From FinTech to FemTech to InsureTech – and much more besides – the Berlin startup scene is bursting with innovative young companies disrupting industries and designing tools to make our everyday lives easier.
Here, we’ve picked eight of the very best of them – all offering life-simplifying apps that will quite literally change the way you work and live for the better. Let’s take a look…
Named the top free menstrual tracking app in a study last year by the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, Clue is the smartphone application that enables easy and comfortable period and fertility tracking. What makes Clue stand out from the crowd of over 1,000 menstrual cycle apps is the fact that it is accurate, and has been designed for rapid data entry and user-friendliness. The app helps women track their period, fertile window, pains, moods and PMS. What’s more, it also helps women track birth control methods – including the injection, cervical ring, IUD, the patch and the pill – and the more you use it, the smarter it gets. It really is an awesome app and a standout piece of FemTech all round – and it’s made with love in Berlin.
From FemTech to FinTech – N26 is the Berlin-based mobile-only bank that has evolved very quickly since it was founded in 2015 from a FinTech startup to a fully-licenced bank. First launched in Germany and Austria, N26 began life as a checking account with Mastercard. Since then, the company has built upon this partnership, and now customers are able to use their N26 account to make purchases and withdraw cash anywhere that Mastercard is accepted. What makes N26 so appealing is that the standard account holds no monthly fee, and the fact that it comes with enhanced in-app security features. The app also sends out push notifications to confirm every card and account transaction, the blocking or unblocking of a card, the ordering of a new card, or the change of a PIN. N26 really is your one and only mobile-only bank – now available in 17 countries across Europe and servicing over half a million customers.
With offices in Berlin and London, Ada is a personal health companion and telemedicine app, designed to help you feel better and take control of your health. Via a conversational interface, Ada will help you work out what symptoms you have, offer information on what might be causing them, and, if needed, even facilitate a remote consultation with a real doctor via text. Developed by a team of doctors, scientists and engineers, Ada provides AI-driven personal healthcare, empowering patients to make more informed decisions about their health.
Clark is a Berlin/Frankfurt startup operating in the insurance space with an innovative and intuitive app designed to help you stay on top of your various insurance products. In essence an insurance “robo-advisor”, Clark uses its algorithms to analyse your current insurance situation and automatically propose opportunities to improve your coverage or the deal you’re currently getting. What’s more, insurance experts are on-hand and available to be contacted directly via the app to offer advice and help if you have more bespoke questions regarding your insurance. An extremely handy and valuable tool to have in your pocket.
Geared towards small businesses, Smacc is the provider of intelligent, AI-powered financial management solutions, which use machine learning technology to help SMEs master their everyday financial tasks. Put simply, Smacc is your accountant in the cloud. Customers simply submit their receipts to Smacc, and the programme turns them into a machine-readable format, encrypts them, and then allocates them to an account. It verifies invoices – including checking that all the sums add up and that the VAT-ID and its issuer are correct. Over time, the system learns more and more how to deal with supplier data, and thusly becomes better and better as time goes on. Customers, says Smacc, are already seeing 80% of their ongoing accounting practices and associated financial processes automated – and this percentage is rising all the time.
ZipJet is an app-based laundry and dry cleaning service in London, Dublin and Berlin. Providing an ultra-convenient laundry service for busy city-dwellers, the mobile laundry service picks up, washes or dry cleans, and returns laundry items within 24 hours to any location specified by the customer. The company even provides users with ZipJet-branded laundry bags, meaning that all customers have to do is fill them up with dirty clothing, select times for pickup and return via the app, and ZipJet takes care of the rest – you’ll never have to worry about the washing ever again.
More FinTech now with Kontis – a bank account made by freelancers for freelancers. Acknowledging the fact that traditional banks are often underprepared to handle the specific needs of the self-employed, Kontis was conceived with the express mission to provide tailored banking products that help freelancers better organise their finances. Kontis offers an automated free business bank account with tax calculation, automated bookkeeping, a Mastercard, and mobile banking app. What’s more, a Kontis account comes with nifty, convenience-enabling features, such as the ability to automatically set aside users’ income tax and VAT on revenues, as well as overviews of what is owed and how much disposable net income is left at the end of the month.
In 2010, the world’s first peer-to-peer (P2P) insurance model was born in Berlin, Germany – Friendsurance. Offering household, personal-liability and legal-expenses insurance, Friendsurance offers a majorly disruptive insurance model for its users. Here’s how it works: rather than paying massive premiums as you do with traditional insurance companies – even when no claims are made – Friendsurance groups together customers with the same insurance type and pools their money together. If no claims are made by the customer or any of their connections, the customer receives a pre-agreed maximum cashback. If claims are made, then the cashback amount decreases – but the beauty of the model is that even if this happens, no one ever has to pay more than the premium. Amazing.
Have we missed anyone?
Whew! What a list!
Hopefully you’ve found something new in this list that is going to simplify your life for the better. But have we missed your favourite Berlin-based startup from out list? Let us know in the comments section below.