Seven German Fintech Startups You Need To Watch Out For

Fintech startups in Europe seem to have always been centered in the UK. But with the uncertainty of Brexit — Germany is increasingly being seen as the logical successor of bearing the ‘Fintech Capital’ title. And for good reason too as there’s a lot happening here in Germany.

Traditional banks such as Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank have set up investment funds and established partnership with fintech startups. Investors such as FinLeap provide seed funding of up to €5M, DVH Ventures primarily invests in fintech and venture capitalists such as Peter Thiel have also started investing in Germany.

Here, we want to highlight some German fintech startups you should be watching out for.

Cringle

Website: https://cringle.net/en

First up is Cringle, a fintech startup from Berlin, doing P2P payments . Through their Android and iOS applications, Cringle enables users to send and receive money between each other. One of their unique selling propositions is that all you need is the other person’s mobile phone number to initiate a transaction.

However, you will have to sign up and connect a German bank account so the application can debit your account. To send money to someone, select a person from your contacts, enter how much you want to transfer and confirm the transaction using your Cringle-PIN or Touch ID.

Recipients don’t even need the Cringle application to complete transfers. After receiving an SMS notification, they can click on the link and enter their bank details to complete the transaction.

Founded in 2014, the Berlin-based startup is currently available with German and Austrian bank accounts, but is planning to gradually expand into other European countries. Their transactions are handled by Deutsche Kreditbank which complies with German regulations. Cringle has also partnered with solarisBank (backed by FinLeap) and uses their banking API to enable P2P payments.

Berries

Website: http://www.berriesapp.com/

Ever wondered how much you would save if you put aside a couple of cents here and there? That’s essentially what Berries aims to do.

Let’s say you bought a Cappuccino for €1.80 with your bank card. Berries will round it up to the next Euro, which would be €2, and collects the €0.20 difference for you. The fintech startup from Frankfurt will do this for every purchase you make. Once you hit a threshold of €5, the application will begin investing it into ETFs and index funds. Berries will develop an investment strategy based on your risk appetite and saving goals.

The mobile investment application isn’t yet available, but is expected to launch in 2017.

OptioPay

Website: https://www.optiopay.com/

Are you looking to improve customer retention or offer special perks to employees? Then you might want to check out OptioPay from Berlin.

Founded in 2014, OptioPay lets businesses convert payments, such as refunds or insurance payments, into higher value vouchers for their customers. So instead of refunding €100, and potentially never seeing that money again. Businesses can increase the likelihood of keeping customers by offering them the option of increasing the value of their refund by converting it into a voucher worth €120. For e-commerce businesses this is an ideal way of preventing customers from shopping elsewhere and simultaneously improving their experience.

What’s more, companies can also pay employee salaries through OptioPay. Employees can choose what portion of their salary they want to be transferred to their bank account, and how much they would like to convert into vouchers for online retailers like Zalando and Amazon.

Lendstar

Website: https://www.lendstar.io/en/

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you need to collect money for a friend’s birthday present, then you’ll appreciate what Lendstar has to offer.

Founded in 2013, Lendstar is a social finance app for paying and chatting among your friends. Through their Android and iOS applications, users can send money, split costs, lend and collect money.

To start using the app, you’ll need to install the application on your smartphone and connect your bank account so you can start sending and receiving money.

The Munich fintech startup has also developed a white-label solution of its application with Hallo and Bay for Sparda-Bank and Volksbank respectively.

Savedroid

Website: https://www.savedroid.de/

If you struggle to save money each month, Savedroid could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

The Frankfurt-based fintech startup allows you to create a set of rules which would trigger a money transfer from your current account to your savings account. Think of it as a financial IFTTT (If This Then That), e.g. if you run 5km then transfer €5 to a savings account.

Of course you can set up Savedroid to either reward or punish you for certain actions. Spend too much time on WhatsApp or on Facebook? Then you can set up Savedroid to transfer €3 into your savings account.

The mobile savings app is partnered with Wirecard to provide its users with their savings account. Getting started is straightforward. All you need to do is download their Android or iOS application, connect your bank account through the app so it can transfer money to your Savedroid savings account. You can then set your own personalised savings rules — also known as “smooves”, short for “smart saving move”. Users also get a virtual credit card, with which they can spend their savings online.

Founded in 2015, Savedroid recently raised €20 million from investment bank Rhineland-Palatinate and a group of angel investors. At the moment Savedroid is available in Germany and works with 80% of German banks.

Sapaso

Website: https://sapaso.de/

Sapaso is a fintech startup from Cologne which focuses on helping gyms collect membership fees through direct debit. Their aim is to ease the administrative burden gym owners face concerning payments, by taking control of the whole process and putting it on auto-pilot for them.

Through the Sapaso portal, gym owners are able to upload the data of existing and new members which includes their bank account details and membership fees. To minimise the risk of a failed payment, Sapaso will perform a credit check on the gym’s members. For each member that passes the credit check, the Cologne startup offers a payment guarantee — meaning that gyms will receive 100% of their expected membership fees.

By using Sapaso, gym owners can expect to pay as little 0.9% on each transaction they process. Their API also offers to simplify the payment process even further, by enabling gyms to integrate it straight into their membership management software.

Crosslend

Website: https://de.crosslend.com/

Based out of Berlin, Crosslend is an investment and lending platform available in Germany, United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands.

Their cross-border platform enables people to easily get started with investing. Crosslend’s main focus is on investing in consumer loans across Europe.

You will first need to open an account on Crosslend and then apply for an investment account with their bank partner, biw Bank für Investments und Wertpapiere.

Once the application has been approved and an account has been opened, you can start transferring the amount you want to invest from your bank account. You’ll then create your own portfolio mix based on your preferences within your account. Crosslend does however require a minimum balance of €250 to ensure your portfolio is diversified. After you’ve set everything up, you’re ready to place your order.


As you can see there’s definitely something brewing in Germany and there’s plenty more fintech startups to find. Leave a comment below to share which one is your favorite.


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