Venture Capital in Berlin



Venture Capital (VC) is the key to success for any start-up looking to turn an innovative idea into reality. VC firms provide capital, resources, strategic assistance, networks and much more to start-ups at the critical early stages. In the past, Berlin and Germany as a nation has lagged behind its EU and global counterparts partly as a result of the nation’s culture of avoiding risk. Business in Germany tends to move slowly and in a prudent fashion which doesn’t bode well for start-ups. In 2013, VC investments into Berlin start-ups totaled just €133 million.


A snapshot of VC funding in 2018 paints a very different picture. VC funding has skyrocketed in the last few years with future projections conveying a similar trajectory. In 2018, a total of €4.6 billion was invested in German start-ups, a 7% increase on 2017. Berlin took a significant share of this VC funding with an incredible €2.67 billion flowing to start-ups in the capital, a 2000% increase on 2013. This figure accounts for 59% of all VC capital invested in Germany and is an increase of 6% from 2017. Berlin start-ups account for 4 out the top 5 largest financing amounts for start-ups in the nation.


Where Was the Venture Capital Invested in Berlin?

E-Commerce start-ups have always attracted the highest level of VC investments in Berlin and 2018 followed this trend. A total of €1.64 billion was invested in German E-Commerce start-ups with Berlin start-ups collecting a healthy 67% of this figure. E-Commerce platform Auto1 Group headquartered in Berlin topped the list receiving an influx of €460 million in 2018. An interesting emerging trend is the rise of VC funding for Software and Analytic start-ups. These innovative start-ups that comprise of innovative tech such as SaaS, blockchain, virtual reality, cloud, cyber security and data analytics raised a nationwide total of €670 million with €341 million funneling into Berlin. This 56% increase from 2017 portrays the increasing trust and interest in new, innovative tech start-ups. SaaS accounted for €304 million, almost half of the VC funding. FinTech start-ups also experienced healthy growth with €456 million flowing to FinTech start-ups in Berlin.

What Caused this Significant Increase in Venture Capital Funding?

German VC firms operate on a prudent basis which is in line with German business culture. In the last few years, many large international VC firms such as Atomico, Balderton Capital, Partech and Mangrove have begun to heavily invest in German start-ups with Berlin attracting most of the attention and funding. This flow of international VC funding has broken the cultural barrier of risk-adverse German VC firms. Furthermore, German VC firms have seen this influx of competition and the rewards experienced by international VC firms causing them to question their prudent methods.


The future is bright for start-ups in Berlin as forecasts predict the influx of VC capital to continue to rise year on year. 

Posted by Adam Dunne on 11 March 2019


Visa Requirements in Sweden

Visa Requirements in Sweden

Work Permit If you are an EU/EEA citizen, you are entitled to work in Sweden without a work permit. If you work and have enough means to support yourself, you automatically have right of residence in Sweden. With that you do not need to register with or apply for a residence permit at the Swedish Migration Board. You are entitled to start working immediately upon arrival in Sweden. You are also entitled to come to Sweden to search for work. More information may be found at Non-EU You cannot obtain a work permit to go to Sweden to look for a job. To obtain a work permit you must have been offered a job in Sweden, employees cannot enter the country until the permit is granted. To be eligible for a work permit you must; Have a valid passport Have been offered terms of employment that are at least on par with those set by Swedish collective agreements or which are customary within the occupation or industry Have been offered a salary that is at least on par with that set by Swedish collective agreements or which is customary within the occupation or industry Have been offered a position that will enable you to support yourself. In order to satisfy this support requirement, you need to work to an extent that will result in a salary of at least SEK 13,000 per month before taxes Have an employer who intends to provide insurance covering health, life, employment and pension when you begin to work.   Where To Apply You need to apply with the Swedish Migration Agency. The easiest way to apply is through an online application at;   Extending Your Work Permit In order to extend your work permit, your salary and other terms of employment must have been at least equivalent to what is stated in the collective agreement or is considered the practice in your profession or industry. You must also have worked to the extent that your wages reached at least SEK 13,000 per month, before taxes. These conditions must have been met during the entire time that you have held a work permit in Sweden.   Permanent Residence Permit You must live in Sweden for 4 years on a work permit before you would be eligible for permanent residency. You apply for a residence permit by submitting an application to your local Embassy or Consulate or in some cases directly to the Swedish Migration Board – Migrationsverket. One year after you obtain your permanent residency you will be eligible to apply for citizenship.   How long does it take to get a decision from Migrationsverket? You will have to be patient, because processing times are quite long, especially for first time applicants. The current waiting time for first time applicants are between 14 – 18 months. However, processing times for second time applicants are generally shorter, around a work week. Yet, this completely depends on the complexity of your application EU Blue Card If you are a non-EU national and have received an offer of a highly qualified job, you can apply for an EU Blue Card. You must have a university education equivalent to 180 university credits, or five years’ professional experience and a salary equal to at least one and a half times the average gross salary in Sweden.   In order to obtain an EU Blue Card, you must have; A valid passport A university education equivalent to 180 university credits, or five years’ relevant professional experience Taken out or applied for a comprehensive health insurance policy that covers health and medical care in Sweden An employment contract or offer of highly qualified employment lasting at least one year No less than one and a half times the average gross salary in Sweden, before taxes.   More information To read more information please visit:


Talent Market in Berlin

Talent Market in Berlin

Berlin’s start-up and tech scene is booming with the city being dubbed the “Silicon Valley of Europe”. Start-ups in the capital bagged an incredible €2.67 billion in funding from a total of 233 financing rounds in 2018 putting the city on par with Paris and London. 8 out of the 10 most desirable start-ups in Germany are located in Berlin with an estimated 30% of the nation’s start-ups setting up in the city. Large multinationals such as N26, Zalando, Delivery Hero, Autogroup 1 and HelloFresh are all headquartered in this tech haven. This incredible shift from “poor but sexy” to the “Silicon Valley of Europe” has caused a serious strain on the supply of talent. Companies based in Berlin are now locked in a ‘talent war’ as demand for talent is quickly outstripping supply. According to LinkedIn data, there is 32,000 listed developers in Berlin, an increase of 15% from this time a year ago. Approximately, 50,000 internationals relocate to Berlin annually and as the tech scene continues to flourish, this figure continues to increase. This continual influx of talent does serve to mitigate some of the talent supply issues, however the volume of talent entering Berlin is not enough to meet the ever-growing demand. It is estimated that a new start-up is founded every twenty minutes in the capital.   Furthermore, companies are struggling to retain talent in a candidate driven market. The locus of power now resides with the employee, who can now afford to pick and choose between employers. This reality is reflected in the volatile attrition rates of developers in the city. Approximately 30% of all developers have switched jobs within the last twelve months with the average tenure of a Berlin-based developer being just 1.4 years. Highly desirable companies to work for are even struggling to retain talent as salaries and remuneration packages continue to inflate. These worrying statistics convey a prevailing issue amongst employers -  how to retain top talent. The generous salary and remuneration packages don’t seem to be enough to keep developers in house. Companies need to discover what their employees really value about their jobs aside from their pay and benefits. According to a LinkedIn survey of Berlin based developers, the most important value-proposition for this group is work-life balance. Developers want to have the time to enjoy their lives outside of their careers in a way that suits their lifestyle. This includes items like flexible working and remote working options. In a city as vibrant as Berlin, this carries more weight as there is plenty to do outside the office. The second most important value-proposition for developers is challenging work. Developers actively seek to challenge their intellect and skillset on a daily basis. This is one of the reasons why ground level start-ups can be so attractive to developers compared to large multinationals. The third highest ranking item on the list is company culture. A company’s culture can really help them stand out of the crowd, culture is a unique selling point that is very hard to replicate. It is important to not only have a positive culture that inspires and motivates employees, but to communicate and advertise it through various social media platforms and websites like TrustPilot and Glassdoor. Berlin is on its way to establishing itself as start-up and tech powerhouse that rivals nearly any city around the globe. Without a doubt, attracting and retaining top talent will be the key to maintaining this trajectory. As demand for talent continues to outstrip supply, retention becomes ever-more important to companies looking to facilitate their growth.