Studies and Rankings

Tech Cities oft he Future - fDi-Ranking 2021

In the Europe-wide fDi ranking “TNW Tech Cities of the Future 2021” of the most tech-friendly cities, Berlin ranks fourth behind London, Paris and Dublin. The cities with the most promising prospects for startups, technology and innovation investments are rated. 

For this ranking, data were collected and analysed for 76 cities in 31 European countries in five categories: Cost efficiency, economic potential, FDI performance, innovation and attractiveness as well as the start-up environment.

TNW Tech Cities of the Future 2021

Berlin exports, an analysis by country and product group - IBB 2021

In the pandemic year 2020, goods from Berlin worth 14.4 billion Euro were sold in 202 countries worldwide. While German exports slumped by 9.3%, Berlin exports fell less sharply by -5.2%.

Although Berlin’s trade with the USA has decreased by 12.3% to 1.4 billion Euro, the USA remains by far the most important trading partner. In contrast, exports to France rose by 12.6% to 1.1 billion Euro. In this way, France overtook China, which had held second place among Berlin’s most important export countries since 2017.

In 2020, the main exports were pharmaceutical products, which recorded an increase of 34.2% to 2.8 billion Euro, other vehicles (1.2 billion Euro), devices for generating electricity (1.1 billion Euro), and medical devices (832 million Euro) and power machines (751 million Euro).

IBB export study (PDF in German)

Berlin is the best location for startups in Europe - Startup Heatmap 2021

In the annual Startup Heatmap survey of almost 1,300 founders from 29 countries, Berlin took first place for the first time, replacing London as the front runner. Categories assessed included, for example, industry networking, developer availability, on-site value for money and ease of doing business.

Third and fourth place go to Amsterdam and Barcelona, followed by Munich in fifth place. Other German cities in the top 50 are Cologne (30th), Hamburg (37th) and Stuttgart (38th).

Startup Heatmap Survey 2021 (in German)

Startup Barometer Germany 2021 - Ernst & Young

Berlin was again the hotspot of the German startup scene in 2020. Despite the Corona crisis, Berlin was able to record 20 percent more financing rounds than in the previous year. That means that 42 percent of all financing rounds counted in Germany came from startups in the German capital. However, due to the lack of major deals, the investment volume fell by 17 per cent to 3.1 billion euros.

The largest and third largest transaction in Germany was the investment of 255 million euros in the Berlin-based Auto1 Group and 212 million euros in the Berlin-based e-mobility startup Tier Mobility. Of the five largest financing rounds of the year, four were in Berlin and one in Bavaria.

As in the previous year, the highest number of financing rounds in Germany in 2020 was in the Software & Analytics sector. In contrast, the number of financing rounds in the e-commerce sector fell, and the mobility and FinTech segments also recorded significant losses.

Startup-Barometer German 2021 (PDF) (in German)

Digital economy - an important pillar in the crisis - IBB 2020

The digital economy has been the growth engine of Berlin's economy for ten years. With 108,905 employees, more people work in the digital economy here than in any other major German city. Every 6th new job is created in this sector; across Germany, every 10th new IT job is accounted for by Berlin employers. In 2018, 10,800 digital companies generated 13.7 billion euros. These are the results of a study by the Investitionsbank Berlin and the Berliner Sparkasse.

The corona crisis has also left its mark on companies in the digital economy, especially on company-related services. Overall, however, the industry is proving more resistant than the rest of the economy. Especially during the crisis, the digital economy is becoming increasingly important and offers opportunities for the digitalisation of other sectors. The growing number of IT professionals in Berlin employed by management consultants shows the great interest in and need for digitalising business processes and corporate structures.

Berlin aktuell - the digital economy - an important pillar in the crisis (PDF) (in German)

Berlin exports, an analysis by country and product group - IBB 2020

Berlin's exports increased by 0.6% in 2019 compared to the previous year. Berlin companies exported goods worth 14.72 billion euros to 202 countries.

With an export share of 11%, the USA continues to be by far the most important trading partner for Berlin's export companies. China, France, Poland and Switzerland follow. While China, Berlin's second most important export country, recorded a 5.4% increase in export volume compared to the previous year, Berlin's US exports fell by 10.3%. 

The top exports of the Berlin economy include pharmaceutical products with a share of 14% (EUR 2.1 billion), devices for generating electricity (EUR 1.2 billion), other vehicles (EUR 1.2 billion), medical products Equipment (EUR 920 million) and prime movers (EUR 864 million).

IBB export study (PDF) (in German)

Berlin Startup Monitor 2020

The Berlin Startup Monitor examines the capital's startup ecosystem with its development potential and challenges. The consequences of the Corona crisis are also a focus of the study, which is published by the Bundesverband Deutsche Startups (Startup Association) and the Berlin Partner for Business and Technology.

The main results of the study are:

  • Over 52% of Berlin's startups are in the growing B2B sector
  • Berlin is the German FinTech hotspot
  • 7 out of 10 Berlin start-ups give their employees a stake in the company
  • Although 59% of venture capital in Germany is invested in Berlin, there is a funding gap in venture capital
  • Over 76% of Berlin start-ups plan to internationalise
  • More than three quarters of Berlin start-ups see their existence threatened by the Corona crisis.

Berlin Startup Monitor 2020 (PDF) (in German)

Startup Barometer Germany 2020 - Ernst & Young

Berlin again dominated the German startup scene in 2019 and remains the most important German startup location internationally. Almost 60 percent of the investment capital went to Berlin. Of the twenty largest investment rounds, 13 went to companies based in the German capital.

In the industry ranking, FinTech and Mobility overtake the eCommerce industry. In Berlin, the major investments of 428 million euros in the Berlin travel start-up GetYourGuide and 361 million euros in the Berlin used car platform Frontier Car Group contributed to the success of the mobility industry.

Startup-Barometer Deutschland 2020 (PDF) (in German)

Berlin in first place in the HWWI/Berenberg City Ranking 2019

In the sixth HWWI/Berenberg City Ranking, which examines the competitiveness of Germany's 30 largest cities, Berlin takes the top spot for the first time, knocking Munich off the first place. The ranking analyses the economic dynamics, demographic development, as well as key location factors such as education, innovation, internationality, and accessibility.

Berlin scored in the areas of population growth, growth in employment, improvement in productivity, internationality, and demographic forecasts up to 2013. Good location factors, especially internationality and accessibility, contribute to the positive development and excellent future prospects for the capital.

HWWI/Berenberg City Ranking 2019

Digital economy and industry go hand in hand - IBB 2019

This study by the Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) and the Berlin-Brandenburg Business Associations (UVB) attests to the excellent development of Berlin's digital economy.

According to this, about 100,000 people are employed in Berlin's digital economy today - more than in any other major German city. Between 2008 and 2018, the digital economy grew almost four times faster than the rest of the economy (9.3% to 2.7% p.a.). In 2017, gross value added was around EUR 5.4 billion and the annual growth rate was over 10%.

Berlin is also the German start-up capital, with approx. 11% of German start-ups in the digital economy taking place here. Especially when it comes to technologies that are important for industry and the digital economy - artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, Additive Manufacturing – Berlin is becoming one of the leading locations.

Berlin aktuell - Digital economy and industry go hand in hand (in German)

QS Best Student Cities Ranking 2019

Berlin occupies 5th place in the QS Best Student Cities Ranking 2019 for the best university cities worldwide.

The international QS Best Student Cities Ranking 2019 confirms Berlin’s significant attraction to students around the world. Only Munich, Melbourne, Tokyo and London are scored better than Berlin. Among other things, the criteria of quality-of-life, cost of living, attractiveness for students, and rating by employers were used to rank 100 university cities in total.

QS Best Student Cities 2019

Startup Barometer Germany 2019 - Ernst & Young

Berlin remains number one in terms of investment volume nationwide and was once again the hotspot of the German start-up scene in 2018. 

More than every second euro (57 percent) was invested in Berlin companies in 2018. Bavaria and Hamburg are in second and third place. Most of the money was invested in e-commerce, followed by FinTech and Software & Analytics. 

Startup-Barometer Deutschland 2019 (PDF) (in German)

Berlin exports, an analysis by country and product group - IBB 2019

Berlin industrial companies achieved a sales increase of 2.3% in 2018 with goods exports worth EUR 24.1 billion. However, foreign sales only achieved a weak plus of 0.6%.

With an export share of 12.6%, the USA remains by far the most important trading partner for Berlin's export companies. This is followed by China, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

The top exports from the Berlin economy include pharmaceutical products, vehicle parts, petroleum products and tobacco products.

IBB export study (PDF) (in German)

Digitalwirtschaft gibt den Takt vor - IBB 2018

The study by Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) compares the development of the digital economy in selected major German cities.

The digital economy has become a growth driver for Berlin's economy in recent years. In a comparison of Germany, Berlin is the most dynamic digital location today. In total, more than 88,000 people are employed by Berlin's digital companies. For the first time, these generated more than EUR 10 billion in sales. Since 2008, every 7th new job in Berlin has been created in a company in the digital economy. A new digital company is founded here every 17 hours.

Berlin aktuell: Digital economy sets the pace (PDF) (in German)

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Birgit Steindorf

Birgit Steindorf

Head of Unit
Business Location Center