Yesterday I attended the TECH5 dinner in Berlin, where the fastest growing tech companies of Germany gathered for dinner, drinks and good conversation.
Germany, with Berlin as the beating heart of the tech scene, is creating successful startups at a rate that is unseen in any other country in Europe. The competition for the TECH5 was stronger than ever and all five winners grew their revenue by a minimum of 3,000 percent in the last two years.
TECH5 ranks young, fast-growing companies based on relative growth of revenue in the past two years. Together with Adyen, TNW is running this competition in six countries. The winner of each country is invited to the TNW Conference where the final TECH5 list is revealed with the 30 fastest growing companies of Europe.
After dinners and TECH5 announcements in Amsterdam, London and Barcelona and Paris, it was clear that Europe is full of amazing companies and entrepreneurs that go the extra mile. In Berlin I was happily surprised with the tremendous growth of the companies but also with the vision and drive of the entrepreneurs. It’s a unique group of people driving impressive companies.
The five fastest growing companies in Germany are:
The winner: Lesara is an online fashion store that sells affordable clothing in 23 countries in Europe. They raised $24 million from the likes of Mangrove, Partech and Northzone. They took their series B to expand to new markets, and that is exactly what they did at an impressive speed, now operating in 23 countries.
This is not just your normal e-commerce play, Lesara’s strength is actually in the supply chain. They produce their own clothing in factories in China, have their own photography studio in Hong Kong, update their site and app in multiple languages and before you know it your order is delivered to your home.
“From idea to home delivery takes us 6-8 days”. Well H&M and Zara, up your game and get yourself some eyes in the back of your head, because Lesara is quickly gaining customers that normally hang out in your stores.
Second place goes to Foodpanda, the food delivery service that is bringing food to people’s homes in 24 countries in Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. At Foodpanda there seems to be never a dull moment. One day they’re raising another hundred million dollars, then they are selling of their Vietnamese operation to Takeaway.com and their LatAm operations to JustEat, followed by acquiring the Hong Kong operations from Delivery.com.
What is worthwhile mentioning that this is their third consecutive appearance in the TECH5, an achievement that no other company has done in the short history of the competition.
Bonaverde, the Berlin-based company that wants to change the way we drink our daily coffees takes third place. The company is most known for its smart roast, grind and pour machine, but most part of their revenue nowadays comes from actual roasting and selling of the beans themselves.
After raising almost 700k on Kickstarter, their coffee vision pulled in new investors that put in another $1.3 million. To execute their flat fee coffee subscription plans they will need more money, so I’m expecting to hear funding news from them soon, to fuel growth.
Fourth placed Berlin based FinanceFox is a mobile first approach to insurance brokerage. FinanceFox raised $5.5 million from Salesforce Ventures (amongst others) and wants to be the single touch point for consumers when it comes to organising their insurance. FinanceFox is also very young and just started their operations in Germany, Switzerland and Austria in 2014.
Although the idea is as old as Rome, and there is nothing new to the business model, the market opportunity here is huge and FinanceFox seems to be in good shape to lead the way in insurance to a more customer centric and mobile approach where convenience and user experience play an increasingly large role. Another TECH5 company we can expect to return to the list in 2017.
Movinga rounded off our top five. The company just celebrated its first anniversary with the move, not a coincidence, to their 7th office. They went from two co-founders (Bastian Knutzen and Chris Maslowski) to 500 people in a year! Basically Movinga is leveraging the Web to bring an offline-dominant market (the home removal business) online.
Customers can plan their home removal in a matter of minutes and Movinga, or actually their local removal partners, take care of the relocation. It is a quite simple idea, but the excellent execution is what Movinga makes one of the fastest growing companies in Europe. They operate in seven countries in Europe at the moment and have enough capital in their bank accounts to expand even further.
This year not only the top five was invited, but also the TECH5 alumni (e.g. last year’s winner Blacklane) and the companies that just missed the top five this year. Those five were made up of Kreditech, Nestpick, Applift, IconPeak and Blacklane.
Up next is Sweden, the last country in the TECH5 series. After the dinner in Stockholm the overall winners of the TECH5 Europe will be announced during TNW conference in Amsterdam.