Best startups to work for in Germany

by Jakob Straub
June 23, 2020

The German startup scene is one of Europe’s most vital ones and has been constantly growing. Berlin consistently ranks among the three biggest startup hubs in Europe. Including the capital, the country has actually five vibrant hubs with the Rhine-Ruhr region, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart also attracting companies. Do you aspire to work in the startup sector and want to know which are the best startups in Germany? We’ll introduce you to fast-growing ventures which are also great workplaces.

Top startups in Germany

N26

The smartphone banking company is valued at more than $3.5 billion and ranks among the most valuable fintechs in the world. Targeting not only the German market, N26 has more than 1,300 employees in Berlin, Barcelona, Vienna, New York City and Sao Paulo. N26 is in direct competition with other neobanks such as Revolut, push for growth. To attract and keep top talent, perks at N26 include time for personal projects, a personal development fund, networking events, remote work or language classes.

Lilium

Forget flying cars, Lilium is building a flying taxi service! The Munich startup aims to build an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing jet, accessible to everyone as simply as an Uber. With millions in funding already, Lilium is pushing to launch in 2025 in several cities. If you enjoy this kind of technology and want to make an impact through reducing the carbon footprint, connecting people and improving mobility, Lilium is the startup for you.

Ecosia

Have you ever wondered about the carbon footprint of your internet searches? Then Ecosia in southern Germany is the place to work for you. Thanks to its social business model, Ecosia was the first German company to become a B Corporation. The idea is simple: to offset the carbon emissions of search traffic and end deforestation, Ecosia is planting trees and investing in solar energy. You can help make our digital lives more sustainable!

Contentful

This startup wants to be “the content platform for the digital-first era” with a content infrastructure that puts digital experiences first. Contentful is backed by many investors and counts Spotify, Lyft, Wework and Heineken among its many customers. Though based in Berlin, the company also has offices in San Francisco and offers a relocation budget if necessary. Team members from more than 70 countries work remotely for Contentful. Perks include virtual hangouts, company off-site events, continuous learning with an education budget and a friendly, collaborative environment. 

Blinkist

If you like reading non-fiction, you’ll love working at Blinkist. The Berlin startup valued at around €100 million provides an easy access to knowledge through bite-sized important insights from books. Founded in 2012, Blinkist reaches six million readers around the globe, has a company culture built on self-organization and transparency and employees from over 40 different countries. Working for the company, you get a learning budget to improve your skills, free lunches, free transportation, 30 vacation days, remote work opportunities and a lively gaming culture at work.

TIER Mobility

There are many electric scooter rental startups, but TIER mobility claims to be the first micro-mobility company to go fully climate-neutra. Users can hire scooters in cities around the world, including Berlin, Paris, Helsinki or Abu Dhabi. TIER is working towards seamless and sustainable mobility while fostering a  culture centered around support, community and constant learning. 

Kolibri Games

The founder of Kolibri Games took the company from a student project in 2016 to a successful gaming company with more than 100 million game downloads in just three years. Kolibri Games is located in Berlin and develops mobile games for Android and iOS, using community feedback to make their products popular and successful. The teams at the company consist of effective and self-motivated people supporting each other. Self-improvement, learning and creating value are part of the Kolibri Games company culture. In February 2020, the startup was acquired by French gaming giant Ubisoft.

Get Your Guide

Founded by classmates in 2009, Get Your Guide has offices in Zurich and Berlin. The startup is valued at over $500 million and has more than 500 employees. Reaching millions of customers, Get Your Guide allows travelers to book personal experiences at their destination and connect to people to enjoy a memorable trip. If you enjoy travel and activities, you’ll feel at home at Get Your Guide where the vision is to transform ordinary vacations into extraordinary ones with the help of a diverse team. The company values are commitment, clarity, learning, passion and positivity.

Raisin

This fast-growing fintech company is headquartered in Berlin and has raised more than $200 million in funding. The company wants to give customers access to the best interest rates and expand investment deposit reach. Raisin is active in Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, the Netherlands and other countries. The work environment is open and caring with an ambitious team consisting of people with more than 40 different nationalities. You can expect perks and benefits such as a training budget, your own choice of hardware, language classes, food and drinks, home office, visa and relocation support as well as company events. 

Comtravo

The startup uses AI and machine learning to facilitate and automate the booking process for corporate travel. Comtravo is a fast-growing company with more than 130 employees and headquarters in Berlin. Backers of the roughly $32 million in funding include Deutsche Bank, Momondo and Endeit Capital. Comtravo describes its team as fun, talented and international, representing around 20 nationalities. Committed to sustainability, Comtravo wants to improve the world of business travel. Benefits for you as an employee would include learning and development, an open culture of feedback, company events, healthy food, dogs in the office and travel rebates.

The German startup scene

Germany is among Europe’s leading startup countries, attracting nearly five billion US dollars in venture capital funding in 2019. Berlin is the undisputed startup capital: more than 15% of the startups founded in Germany call the capital their home. Berlin is also home to a growing number of events such as Disrupt Berlin or the Lean Startup Summit.

Berlin’s international and fast growing population with qualified and motivated talent certainly contributes to its hub status. But the German startup scene does not concentrate in Berlin alone: the Rhine-Ruhr region is in second place because companies take advantage of the good networking there due to close geographical proximity. Hamburg offers particularly attractive conditions for sustainable business models while Munich has plenty of capital and universities known for enormous research potential. There is also a growing number of startups in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe where established corporations cooperate with newly founded ones.Are you looking to apply at a startup or other company? Here’s how to write the perfect CV in English!

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