This Month in German, Swiss, and Austrian (GSA) Startups - September 2022

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Our highlights:

Germany is preparing for a potentially rough winter, in many ways. Now Environmental Action Germany (Deutsche Umwelthilfe): Asked Germans not to put up any Christmas lights this season. Startups in GSA keep laying off staff, but also raising significant funds. We have our usually shortened list a bit longer this month, to show that it is not all gloom and doom here. You will also notice that the M&A activity is up, totaling 55 bn US$ in summer 2022 (for all of Europe), and is still going strong.

Let’s talk startups:

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Blog Post

Find all links, news and show notes here: https://medium.com/@startuprad_io/this-month-in-german-swiss-and-austrian-gsa-startups-september-2022-53339fae6ca7

Top News

Berlin’s Everphone extends Series C to $232M

Everphone started with their first fundraising for Series C in December 2021 and now make an additional closing of 32 mn Euros, which totals — according to PitchBook 232 m US$ Series C for their device-as-a-service model

Crypto Boom is slowing

European crypto app downloads have almost halved from 2021 amongst the biggest drops are Blockchain.com and unicorn Bitpanda.

Sifted writes “Beleaguered Austrian crypto trading platform Bitpanda saw a 65% decrease in app downloads from 563k in H1 2021 to 197k in H1 2022. In June, the company laid off a third of its employees, admitting that it had hired too fast and needed to cut back expenditure amid the crypto market rout.” VCs keep an eye on their investments and the app downloads are a proxy for growth here for them.

Insolvencies hit household names

Yes, they are not startups, but it gives you a great overview of the current environment, also for the startups

  • Automotive supplier Dr. Schneider has to file for insolvency with 4000 people employed there


  • Shoe retailer Ludwig Görtz is a staple in German shopping streets founded in 1875 with their big stores and 1.800 employees, now they have to file for insolvency


  • German toilet paper producer Hakle is a household staple in Germany. Now they have to file for insolvency, due to high costs of raw materials, energy, and transportation


  • Traditional Austrian lighting company Kolarz, founded in 1918, has to file for insolvency


Podcast monetization is getting serious with international involvement

Lots of mergers in monetizing podcasts, the first Julep from Munich was bought by Libsyn and now London-based Auddy buys Vienna-based Audiomy

More firings :-(

Keep in mind here, that most startups are likely not in financial trouble, but they rather try to extend the money they have already raised. The consensus seems to be cutting 15–20% of the workforce for most startups.

  • Berlin-based escooter company Tier fires 16% of employees and freezes new hiring they are firing around 180 people


  • Berlin-based Artnight organizes DIY art events across Germany. They are impacted by Corona and let 1/3rd of their staff go


  • Infarm lays off staff as energy prices bite and recession looms


  • Tiger-backed startup Pitch lays off 30% of staff


  • Urban Sports Club lets go 15% (55 people) of their workforce


  • Expense management via credit card is the topic of startup Moss. They have to let go of 70 employees (~ 15% of their workforce)


USDA issued a warning form HelloFresh Meal Kits, due to E.Coli

FSIS Issues Public Health Alert For Specific Ground Beef In HelloFresh Meal Kits Due to Possible E. Coli O157:H7 Contamination | Food Safety and Inspection Service

The current economic situation even hits the markets for “Germany’s most loved child”

Germans refer sometimes to cars as Germany’s most loved child, but the current situation is also hitting the used car market: Auto1 competitor Cazoo leaves the German market, after launching only in 2021

Despite all the grim news, there is still good news

Former Tesla CTO and co-founder JB Straubel is looking at Germany for a site for a battery recycling plant for his company Redwood. Investment in the site could be around 1 bn USD

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

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