[AI Startup Landscape]
A comprehensive landscape of German AI startups
Start-ups are the engine of innovation. They reflect the innovative power of a country and will eventually become the next generation of market leaders. While the US, China, Israel, and other countries actively promote and boost their ecosystem in artificial intelligence (AI), German start-ups focussing on AI are hardly known. This lack of recognicion not only prevents the creation of internationally operating companies in this field providing the workplaces of the future, it also harms the innovative power of established companies. Due to our mission to lift Germany to the age of AI, it is one of our tasks to give companies guidance and promising start-ups a visible platform. This benefits both parties.
In the AI domain, a multitude of use cases requires partnering between young, innovative and established companies. There are several reasons why collaboration between start-ups and fully developed companies is the best option, not only for both parties – but for the economy as a whole. Firstly, the technology develops amazingly fast. As a consequence, there is a need to be dedicated to one specific technology to stay state-of the-art. While almost all companies require a broad selection of AI solutions, start-ups focus on one specific niche. They provide the necessary solutions with the latest technology. Secondly, AI systems increase in performance with more data and applications. Therefore, in non-competitive use cases, technology from start-ups which supply many companies tend to perform better than a stand-alone solution for one specific application in one company. Thirdly, AI is a fundamentally challenging task to implement in the eye of an rapidly increasing need to develop new roles, adapt processes, collect data, hire new skills, or work in agile settings. Partnering with start-ups helps companies to get rid of some of these challenges and helps them to focus on value creation.
We will subsequently publish new insights into the German AI start-up landscape to help you get started with this technology and at the same time support our start-ups to get traction.
You can download the AI Startup Landscape here.
PRECIRE Technolohies GmbH
Twenty Billion Neurons
Brighter AI Technologies
The Chainless GmbH / deepva
2txt – natural language generation GmbH
Smart Radiology GmbH
PEAT GmbH // Plantix App
Sky Lab Institute
X24Factory / moebel24.de
door2door_the mobility company
alexjacobi / wundervoices / sprechersprecher
Together with our partners we identified and evaluated over 600 startups in the German AI space to develop the first comprehensive German AI startup landscape. The presented startups are private companies with their headquarters or significant development activities in Germany and are founded after 2008. We included only companies that have machine learning (ML) in their core or exhibit a significant usage of ML. Our approach can be summarized to four core steps:
- AI startups were gathered from different public (e.g. Tracxn, Crunchbase) and private sources (e.g. VC network, partners) to develop a comprehensive longlist.
- The startups were evaluated on their fit to our definition of an AI startup and then clustered according to our clustering logic (see Clustering Logic for more details).
- We rated the startups as ‘valid’, ‘upcoming’ (both displayed in Enterprise Function and Intelligence, AI Tech Stack and Industries), ‘longlist’ and ‘discarded’ (bottom right in the landscape) based on the information available to us.
- We sent the list independently to our network of experts (VCs: HTGF, HV Holzbrinck Ventures, Digital+ Partners, UVC Partners, tech partners: Nvidia and our whole partner network) and iteratively incorporated their feedback on startups and labels.
Companies need a strategic approach on how to get started with artificial intelligence. The clustering logic inherited by Shivon Zilis’ landscape of machine intelligence is developed from the point-of-view of companies asking themselves how to embed AI in their business:
- Enterprise Functions: Increasing productivity of existing tasks – Support your employees with ready-to-use AI enabled tools supporting their day-to-day work to increase productivity.
- Enterprise Intelligence: Exploiting new data sources – Tap into new sorts of insights that were to difficult or expensive to be gained by employees by making use of tools that can review the data for you.
- AI Technology Stack: Building products with ML: Give developers the tools that they need to build machine learning software in order to gain a competitive advantage.
- Industries: Leveraging AI-first products: Use and cooperate with startups using machine learning to offer industry-related products and services.
Facts and figures
The German AI startup landscape comprises 132 companies with a total of 803m € in funding.
Few geographical hubs dominate the scene with Berlin 51 (38,6%), Munich 31 (23.5%) and Hamburg 9 (6.8%) housing 68,1% of all German AI startups and controlling 88% of the total funding volume in Germany.
The majority of startups (59.1%) operates cross-industry wide (clusters ’Enterprise Function’, ‘Enterprise Intelligence’, und ‘AI Technology Stack’) while healthcare & pharma (7.6%), transport & mobility (6.1%) and retail & commerce (6.1%) dominate the industry-specific landscape in terms of number of startups.
The top10 German AI startups funding-wise control 698.4m € (86.9%) of the total funding volume with Kreditech alone accounting for 429.6m € (53%) and only 51 (38.6%) got funding in general. The number of founded start-ups per year has increased significantly, especially in the last three years (2015-2017).
Trends in fields
In Enterprise Functions 22 startups are listed, which provide different artificial intelligence solutions for company functions. They have a total funding volume of 19m €.
In Customer Support eight startups are listed, which have a total funding volume of 6,6m €. Using technologies like natural language processing, they support the customer service with insights and automate customer interaction with chatbots.
Sales & Marketing
In Sales and Marketing five startups are listed. They use e.g. natural language processing and computer vision to optimize marketing campaigns, generate better user experiences or support content creation.
Finance & Accounting
In Finance and Accounting two startups are listed, which have a total funding volume of 4,3m €. Although they are only two they have a relative funding share of 23% in the enterprise functions cluster. Leveraging natural language processing and deep learning, they automate accounting tasks.
IT & Security
In IT & Security two startups are listed having a total funding of 6.3m € and by that a relative share of 33%. In this category problems like fraud prevention are tackled with AI.
In Legal only one startup is listed. Using natural language processing an exemplary use case could be contract analysis.
In Human Resources four startups with a total funding of 1.9m € are listed. They use, for example, natural language processing for profile matching of professional development solutions.
In Enterprise Intelligence 38 startups are listed, which have the goal to exploit new data sources within companies. They have a total funding volume of 120m €.
In Visual the landscape contains 12 startups. They have a total funding of 15.4m € and have a technological focus on image/ object recognition. Exemplary use cases are face identification, video analysis or gesture recognition.
In the Audio category only one startup is listed. Exemplary solutions in this category are focused on speech to text and are mostly based on natural language processing algorithms.
In the Sensor category four startups are listed, which have a total funding volume of 35.7m €. Sensor supplied by those startups enable different types of data generation and by that diverse use cases for e.g. IOT Solutions.
In Internal Data nine startups are listed. They have a total funding volume of 30.4m € and are mostly focused on predictive analytics, process mining and by that supporting business intelligence.
In Market Data four startups are listed, which have a total funding volume of 20.6m €. Using different kinds of algorithms they focus on use cases like market intelligence applications and patent crawlers.
In the Text category the landscape lists eight startups. They have a total funding of 17.5m € and by using e.g. natural language processing, they provide solutions for content and knowledge discovery or data extraction and analysis.
AI Technology Stack
In AI Technology Stack 18 startups are listed, which enable building products with machine learning in their core. They have a total funding volume of 28m €.
In the Natural Language category four startups are listed, which have a total funding of 700k €. As the name suggests, those startups provide natural language processing.
In the Development category eight startups are listed, which have a total funding of 24m €. This startups offer platforms for data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
In the Data Capture category four startups are listed, which have a total funding of 2,5m €. Startups in this category are focusing on data annotation and preparation.
In the Libraries category one startups is listed, which has a total funding of 950k €. As the name suggests the provisioning of easy to integrate AI-algorithms is done by the startup in this category.
In the Hardware category one startups is listed. Here the supply of hardware for AI-applications is done by the startup.
In the Industry cluster fifty-four startups are listed, which are building AI-first products and services. They have a total funding volume of 637m €
In the Finance category five startups are listed, which have a total funding volume of 429.6m €. Being a well-funded category, the startups are providing AI-enabled finance solutions.
Health & Pharma
In the Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals category ten startups are listed, which have a total funding volume of 63.7m €. They provide different kinds of solutions for consumers, doctors or hospitals.
In the Manufacturing category five startups are listed, which have a total funding volume of 2.9m €. One of the top trends in this category are solutions in the area of robotics.
In the Agriculture category two startups are listed. Use cases are for example plant monitoring or solutions for ground intelligence.
Retail & Commerce
In the Retail & Commerce category eight startups are listed, which have a total funding volume of 78.8m €. In this category startups are offering different type of consumer services and products.
Transportation & Mobility
In Transport and Mobility eight startups are listed. They have a total funding volume of 29.3m € and provide e.g. mobility platforms or safety applications for automotive.
In the Logistics category two startups are listed, which provide e.g. a trucking platform or object tracking.
In the Autonomous Systems category six startups are listed, which have a total funding volume of 21.4m €. They provide solutions for autonomous systems in automotive, aerospace and robotics.
In Other eight startups are listed, which have a total funding volume of 11m €. This category contains startups, that in their entirety provide a diverse mix of AI-solutions, while on their own did not fit into the other categories.
|2txt – natural language generation GmbH||Enterprise Intelligence||Text|
|5Analytics||AI Technology Stack||Development|
|Acellere||AI Technology Stack||Development|
|Ada||Industries||Healthcare & Pharma|
|adbonitas||Enterprise Function||Sales & Marketing|
|AIPARK||Industries||Transport & Mobility|
|AiServe||Industries||Healthcare & Pharma|
|alexjacobi / wundervoices / sprechersprecher||Industries||Other|
|Ambiverse||AI Technology Stack||Natural Language|
|Blackout Technologies||Enterprise Function||Sales & Marketing|
|Bleenco||Industries||Transport & Mobility|
|Blue Yonder||Industries||Retail & Commerce|
|Brighter AI Technologies||Enterprise Intelligence||Visual|
|Bunch||Enterprise Intelligence||Internal Data|
|Candis||Enterprise Function||Finance & Accounting|
|Caspian Robotics||Industries||Autonomous Systems|
|cellmatiq||Industries||Healthcare & Pharma|
|celonis||Enterprise Intelligence||Internal Data|
|chatShopper||Industries||Retail & Commerce|
|Cobrainer||Enterprise Intelligence||Internal Data|
|codetrails||AI Technology Stack||Development|
|Cognigy||Enterprise Function||Customer Support|
|Comtravo||Industries||Transport & Mobility|
|creaidAI||AI Technology Stack||Development|
|creative.ai||Enterprise Function||Sales & Marketing|
|DeepL||AI Technology Stack||Natural Language|
|door2door_the mobility company||Industries||Transport & Mobility|
|e-bot7||Enterprise Function||Customer Support|
|ESR Labs||Industries||Transport & Mobility|
|Explosion||AI Technology Stack||Natural Language|
|Faer||Industries||Retail & Commerce|
|Fineway||Industries||Transport & Mobility|
|Fraugster||Enterprise Function||IT & Security|
|Free Machines||Industries||Retail & Commerce|
|German Autolabs||Industries||Transport & Mobility|
|GroundTruth Robotics||Industries||Autonomous Systems|
|HeuroLabs||AI Technology Stack||Development|
|I2x.ai||Enterprise Function||Customer Support|
|ImFusion||Industries||Healthcare & Pharma|
|Innoplexus||Industries||Healthcare & Pharma|
|Inspirient||Enterprise Intelligence||Internal Data|
|IPlytics||Enterprise Intelligence||Market Data|
|Job Pal||Enterprise Function||HR|
|Kauz||Enterprise Function||Customer Support|
|Keeeb||Enterprise Intelligence||Internal Data|
|ki-elements, Delta||Industries||Healthcare & Pharma|
|Kopernikus Automotive||Industries||Autonomous Systems|
|laralab||Industries||Healthcare & Pharma|
|logarithmo||Enterprise Intelligence||Internal Data|
|Mercury||Enterprise Function||Customer Support|
|nyris||Industries||Retail & Commerce|
|Octimine GmbH||Enterprise Intelligence||Market Data|
|omni:us||Enterprise Intelligence||Internal Data|
|parlamind||Enterprise Function||Customer Support|
|PEAT GmbH // Plantix App||Industries||Agriculture|
|PRECIRE Technologies GmbH||Enterprise Function||HR|
|Rasa||AI Technology Stack||Libraries|
|RealSynth||AI Technology Stack||Data Capture|
|rebotnix||AI Technology Stack||Hardware|
|Repon||AI Technology Stack||Data Capture|
|RiseML||AI Technology Stack||Development|
|Risk Ident||Enterprise Function||IT & Security|
|RiskMethods||Enterprise Intelligence||Market Data|
|Sapphireai||Enterprise Intelligence||Internal Data|
|Seerene||AI Technology Stack||Development|
|SemVox||AI Technology Stack||Natural Language|
|Sensape||Enterprise Function||Sales & Marketing|
|Sevdesk||AI Technology Stack||Development|
|simplaex||Enterprise Function||Sales & Marketing|
|Sky Lab Institute||Industries||Agriculture|
|Smacc||Enterprise Function||Finance & Accounting|
|Smart Radiology GmbH||Industries||Healthcare & Pharma|
|So1||Industries||Retail & Commerce|
|Solvemate||Enterprise Function||Customer Support|
|SUSI&James||Enterprise Intelligence||Internal Data|
|swarms||AI Technology Stack||Data Capture|
|The Chainless GmbH / deepva||Enterprise Intelligence||Visual|
|Twenty Billion Neurons||Enterprise Intelligence||Visual|
|Twyla||Enterprise Function||Customer Support|
|Ubermetrics||Enterprise Intelligence||Market Data|
|Understand.ai||AI Technology Stack||Data Capture|
|voya||Industries||Transport & Mobility|
|X24Factory / moebel24.de||Industries||Retail & Commerce|
|xbird||Industries||Healthcare & Pharma|
|Zana||Industries||Healthcare & Pharma|
|Zeitgold||Industries||Retail & Commerce|