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TechScale Berlin: Tech that’s helping us home office

EXB resident techxpert Jewell Sparks on #COVID19 and the BerlinTech that rocks when home office policies are reinforced.

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Coronavirus has finally hit Berlin. Aside from harsher travel protocols, the spread of the virus (there are now cases in 10 out of 16 federal states in Germany) prompted the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Economy to decide it was best to cancel Berlin’s ITB Travel and Trade Show which typically attracts 160,000+ people to the city. Bummer. Travel and work as we know it has become quite frankly, #DISRUPTED. A lot of companies are restricting trips and asking their employees to work from home. In fact, a TechCrunch article focussed on advising founders through the crisis stated: stay home if you can, wash your hands, run through your home food supplies, take video calls and just work on new sustainable business models. #My2Cents… agreed! How do we proceed during these trying times? I’d like to spotlight some of the many Berlin tech startups making home office a little more bearable, even exciting, as well as helping us maintain our health and wellbeing.

Here’s my tips for tech that will see us through #COVID19 and better enable us to eat, work and keep fit at home.

Productivity: company culture and new skills

Bunch (12grapes) was founded in 2016 by Anthony Reo, Britta Weber, Charles Ahmadzadeh and Darja Gutnick. Two female founders… love it! I think this #COVID19 epidemic is the perfect time for the Bunch.ai app to gain traction. It’s never been more essential than now to bring your teams together by taking time to focus on organisational development. Bunch.ai’s data-driven platform empowers leaders to manage their company culture via data. This is absolutely super. Fund this team more please! Balanced leadership and a crucial resource during these digital transformational times. Performance management is very crucial right now. 

Coachhub was founded by Matti Niebelschuetz and Yannis Niebelschuetz in 2018. This company has received $21.7 million from companies such as Speedinvest, RTP Global, Partech, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and others. As for the product, the coaches are from across the globe and the sessions are interactive and flexible. The app is also SSL-Secure and hosted in Europe. This team certainly has the recipe for success.

AI fitness coach

Millie Fit is a product of twentybn and was founded in 2015 by Christian Thurau, Florian Hoppe, Ingo Bax, Moritz Mueller-Freitag and Roland Memisevic. According to Crunchbase, the company has raised $12.5 million to date and pegs themselves as a common-sense AI company building intelligent avatars that can see and interact with you in a humanlike way. Millie Fit is an AI-powered fitness coach app that provides live feedback. As we are sitting on our couches, stuffing our faces and conducting video calls this is a great app to have at your disposal. 

8fit was founded by Pablo Villalba and Pedro Solá in 2014. The company has raised $9.8 million to date and helps with you accomplish exercise and eat right. By utilising the app you can experience High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), yoga workouts and nutritious meal plans which are customised based upon food groups and/or ingredients. 

Food favourites

First up, the market leader. Hellofresh was founded in 2011 by Dominik Richter and Thomas Griesel. The company went public in 2017, raised $350 million that day and has become the number one meal-kit company in the US as well as the rest of the world. Now is the time to get online, pick your dishes, receive your boxes and start cooking.

Worthy competitor Marley Spoon was founded by Daniel Jarosch, Fabian Siegel and Till Neatby. They went public in 2017 and raised $300 million during that day. With many healthy options, this company will deliver fresh ingredients directly to your door specific to the needs of your household.

Revolutionary retail

If your home is also your office, maybe time to make a few design improvements. One of my picks in terms of convenience, and a brand that understands the importance of an easy to navigate website, is Home 24. The company was founded by Felix Jahn and Philipp Kreibohm before going public in 2015. Prior to going public, they had raised approximately €155.9 million.

Another is Outfittery. Founded by Anna Alex and Julia Bosch, this female-led online and personal shopping jewel has raked in $59.8 million from the likes of Octopus Ventures, Northzone, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and others. Bosch used to be Head of International Business Development at Zalando and the company serves 600,000+ customers and most recently merged with Modomoto in May of 2019. Together the companies are bound to dominate the personalised shopping market. 

Final thought

In closing, let’s revisit a Boston Consulting Group study which reminds us that diverse leadership teams perform best. There is no doubt in my mind that the work from home mandate of some companies will distinguish the those that do from the those that just have the right connections! #productivitymatters 

Next week I will focus on Berlin-based agrifood and food tech startups who may have benefited from the $19.8 billion in venture funding that was seen in 2019. More details as to where this fancy number came from later…

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