TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin 2019 is over: Here are the highlights

Scale Robotics, winner at the Disrupt Berlin 2019 Startup Battlefield / Photo: TechCrunch

With more than 3000 visitors’ onsite, crowded Startup Alley, the inspiring stories of Klarna and UiPath and revealed plans of the leading investors, TechChrunch Disrupt Berlin 2019 once again shown why it is considered to be the most important tech event in Europe. With the impressions still alive, Superfounders is giving you the highlights of this two day affair.

Part of the teams competing at the Startup Battlefield event / Photo: TechCrunch

Scale robotic won the Startup Battlefield

Barcelona based startup Scale Robotics won the bespoken competitions of all – the Startup Battlefield. Founded in 2016, Scale Robotics is digitizing the construction site. Precisely, this startup is producing hyper accurate 3D maps of construction sites and even identify emerging structural or safety issues. Under their moto: “if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it”, Scale Robotics is set to totally modernize the construction industry with the help of robotics and artificial intelligence.

The other four finalists were: Gmelius, Hawa Dawa, Inovat and Stable.

Announced as a runner up, Stable is a solution that protect farmers around the world from pricing volatility. Stable has reimagined the way the world’s most important industry can manage price risk with a solution that is comprehensive, targeted and secure. Their goal is to help clients of every size and sector invest in all their futures with confidence.

Gmelius transforms Gmail into a workspace. It is a SaaS platform that allows teams to manage projects together, answer customer queries and automate their outreach manage projects together, answer customer queries and automate their outreach.

Hawa Dawa is the latest solution regarding air pollution. The Munich based startup builds monitoring system that gathering data from satellites and air monitoring stations in order to build an informative map on air pollution.

Inovat is a startup that modernize tax reimbursement. This startup is simplifying the VAT reimbursement process by digitizing the process. By scanning the receipt, their app is showing how much VAT you will be reimbursed and prepare itself all the documentation needed to be submitted to the customs.

Eastern Europe is the next pool of talent where VCs such as Softbank will invest in

An interesting revelation came from the leading VCs such as Softbank, pointing out that Eastern Europe is the next destination where the investors will look to invest in.

Carolina Brochado, Investor at Softbank speaking on stage at Disrupt Berlin 2019 / Photo: TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin 2019 youtube video

“In Eastern Europe there is a lot of talent, there have been big winners already, and you are starting to see an increasing activity of new business models or very interesting technologies”, said Carolina Brochado, an Investment adviser at Softbank.

According to her, the trend of chasing investors has changed. Interestingly, as she pointed out, if in the past the founders were to buy plane tickets and go to VC and pitch for money, now the situation has changed the opposite way – the VC representatives get on the plane and meet the founders and entrepreneurs in Europe.

“Corporates are very sophisticated in what they do and their areas of domain expertise, and are spending a lot of time, and spending a lot of that time early, with companies seeing how they develop early on, maybe co-investing, helping them with partnerships and relationships, and I think in Europe you have very big corporates as well, from Europe and as well as those ones from beyond and increasingly there is an interest in spending time with the innovators in that specific spaces”.

If interested in getting funds from Softbank, they are looking for teams with disruptive technologies, they love see large sectors that haven’t been disrupted being disrupted by technology. That said they are looking into startup such as fintech, logistics, mobility, real estate…

Going back to the relationship shift made between the investors and innovators, not only do the investors now go and look for disruptive technologies as Brochado said, but moreover, as pointed by Atomico VC, the entrepreneurs now are also becoming very sensitive and picky on where the money of the investment are coming from.

Having in mind that there are regions that don’t exactly have unimpeachable human rights records, obviously it is becoming very important for a large number of entrepreneurs, when choosing the investor, to know where the money are coming from.

Hiro Tamura, Partner at Atomico VC, Photo: Atomico official website

“Not only do they care about what they’re doing in terms of what you know impact to the world, but what type of capital they are choosing, And more people who are becoming founders and entrepreneurs are clearly sensitive, and the people who are tackling big missions and big problems are clearly sensitive in terms of alignment with their investors. And I think that is something that will continue to be a trend that we see with the matching of the type of capital, the investor and the entrepreneur. I think that will definitely be a continuing trend that we see”, said Hiro Tamura, Partner at Atomico.

Berlin remains to be one of the biggest hubs for startups

Berlin is still remaining a great place for talent and innovations. A great proof for that is the fact that Swedish giant Klarna announced to open a Tech Hub in Berlin with more than 500 employees.

With their business already hugely accepted and used in Europe, Klarna is now looking for a success in U.S.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski. CEO at Klarna / Photo: TechCrunch

“Right now, what’s exciting is the US. So right now we’re adding customers at a pace that will be about, you know, six months, 6 million customers on an annual basis in the US right now. So the US is really taking off and that’s also super exciting to see”, said Siemiatkowski, Chipin reported.

When it comes to the speculation that the company will go public next year, Siemiatkowski wasn’t very concrete.

“Yeah, I don’t know, maybe it could happen. It was kind of funny, because I was reading an interview with Michael Moritz, who’s on our board, and he was saying that we were going to stay private forever. So, I don’t know, it’s hard for me to know that what’s true anymore. People are reporting different things about Klarna.”

A Berlin based startup, GetYourGuide also had a great success at the event. The story of Johannes Reck, GetYourGuide’s CEO, stole the stage with his announcement that he will expand its Originals short tours into day trips. For those who doesn’t know much about GetYourGuide, it is a startup that redefines the traveling as not just going somewhere, but as having an experience, too. As announced at the stage, the company is expanding its “Originals” business into one-day tours and other longer journeys, with the aim of hitting 1 million sales of Originals this year. Just as a reminder, the Originals tours offered by GetYourGuide, as claimed by the team, offer another experience – to discover lesser-known treasures that other visitor often miss.

Nothing brings people together like good food

Sacha Michaud, Glovo and Charity Safford, UberEats discussing food delivery service’s future / Photo: TechCrunch

Another interesting topic was the food delivery service and the expectations of the possible consolidations in this industry. As discussed by the Glovo co-founder Sacha Michaud and Charity Safford, General manager of Nothern, Central and Eastern Europe for Uber Eats, food delivery service is not anymore just about a business that helps you order food by phone, but also becomes more and more a business that turns the delivery of food into a profit. That said, a mergers and consolidations are to be seen in the food delivery industry, the founders in this industry claim.

Space, robots, machine learning were also topics that were widely discussed. More on this you can find on the TechCrunch Disrupt Belin 2019 news site. But why reading other experiences when you can hear and discuss all the important tech issues on spot. Don’t miss next year Disrupt Berlin event. Follow Superfounders to get on time info on the early-bird offers and discounts.