“Poor but sexy? We’ll just take sexy, thanks…” Berlin’s digital economy booms

Berlin
Berlin

Only half of the statement “Berlin is poor, but sexy” might remain true if the tech scene continues to grow as promisingly as it has the past few years. A new study from Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) has found that the digital economy makes €3.9b per year in gross revenue – or 4.2 per cent of Berlin’s entire economic output.

Berlin

These results were presented to Klaus Wowereit, Mayor of Berlin and also the man behind the now infamous quote, who said the digital economy has now overtaken the building industry in revenue and is getting close to that of the tourism sector, which turns over 4.3 per cent of the total. “Berlin has become a metropolitan of the internet economy with big potential, comparable to other hubs internationally.”

The growth won’t be slowing down any time soon, it seems. Ulrich Kissing, CEO of IBB, said: “Every 20 hours, a new internet business is founded in Berlin. This is the best proof of how dynamic Berlin is in this sector.” That translates to 469 startups founded last year.

Surprisingly, the study didn’t point to Berlin as the tech startup hub of Germany. While its ratio of 2.8 companies for every 10,000 people is almost three times the national quota, Munich tops that amount with a ratio of 4.4 companies. Berlin is catching up though, the number of startups founded in the capital has increased by close to 50 per cent since 2008, in comparison to close to 44 per cent in Munich. The next largest German startup hubs are Munich, Frankfurt, Dresden, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Hamburg.

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