Munich is emerging as a significant European tech hub, creating a vibrant startup ecosystem. There are a lot of corporate clients, a very good economic situation, excellent tech universities, and a considerable number of investors in the city. According to LinkedIn’s “Top Startups to Work for in Germany”, 4 of 25 best startups in Germany have their headquarters in Munich.
Munich’s startup scene is abundant, but we’ve chosen 9 startups that seem to be the most interesting and promising ones.
Nowadays we can order a lift in many ways, call a taxi, Uber or rent a car for minutes. But what about longer journeys? Long road or rail travels often are inconvenient and expensive. If we switch for a plane, it would still be expensive, time consuming, and not flexible. It seems to still be out of our range that airplanes would operate in a similar way to taxis. But it definitely sounds possible for the founders of Lilium, a revolutionary startup from Munich.
Lilium GmbH is a startup that creates on-demand air taxi service. They developed the Lilium Jet, vertical take-off and landing 5-seat electrically-powered airplane. Lilium’s founders’ dream was a world where anyone can fly anywhere, anytime. They wanted to allow people to connect in a faster and cheaper way and change the way people perceive travel. And they did it!
In May 2019, the prototype of their Lilium Jet aircraft was revealed to the world. The first flight was successful and went exactly how they planned. They presume to launch a fully operational flying taxi service in various world cities by 2025. What is more, the company business model also includes a smartphone app. It should allow customers to book a flight easily. Most importantly, prices will be affordable. For example, Manhattan to JFK Airport in less than 10 minutes for $70. Lilium is noted as one of Munich’s best startups to watch. We also can’t wait to see its future.
We bet that almost every one of our readers experienced difficulties connected to travel planning. Typically, we simply don’t have enough time to plan our vacation trips. Searching, comparing, selecting… Imagine that instead of that we make a pleasant conversation with someone who easily catches our preferences. And then, creates a trip plan for us, for free. Sounds nice? That’s exactly what Fineway created.
Fineway, a startup from Munich, built a conversation engine powered by advanced statistics and deep learning. It learns about our unique style and preference during a delightful conversation. On that basis, it creates personalized travel experiences and sends it to our inbox. Through the Fineway platform, users can automatically book complicated trips.
Fineway is one of the first companies in the world that used AI to create personalized trips in real-time. In five years, they want to expand their technology with smart conversations using a voice assistant. Their service is now available in Germany. However, this Munich startup wants Instant Trip Planning to become the world norm in the next years.
We are used to dealing with everything online, but when it comes to activities that need ID verification – most often, we still need to show up in a facility. That’s an inconvenience for both: clients and businesses. And that is why IDnow created an advanced Identity-as-a-service platform that verifies users ID in real-time, using machine learning technology. They developed a patent-protected video identification and e-signing solution. Above all, IDnow offers both a video chat and document scanning, and that is how they outrun the competition.
The system uses AI to check the security features on documents. Identity is verified in real-time, and the whole process is user-friendly and straightforward. A video chat enables identifying the applicant via facial recognition. Most importantly, the solution helps to onboard customers digitally for industries like banking or car rental, when there’s no need for people to show up in person. Recently, IDnow received $40 million growth equity investment from Corsair Capital LLC, so that they will expand their solution in more countries.
In the age of Netflix and Spotify, we observe that consumers prefer using than owning. The subscription-based monetization models are becoming popular in various fields. But can you imagine using a car like that? Cluno could!
Cluno is a digital car subscription service. In their app, users can book a car for a monthly subscription that is all-inclusive (for example, covers insurance). There is no paperwork and no long-term commitment. The minimum contract period lasts 6 months. What is more, Cluno offers cars from multiple brands, in various sizes, also electric ones. The booking lasts for about 3 minutes, and a vehicle is delivered to the desired location.
Offering cars for subscription is a few steps further than on-demand music or tv shows. Will it work? Frost & Sullivan predict that by 2025, car subscription will represent about 10% of car sales! It seems that there’s a bright future in front of Cluno.
Autonomous vehicles and other autonomous systems are the future. But the crucial concerns are connected with their safety and efficiency. That is why Toposens developed the world’s first 3D Ultrasound Sensor Vision that uses sound to support low-cost, precise 3D Vision.
These sensors use the principle of echolocation. Therefore, they can guide autonomous systems even in challenging circumstances. Echolocation generates real-time 3D point clouds. As a consequence, weather conditions or reflections can’t negatively impact the sensors.
3D Ultrasonic Sensors can also be applied in robotics, for industrial and household robots. Above all, sensors based on echolocation make autonomous systems more efficient and safe. It seems like a huge step forward for these technologies.
When in 1970 Apollo 17 astronauts used LiDAR technology to map the surface of the moon, nobody suspected that over 40 years later, Blickfeld, a startup from Munich, would use the same technology to improve autonomous driving and Industry 4.0.
To clarify, LiDAR stands for “light detection and ranging”. LiDARs are sensors that enable optically to measure distance or speed. Blickfeld’s goal was to make this complex technology a lot smaller and cost-efficient. Now, they aim at building millions of LiDARs that will suit the mass market. By now, Blickfeld simplified LiDAR construction a lot, thanks to using micromirror. LiDAR systems can be used in autonomous vehicles, mapping, robotics, smart cities, and IoT apps in general. We’re really curious about applying this solution.
In the era of social media and employee brand advocacy across all the channels, companies needed a complex tool to control the recruitment process. Talentry provides them with a cloud-based Talent Relationship Platform. It covers digital employee referrals and employee advocacy. Although, most importantly, it provides them with Candidate Relationship Management.
Talentry helps HR departments to operate more like marketing or sales ones. Therefore, companies can manage employer branding and employees referrals from one, complex platform. What is more, it enables them to build a relationship with a candidate, just like it already is with customer relationship management. Companies can strategically nurture relationships with potential candidates. It all resides in three principles: attract, engage and recruit. That’s the nearest future of the recruitment process!
If you think that intelligent robots are the future, you’re wrong! They’re already here. Magazino, a startup from Munich, develops and builds intelligent robots for intralogistics. They are designed to work together with people, safely and efficiently. Robots offered by Magazino allow for solutions that could not be previously automated. Their robots make intralogistics more efficient than ever.
Above all, Magazino offers two crucial robots now. The first one, Toru, it’s a picking robot for shoe boxes. It independently stores and retrieves small boxes on shelves. Companies can easily adapt it to new structures. The second robot, Soto, it’s a robot for industrial production supply. Clients can use it, for example, in the automotive industry. It brings materials to the assembly line. What is more, Soto reacts to changing requirements. These two robots are intelligent, flexible and reactive. Magazino aims to make intralogistics smart and flexible. It looks like they are succeeding.
Nowadays, railway companies make their decisions based on subjective realities. They don’t have data about the performance of their assets. Although KONUX, a startup from Munich, wants to change that on a global scale. Their vision is to bring real-time data into industrial operations in the whole world.
KONUX combines smart sensors and AI-based analytics to deliver real-time insights that clients can turn into cost-saving actions. Rail companies can use predictive maintenance planning and optimize railway utilization to improve the whole network’s capacity. As a consequence, they reduce their maintenance expenses by +25%.
The startup from Munich works with Deutsche Bahn’s speed rail network. They help reduce maintenance and inspection costs and improve operational efficiency. In 2019, the company received EUR 11.5 mln from Alibaba. Therefore, they plan to accelerate international expansion. They want to focus on China, the world’s largest and fastest-growing railway market. Sitsi named KONUX one of the Top 10 most promising European AI Startups. What is more, Cleantech group listed them among the 100 Global Cleantech Companies of 2020 that solve the most significant problems.
To sum up, Munich offers a highly-skilled workforce thanks to excellent tech universities and the presence of the top international players and corporations. What is more, Munich corporations are highly interested in working with startups. The city seems to be excellent to start a business. That is why we have so many innovative companies in Munich.
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