Bavaria has long since become a popular location for innovative young companies with a technology orientation. The state capital Munich in particular is considered the Republic’s No. 2 “digital hotspot” after Berlin. We present the 5 biggest digital startups from the Free State. As the largest startups in Bavaria, we define the best-funded startups in each case according to our editorial selection. This article is based on the unique List of the 200 fastest growing startups in Germany.
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1. Flixmobility GmbH: mobility provider
The Munich-based company Flixmobility GmbH is better known under its Flixbus brand. Founded in 2012, Flixmobility has already left startup status and is now established in the market. In 2013, Flixbus launched its own long-distance bus service in Germany as a competitor to Deutsche Bahn and is now the market leader in this sector. When planning and booking journeys, the company consistently relies on digital solutions via its own platform flixbus.de. Meanwhile, Flixmobility is even on the railways. Sales in 2019 were in the order of 500 million euros.
2. Lilium GmbH: Innovative aircraft developer
Lilium GmbH in Weßling near Munich is a startup that is still in the development stage (early stage). Lilium is developing an electrically powered air taxi that could significantly change mobility in the future. The taxis can take up to four passengers and provide fast, environmentally friendly connections in major cities and conurbations. A digital platform developed in parallel will support fleet control and bookings. Lilium was spun off from the Technical University of Munich in 2015. The air taxi is expected to be ready for the market in the 2020s.
3. Celonis SE: Process analysis software
Celonis has been around since 2011, when three students from a student consultancy decided to launch a joint startup. Today, Celonis has more than 750 employees and annual revenues of over $100 million. Besides Munich, New York is the company’s second headquarters. Celonis has specialized in so-called process mining. Real business processes are first digitally mapped and then analyzed for hidden process know-how. The whole thing is actually comparable to digging for valuable materials in a mine. The process analysis software from Celonis can be used in a wide variety of business areas.
4. Personio GmbH: HR Tool
Digitalization also opens up optimization opportunities in companies’ human resources. From recruiting to HR management to payroll accounting, there are diverse fields of application. HR software is also the business model of the Munich-based startup Personio, founded in 2015. There, the focus is entirely on HR software for small and medium-sized companies up to a size of 2,000 employees. The software aims to digitally map and support HR processes as comprehensively as possible. A concept that is catching on – Personio already has around 600 employees and over 3,000 corporate customers in 80 countries.
5. ATAI Life Sciences AG: Biotech company
ATAI Life Sciences has been in existence since 2018 and, in addition to Munich, also has offices in Berlin, London and New York. ATAI specializes in treatments for mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders and addictions. To this end, the company aims to promote more effective and potentially disease-modifying psychosocial therapies – including through the application of artificial intelligence. Acquiring, incubating and developing innovative therapeutics is part of the business model. To this end, ATAI drives research itself, but also acts as an incubator for new pharmaceutical companies seeking to develop innovative medicines in this field.