Here’s what happened this week in Berlin:
Funding Rounds/Exits/IPOs/That kind of News
Guten Tag! Yelp Buys Restaurant-Kritik To Expand Its Presence In Germany
Super, Mittel or Geht so? Yelp just announed the acquisition of Restaurant-Kritik, a restaurant review service in Germany. Restaurant-Kritik claims to have over 330,000 reviews of more than 94,000 restaurants across Germany. Read more on TechCrunch
Vaamo raised €2.5 million
As Gründerszene reports, the Frankurt based FinTech startup Vaamo has raised €2.5 million from Route 66 Ventures as well as a hand full of German business angels. Most of them had already invested in Vaamo’s last round in November 2013. Vaamo helps setting up and managing investments. The investment will be used for marketing activities, mostly in Germany. Expanding was not planned as of right now. Find out about the details on Gründerszene (German)
DvH Ventures (and others) invests in CLASSIQS
Dieter von Holtzbrinck (DvH Ventures) leads a high six-digit round (cash and media spending) in the Berlin-based startup. The investment will be used to grow and gain visibility. Classiqs is an online marketplace for antique and vintage furnishings. This is its second strategic media partner (CLASSIQS was part of Axel Springer’s first plug & play accelerator program). Axel Springer plug & play, Michael Brehm and Clemens Ridel, as well as idealo founder Martin Sinner joined the round.
B2X raises $15 million and buys TSS for $45 million (according to TechCrunch)
B2X, a little like a “Zendesk for smartphones”, creates solutions for handset makers and carriers to let customers identify, report and fix problems with their devices. The startup based near Munich just raised $15 million in a Series B led by Earlybird VC and made its first acquisition. According to TechCrunch B2X paid about $45 million for TSS, a company based in India that manages worldwide customer care services for clients such as Apple. Read more on TechCrunch and Tech.eu.
Bertelsmann media buys e-learning startup Relias Learning
Back in September, Bertelsmann invested in Mountain View based online education startup Udacity. Now, Bertelsmann acquires Relias Learning for “in the mid-hundreds of millions” of dollars from Vista Equity Partners, a private-equity firm in San Francisco. Bertelsmann stated this deal would be its largest acquisition in the U.S. since its purchase of book publisher Random House in 1998. Read more on Business Insider
Photo Search is a thing for Zalando
Zalando’s recognition feature in the iOS app was first introduced in August (VentureVillage reported and tested it). The feature lets customers upload photos and finds similar products. Speaking to Zalando, a company spokesperson said the testing period is going well. The feature will now be introduced to other markets and implemented into the Android app. Seeing the technology taking off, moving it to other segments, such as e.g. shoes, is currently in debate. While the company is right now partnering with “findSimilar” by Cortexica, it might build its own technology.
TAPE.TV wants to transform from a content to a tech company
Tape.tv has changed its platform model before. Having started in 2008, the Berlin-based startup grew to 80 people, bought Amen, moved locations. By now, the founding team from Amen has left the company (as upfront discussed, says Tape.tv’s CEO Conrad Fritzsch). Also, the team size reduced to 20. Fritzsch wants to company to become smaller, wants the product to focus stronger on the user’s need and concentrate rather on technology than on content. Read more on Gründerszene (German)
StartupBus Europe makes its way to Pioneers Festival
Calling itself the “most intense and crazy startup competition in the world”, StartupBus Europe will start driving from Berlin making its way to the Pioneers Festival in Vienna. Along the way, individuals will form teams and begin working on startup ideas. The top final teams will have a chance to pitch at the Pioneers Festival upon arriving in Vienna. Website
Google wins fight on news snippets battle for now
Over 200 German digital publishers lobbied for an extension of copyright law to cover co-called news snippets that appear in Google search results. Publishers were ultimately forced to back down due to the “overwhelming market power of Google.” Read more on TechCrunch
A peek into Coffee Circle’s new office in Wedding
Around 20 employees work at Coffee Circle’s new office in Wedding. The startup sources coffee from Ethiopia and gives back to the people living there. The startup claims to have donated €60,000 to projects in Ethiopia from revenue generated last year. New pictures of the office are up, and the team extends a warm invitation to visitors for those interested in learning more and tasting some coffee. Read more on Gründerszene (German)
Interview on FinTech, Munich’s Pockets United and failing
Markus Stiefel is the founder of Pockets United, a startup that wanted to make money transfer on mobile between friends easier. In an interview, Stiefel explains why after four years Pockets United failed. Read more on Die Welt
OUTFITTERY takes off at airports
OUTFITTERY’s pop up store at Hamburg Airport seemed to take off. With first learnings, the Berlin startup now wants to open at three other locations. Read more on VentureVillage
German Accelerator announces new round
Out of 80 applications, 18 startups will participate in the three to six month long German Accelerator program. The program started in 2011 and is supported by the German Ministry of Economy and Technology. Different to many other accelerators, it does not take equity. Besides the living costs, most other expenses are covered by the program. Read the start ups’ details, the terms and more on VentureVillage.
New incubator for IoT startups in Munich
The Italian consulting, systems integration and digital service company Reply has launched Internet of Things startup incubator Breed Reply in London and Munich. CEO Emanuele Angelidis believes Germany is a very attractive country for IoT technology. Read more on Gründerszene (German)
The Wooga way: Four simple rules to have a successful meeting
Wooga is a gaming company and made it to one of the most known startups based in Berlin. In three rounds, the company raised an overall of $32.2 million. Having grown to 275 employees in just five years, it was a challenge to keep the company’s culture startup-like. Here is how the company stays on top of things in meetings. Read more on VentureVillage
WHERE THE HECK IS…? Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below!
Image: Felicitas Hackmann