32 million from investors. After all: In 2020, the ten-year-old startup turned a profit for the first time. That could boost the rating.

  • brother: Aimed at the legal and compliance departments of very large companies with a “no-code platform”. The last publicly known valuation of the Berlin startup dates back to April 2021, and at the time it was €350 million.

  • camunda– Helps companies automate their business processes with open source software. In March 2021, the Berlin startup closed a financing round of 82 million euros. No rating information was given.

  • Coach: Also from Berlin and operates an online learning platform for employees and managers. Investors have already poured €110 million into the company since it was founded in 2018.

  • IDNow: You always contact the Munich start-up service when you want to open a bank account and identify yourself via video chat. More recently, IDNow has drawn attention to itself with acquisitions. Objective: Market leadership in many European countries.

  • LeanIX: The Bonn-based company breaks down aging IT infrastructures with software and then modernizes them. A service already used by companies such as VW and Bosch. LeanIX last received money in the summer of 2020. At that time, €71 million was flowing, including from Goldman Sachs.

  • lingoda: Like the already mentioned “Soonicorn” Babbel, he relies on online language courses. Almost 80 million euros have been spent on the development of the platform since the Berlin company was founded in 2013.

  • McMakler: The Berlin real estate platform has long marketed itself as a unicorn candidate. An initial public offering was also recently discussed. In January, McMakler was valued at €800 million.

  • playing field: Christian Reber’s software startup is known to be developing a serious alternative to PowerPoint. In autumn 2021, the Berlin-based company, founded only in 2019, was already valued at almost 500 million euros.

  • PriceFx: Offers cloud pricing software. An algorithm calculates the optimal price for products based on various data, such as inventory, competitors, and operating costs. Around €115 million has already been invested in PriceFx, which is based in Pfaffenhofen, Bavaria.

  • sprinklers: The Berlin company is developing a modular system for store operators.

  • staff base: The Chemnitz-based company offers an app that company employees can use to exchange information. With that, GP Bullhound landed a direct hit: Staffbase only announced a new €106 million funding round in mid-March, becoming a unicorn in the process.

  • tax correction: Help users conveniently complete their tax return on their mobile phone. The last publicly known valuation dates from 2020. At that time it exceeded 300 million euros.

  • living money: The Berlin fintech focuses on a smartphone bank account with the option to invest in stocks or cryptocurrencies. There is a bank card for this. Among the investors is the tech giant Softbank. More recently, Vivid was valued at around €750 million..

  • Xentral: Based in Augsburg, the startup develops and sells a merchandise management system for online retailers. Frank Thelen is one of the donors. Current Valuation: A mid-range three-digit million amount.

Julian Riedlbauer, partner and head of the German GP Bullhound office, comments on the results to Gründerszene: “Compared to the early days of Rocket Internet, or StudiVZ, the German tech ecosystem is almost unrecognizable today.”

The large number of German startups that are already unicorns and the potential soon-to-be unicorns in the GP Bullhound assessment show that the German tech ecosystem has come of age. “Now we not only have very experienced tech managers, investors, business angels and founders, but the funding rounds are gradually catching up in the US and Asia as well,” says Riedlbauer. Particularly noteworthy are Berlin and Munich.

However, the IPOs and IPOs in recent years, such as the IPO of Delivery Hero in 2017 or the sale of Signavio to SAP in 2021, have also contributed to the success of the entire ecosystem as only London or the mythical Silicon Valley could boast. A few years ago.”

The full list of all determined Soonicorns can be found on this chart:

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