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2023 was a difficult year for startups when it came to closing financing rounds. This is also confirmed by the Startup Barometer just published by the business consultancy firm EY. This article provides an overview of the most important results and how Hamburg fared.

Nationwide, startups were able to raise a total of 6.025 billion euros in venture capital in 2023. This represents a decrease of 39% compared to the previous year. With an investment volume of 2.377 billion euros, Berlin clearly remains the most successful federal state. However, it also suffered the sharpest decline; in 2022, the figure was still 4.898 billion euros. Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg take second and third place. Hamburg was able to secure fourth place ahead of North Rhine-Westphalia.

© Christoph Neumann / 1KOMMA5°: Philipp Schröder, founder and CEO
© Christoph Neumann / 1KOMMA5°: Philipp Schröder, founder and CEO

The trend is towards AI and sustainability

EY identified 55 deals for 53 startups in the Hanseatic city, which yielded 489 million euros. By far the most successful was 1KOMMA5°, which raised 215 million euros. The same amount was received by Enpal, a startup from Berlin that, like 1KOMMA5°, is committed to converting to renewable energies. The frontrunner is the AI start-up Aleph Alpha from Heidelberg with 463 million euros. The top 3 represent the most important positive trends in the investment rounds. Artificial intelligence made a huge leap from 220 million euros in 2022 to 943 million euros in 2023. And the proportion of financing that went to startups with a sustainability focus rose from 15% to 25%, although the volume remained roughly the same at 1.5 billion euros.

In terms of industries, "Software & Analytics" continues to lead the way, which is mainly due to the aforementioned AI boom. "Energy" and "E-Commerce" take second and third place with relatively stable investment volumes. In contrast, the "Mobility", "FinTech/InsurTech" and "Health" sectors suffered significant losses, with some of them recording a decline of well over 50%. Despite all the negative trends, however, it should be noted that although the overall volume is well behind the successful years of 2022 and especially 2021, it is still on a par with 2019 and 2020.

You can download the entire report here.


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