Here’s what happened this week in Berlin:
Inkitt wants to predict the next Blockbuster book
“We’re the SoundCloud for stories,” co-founder and CEO Ali Albazaz says when we sat down to talk about this startup Inkitt. If you wonder who in the world would use that, look behind the story of 50 Shades of Grey, and you’ll be surprised. Read the full story
Doodle opens an office in Berlin
Via Gründerszene: The time schedule website Doodle will open an office in Berlin in early 2015. 10 people will be based in the city by the Spree and work in all fields of the company. Interesting: Only 12 people work for Doodle fulltime in Switzerland. As Germany is one of the most important markets, the startup decided to open a space in Berlin.
Inside MATH 42, A Math App Aiming To Democratize Education
For many students, learning math is a source of frustration. Their pleas of “I don’t understand” or “it’s too hard” concern parents. Teachers feel both pressure and helpless on how to cater to math students who might be falling behind. Read more
Testing PicsaStock, A platform that lets you sell your Instagram & co. pictures
We’re taking pictures everywhere to remember and share every good moment –or coffee… Platforms such as EyeEm or Instagram let us share photos but there are also ways to make money out of it. PicsaStock is one of them. It launched in September 2013 and lets agencies, editors and others buy “more authentic photography”. Read more
Rocket Internet Starts New Venture Shopwings
Rocket Internet wants to launch its new venture Shopwings this year: The Berliner incubator revealed through its stock exchange prospectus that the platform for food shopping is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2014. The concept behind the new startup is the same day delivery of food by a private person to the customer. Read more
Funding Rounds/Exits/IPOs/That kind of News
Fashion doing Good
Berlin-based ABURY combines traditional, old world crafts with avantgarde design to create a new luxury style that fosters intercultural exchange and preserves world crafts. On Thursday, it started its crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo.
€830.000 for social media advertising platform
Via Gründerszene: Brandnew claims to be the biggest influencer network worldwide: The Berlin-based startup places native advertising through influential social media user on platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and Tumblr. According to the startup more than 800 influencer with in average 250,000 follower and partners such as Coca Cola, Adidas and Asos work with Brandnew.
The investment came from IBB (Investitionsbank Berlin) and will be used for research and international growth, with focus on the U.S.
Mosaic Ventures has a $140 Million fund ready to invest in Europe
Many say European startups struggle to get a Series A funding. While seed investment and a Round B is less difficult, a Series A is where it gets tricky. Understanding that, Mosaic Ventures launched a $140 million fund in Europe as the VC’s blog states. Read more
€10 million for Catawiki
Catawiki states to be Europe’s fastest-growing online auction house. Today, it announces a €10 million Series B investment. It is led by the global venture firm Accel Partners. Berlin-based investor and company builder Project A Ventures, Booking.com’s former CMO Arthur Kosten and Dutch media and Internet entrepreneur Willem Sijthoff, an existing investor, also joined for this round.
Find more on this topic on TechCrunch
Econa Shopping GmbH sold for €27,5 million
RTL Interactive buys Econa Shopping GmbH, owner of couponing platforms such as Sparwelt.de, Deals.de, Alle-Gutscheine.de and the polish platform Promoszop.pl. According to Econa Shopping RTL Interactive bought 100% of the company for €27,5 million. Read more on Gründerszene
Once upon a time…..
Shortly before its IPO, Rocket Internet published this over seven minute long video explaining its business and success. Focussing on how “the platform” connects the world, leaving out how it is inspired by pretty much every other successful startup out there. Get some popcorn, here you go:
Not so happy News
After acquiring Pizza.de DeliveryHero closes HQ
“We want to continue growing, so we are actually looking for new employees rather than thinking we have too many,” said Delivery Hero CEO Niklas Östberg when the company acquired pizza.de back in August. Seems things have changed: Pizza.de’s HQ in Braunschweig will be shut down by August 2015.
Analysis have shown that it makes more sense to combine the teams in Berlin, the company states. Until now, 128 staff members worked in Braunschweig, 47 will be laid off right away. For new positions, staff from Braunschweig will be in favor.
The brands will continue to run separately and the lay off will have no consequences for restaurants or customers.
After the incubator shuts down, its startup Department 47 has to do too
Via Gründerszene: Though things looked alright for the premium fashion startup Department 47, it did not get the investment needed to continue. Its incubator Epic Companies closed earlier this month.
Don’t miss out on startup events in Berlin! Every Monday we publish the VentureVillage Events Diary with events for week, but also those that are ahead. Find out more
Image: Felicitas Hackmann