Which AI company is worth 1 billion
From gorillas to N26 : These German startups are currently worth more than a billion dollars
The Berlin start-up Gorillas did it in record time. In a financing round in March, the company raised 245 million euros and was thus valued at a total of one billion euros only nine months after it was founded - no other company in Germany has managed that so quickly. Gorillas now belong to the circle of unicorns, unicorn in English.
The business model of the Berliners is the delivery of supermarket goods within ten minutes by bicycle courier. To this end, Gorillas maintains various warehouses in the city centers, from where the drivers start their routes. The company is growing extremely quickly and wants to expand into the USA in the next step.
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A narrower definition also excludes listed companies. The Berlin companies Delivery Hero or Auto1 have outgrown this category. And investment companies whose value is measured in the growth of their holdings, such as Rocket Internet or the NuCom Group, are usually not counted among the unicorns. Apart from gorillas, the market analysis company CB Insights currently has 14 companies from Germany in its global unicorn list that meet the criteria mentioned. An overview.
Otto Bock Healthcare
The most valuable German unicorn according to CB Insights is an unusual one. Because Otto Bock Healthcare is not a young start-up, but a family company founded in 1919. The company, valued at 3.52 billion US dollars, is on the list again because, since 2017, 20 percent belong to the venture capitalist EQT, which sees further growth potential in the prosthesis manufacturer. The development of the past few years also justifies the designation as Unicorn, as Otto Bock was able to significantly expand its position in the market under the current managing director Hans Georg Näder.
The Berlin smartphone bank N26 is valued at 3.5 billion dollars. It was founded in 2013 and enables banking via app. The company sees itself as a disrupter in the banking sector and has no small goals. "In less than ten years we will be the most valuable German bank," said Germany boss Georg Hauer in an interview with Tagesspiegel in 2019. For comparison: Deutsche Bank's market capitalization is currently around 21 billion euros.
The Celonis business model is hidden behind the term "Process Mining". This means that companies can analyze in real time how their processes are running. The start-up founded by three fellow students in 2011 offers the software for this. The company is now valued at 2.5 billion dollars and companies such as Siemens, Bayer or UBS can name its customers.
The fourth most valuable German unicorn is likely to be much better known. Flixbus was launched in 2012 and over time has incorporated various competitors such as Megabus, MeinFernbus or Postbus. Competitors are already talking about the fact that Flixbus for its part has built up a monopoly on the long-distance bus market. The company now also operates rail connections under the Flixtrain brand. According to CB Insights, Flixbus is worth a total of $ 2.25 billion.
The software company Mambu has only been a unicorn since the beginning of this year. A financing round of 110 million euros in January brought the Berlin start-up a valuation of 1.7 billion euros. Mambu has long been an insider tip in the fintech scene, as it built the banking software for other growth companies such as N26, Check24 and established banks such as Santander.
ATAI Life Sciences
ATAI Life Sciences is also based in Berlin. The bio-tech company, valued at two billion dollars, has dedicated itself to the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, among other things with the help of psychedelic active ingredients based on mushrooms. Four financing rounds were completed in 2020.
At the beginning of 2020, Personio founder Hanno Renner said that valuation in the billions was "not so important" to him. In the meantime it looks different. "There is no reason why we shouldn't one day be valued at 20 or 40 billion," Renner told the Handelsblatt in January. The change of heart is no accident; The Munich start-up, founded in 2015, is now valued at 1.7 billion US dollars. It offers HR software for companies for personnel planning.
Wefox is a so-called Insuretech - an insurance start-up. With a valuation of 1.6 billion dollars, it is the largest in Germany. Similar to N26 in the banking world, Wefox is trying to overtake established insurance companies on the digital track. Founder Julian Teicke wants to finally get into the black this year - which is not a matter of course for growing start-ups. "We are not a monster that destroys money," he told Gründerszene magazine in January.
The Hamburg start-up focuses on a rare commodity in these times: interest. Deposit Solutions has set up an open platform on which interest rate products from various banks are offered. Banks from 20 European countries are currently listing their interest rate products here. At the same time, other financial institutions can integrate the platform into their own IT - and thus also sell third-party products. A concept that has won over many banks and is valued at $ 1.1 billion.
The GetYourGuide platform is worth just as much - or at least it was before the corona crisis. So far, no reassessment has been carried out, but the tourism start-up has been severely affected by the global travel restrictions. Actually, tourists can book activities such as guided tours and excursions and book tickets for attractions on the GetYourGuide platform. But in the corona crisis, sales fell to zero. Large parts of the workforce were laid off. It is not yet clear how the Berlin company will get out of the crisis.
A crisis winner, however, is About You. The online fashion retailer cracked the one billion euro mark in sales in the corona year - 60 percent more than in the previous year. The start-up is now aiming to go public; the previous holding company has already been renamed a stock corporation. The current value of one billion dollars should then increase again.
Omio was also troubled by the pandemic. The start-up sells tickets - for means of transport around the world. The fact that a new round of financing was concluded in September in the middle of the crisis speaks for Omio's growth prospects. Once the restrictions fall, there will be a boom, believes founder Naren Shaam.
The air taxi company is likely to leave this list soon. Because, as it became known in March, Lilium is going public via a Spac (see text on the right). The company sees itself as the market leader in the air taxi market, which is still in its infancy.
The logistics company Sennder has also been a unicorn since January. The core of the business is a technology that is designed to calculate optimal route planning for goods transports and avoid empty journeys. The truck manufacturer Scania and Siemens support Sennder. Through a cooperation with Uber, the Berlin start-up also wants to make road freight traffic in North America more efficient.
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