Berlin – e-commerce start-up capital of the world

October 16, 2015

For many years, Berlin has been tipped to be the ‘start-up capital’ of Europe. For almost a decade, the so-called ‘Silicon Allee’ has enticed entrepreneurs, venture capital firms and technology experts from all over the world, creating an international hype around Germany’s ‘poor but sexy’ capital.

Author: Ciaran McCotter (Cogs Agency

However, many commentators, both in and outside of Berlin’s tech community, have been sceptical about its newly developed image as one of the world’s leading technology hubs.

The meteoric rise in e-commerce ventures hoping to be the next Zalando or DeliveryHero has led to an unprecedented surge in Berlin’s digital economy and generated significant interest from outside Germany. Critics have rightfully questioned whether the record levels of investment will provide the necessary return to stakeholders in an environment largely comprised of start-ups whose product or service has not yet reached a consumer marketplace. The element of risk is furthered by an historic lack of specialised skills and tech talent compared to San Francisco or London, both of which enjoy a more mature marketplace for candidates with technology-based skills.

Nonetheless, Berlin has proven to be an attractive alternative to other European capital cities – the start-up and tech scene continues to thrive, attracting some of the best international talent from across the world. In 2014, Berlin received more venture capital investment than any other city in Europe, eclipsing London for the first time ever; €1.9 billion compared to London’s €1.3. The trend continues in 2015 as Berlin received €1.4billion compared to €1.1 billion invested in London in the first half of the year.

So it’s official – Berlin is now the tech and start-up capital of Europe.

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