Berlin’s young, enthusiastic and creative energy and business mindset is nearly unmatched in mainland Europe. Comparisons to the US’ Silicon Valley are becoming increasingly justified: In fact, with more than 2.500 active startups, Berlin is attracting more young minds than any other city in the EU. Berlin’s distinct lack of major banking presences like in London, per se, creates an atmosphere accommodating for fintech specifically.
Here are 8 Berlin fintechs to look out for in 2021:
With the rapid speed of digitization, N26 sets the scene for the next step in the banking world by establishing a fully digital bank; Since 2013, the Berlin-based company has had a globalized worldview serving the purpose of transforming the financial landscape from an outdated industry into one that uses the latest technology to offer an optimized customer experience
With the leadership of Co-Founders Valentin Stalf (CEO) and Maximilian Tayenthal (CFO), they have expanded their business across multiple continents and 25 markets with more than 1,500 employees, crossing the 5 million customer mark earlier this year.
The Berlin fintech Raisin is not named after dried up grapes, but conveys a more literal meaning in its title: the company works on raisin’ interest rates across Europe. From the comfort of your home, this app provides a service allowing customers to safely deposit up to 100.000€ in any of their 97 partner banks. Being active since 2014, the online banking platform now stretches across more than 30 countries with the leadership of founders Dr. Tamaz Georgadze (CEO), Dr. Frank Freund (CFO) and Michael Stephan (COO).
This Berlin fintech led by CEO Dr. Roland Folz is not your everyday bank. Solarisbank offers Banking as a Service (BaaS), a business model providing businesses outside of banking and finance sectors with solutions for financial services that would usually take extensive banking licenses. Solarisbank removes this barrier to enable their financial services to move into new industries and contexts and to empower businesses to launch their own banking products.
With the fintech’s latest funding round in Summer 2020 bringing in 60 million EUR, the future of Solarisbank looks exciting.
Fueled by frustration in a company story reminiscent of Ferrucio Lamborghini’s infamous dissatisfaction with Ferraris, the six founders of Penta collectively decided that the banking landscape before 2017 was not accommodating enough for small businesses. Discontent with their efficiency, speed and support they decided it was time to build a bank providing better solutions for SMEs. Since December 2017 it has been available in Germany, but Penta isn’t stopping there: expansion into more European countries will follow soon.
Fun fact: Penta is powered by one of our earlier entries: SolarisBank. One of the founders of SolarisBank, Marko Wenthin, also happened to be Penta’s CEO at one point.
1027. That is how many Euros the average employed individual in Germany overpays their taxes each year. 1027€ that can be regained through a process that many people find vexing and don’t fully understand. Taxfix’ founders Lino Teuteberg (CPO) and Mathis Büchi (CEO) recognized this as unjust and set out to fix this problem: their product allows customers to easily get their tax refunds through an easy, chat-like interface.
With a funding round of $65 million this April, the company undoubtedly intends to grow and expand into new markets in the coming years.
Trade Republic’s vision is accessibility and equal opportunity. The German fintech was founded in 2015 by Christian Hecker, Thomas Pischke und Marco Cancellieri with the purpose of bringing brokerage closer to the average citizen. Leaving commissions behind, the company is revolutionizing trading by enabling customers to take it into their own hands. This empowerment for individuals to handle brokerage without a broker is changing the trading landscape, putting the industry in new contexts and setting Trade Republic apart.
Since obtaining a trading bank license in 2019, the company has been steadily growing, finally expanding into Austria this year and thus setting the first step towards international expansion.
The B2B-Payments specialist Billie is all about innovation: the company’s philosophy dictates that technology must be used to lift the weight of repetitive and unnecessarily frustrating tasks to enable humanity to innovate and open up new opportunities.
For this, Billie offers seamless business transactions through an improved workflow, secured liquidity and equal access to large and small businesses alike.
Thus, the often challenging chore of B2B-payments is updated to fit the speed and ease of the digital age. In addition, the buyer is free to choose conditions of their preference, while the seller does not have to wait for payment.
The company was founded in 2016 by Aiga Senftleben, Dr. Matthias Knecht, and Dr. Christian Grobe.
Finleap’s company name can be taken more or less literal; the organization allows other fintech enthusiasts the leap into the industry.
Since 2014, CEO Ramin Niroumand has worked on expanding a fintech ecosystem allowing them to build fintech companies to surgically solve more and more pain points of customers.
Since then, 17 companies have been founded through Finleap in 15 different countries; more than 1300 employees work in H:32 in Berlin, now Europe’s largest fintech hub.
If you’re interested in learning more about the German fintech and payments space and especially how the Covid-19 pandemic affected the working environment, look no further than our German-language webinar on Thursday, November 5th about Remote vs Office: Should we go back to the office?
If you’d like to become active in the fintech industry within Germany or a number of other regions, check out our Jobs page.