While Frankfurt might be Germany’s financial center with a thriving fintech ecosystem, Hamburg is quickly witnessing the emergence of its very own fintech community with great prospects ahead.
Hamburg has a notable financial history, being the city where Commerzbank, the second largest bank in Germany, was born, and the home of Berenberg Bank, the oldest German private bank, and the Hamburger Sparkasse, the first and largest savings bank in Germany. The Hamburg Stock Exchange is the oldest German stock exchange and the Hamburger Feuerkasse is known for being the oldest insurance worldwide.
In addition to offering a high quality of life, Hamburg has a strong technology ecosystem with the presence of global leaders that include Google, Facebook, Twitter and Xing, to name a few, but also venture capital (VC) firms, business angels and incubators, making it fertile ground for fintech innovation.
Fintech startups in Hamburg
According to a report by German government-owned bank KfW, Hamburg is the capital of founders in Germany, beating out Berlin in 2017 in terms of the number of people who have started a business per capita.
Out of the 575 startups that currently operate in Hamburg, 42 in the fintech sector, according to Fintech Hamburg. Some of the biggest ones are Kreditech, a platform for short-term loans, Deposit Solutions, a provider of an Open Banking platform for deposits connecting banks and depositors across Europe, Finanzcheck, a credit comparison site and online insurance broker, and Figo, a banking service provider.
Deposit Solutions raised US$20 million in November 2017 to further accelerate its international expansion plans. The round was closed just a few months after it acquired rival Savedo, a Berlin startup in the same field.
Deposit Solutions has raised more than US$43 million in funding so far and is backed by Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel, Finlab and e-ventures, among other investors.
Hamburg’s fintech ecosystem
The fintech ecosystem in Hamburg is rapidly growing with a number of initiatives being launched in the past years to further support the development of the space.
Hamburg Invest launched its versatile Startup-Unit in early 2018 focusing on assisting startups with any issue they may have. The initiative aims to strengthen Hamburg’s start-up ecosystem and representing the scene nationally and internationally.
Fintech Hamburg, by Finanzplatz Hamburg, aims to strengthen the city’s digital finance community by bringing local fintech companies, experts an established financial companies under the same roof to create synergies and facilitate collaboration.
Fintech Week, Germany’s largest fintech event, takes place each year in Hamburg, gathering all of the industry’s stakeholders for a multi-day event dedicated to fintech and digital finance. This year, Fintech Week will take place from October 15 to 19.
In the autumn 2018, a new campus tower called finhaven in HafenCity is set to become home to Hamburg’s fintech scene. The tower will have around 1,000 square meters of space and some 100 workstations.
Featured image: Speicherstadt in Hamburg Germany.