Munich Lacks Female Founders

How do things look for female founders in Munich? How many startups in the Bavarian capital were (co)founded by women? And in which industries does that happen most often? Taking a look at the Munich Startup Insights provides some answers. And also reveals that the local startup ecosystem has a lot of catching up to do.

All data about the Munich startup scene in the article is drawn from our Data & Insights Dashboard. Anyone interested in learning more about female founders is free to search through the database. To make it easier to use, we created a guide and tutorial videos that explain its key features.

In collaboration with Werk1, One Mission, UnternehmerTUM  and Dealroom, Munich Startup created the first data-based overview of startups (co)founded by women in Munich. It shows which industries female founders are particularly active in and how much capital has been invested in their startups.

In the Munich startup ecosystem, a total of 165 startups have been founded exclusively by women or together by women and men. The majority of them (33 startups) are active in the health industry, including many that are also known outside of the sector, such as Climedo Health, Kumovis and Inveox. Together, these young companies have raised 123 million euros worth of funding so far. This comes as no surprise, because the Female Founders Monitor already pointed out that at 16.7 percent, most female teams start companies in medicine and healthcare.

Healthtech, enterprise software and fashion

Female founders are strongly represented in other sectors as well: In the field of enterprise software, for example, 15 startups have been (co)founded by women. The companies behind Usercentrics have already raised 49 million euros of funding together. Another strong area is fashion with 14 female-founded startups. Here the cumulative value of funding totals 8 million euros. Another area that shouldn’t be neglected is transportation. The group of 13 startups in this industry were able to raise a total of 159 million euros – with the majority going to Sono Motors.

The female-founded startup in Munich with the highest valuation is Scalable Capital, which is worth 418 million euros according to Munich Startup Insights. Second place is taken by the Global Savings Group with a valuation of 300 million euros, and Sono Motors comes in third with 250 million euros. Of the 165 startups, seven have been taken over, like Cluno most recently. And then there’s Westwing and, which are two female-founded startups that have gone public.

Female founders are rare in Munich

If you compare the Munich startup ecosystem with other cities – or also with Germany’s national average – it becomes apparent that there is a lot of catching up to do. In the Bavarian capital, 165 of 1510 startups have a woman in their founding team, which is a mere 10.9 percent. Across Germany, however, the average share of female founders from 2016 to 2018 was 19 percent according to KfW. The figures for 2019 also show that Bremen is home to the most startups with at least one woman in their management team (20 percent), Berlin comes in at 16.7 percent and at least in Bavaria as a whole, the figure is 13.1 percent. Saarland brings up the rear with 9.1 percent.