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Start-ups Investment Report

The funding rounds, exits, takeovers, and IPOs of WHU start-ups in Q3 2023

WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management has produced several successful founders over the years—and the highest number of unicorn founders in Germany per 1,000 students. It is the support of an excellent and experienced faculty that makes it possible for the school’s students and alumni to reach such heights. Professor Malte Brettle (Chair of Entrepreneurship II) has recently been recognized by the UNIPRENEURS initiative in Berlin for his extraordinary commitment to entrepreneurship. With 700 nominations suggested by a variety of founders, the UNIPRENEURS Award is the most prolific honor for the promotion of entrepreneurship in higher education and research. The unique brand of support offered by WHU’s professors is also reflected in the various activities and financial rounds that have played out in the school’s entrepreneurship ecosystem over the past quarter.


- NG.CASH, an online bank aimed at Gen Z, secured US$1,649,995 through a seed funding round and additional investor support. The company was co-founded by WHU alumnus Luis Felipe Carvalho.

- Construex, founded by Carolina Arroyo (MLB, 2012), raised US$4,119,998. The company connects the construction, architecture, and design industries.

- Flinn Comply, co-founded by WHU alumnus Hasib Samad (PT-MBA, 2020), secured an amount over €2M. The start-up provides pharmaceutical manufacturers with a way to automatize their regulatory processes.

- November – Vorsorge & Bestattungen, founded by Christoph Basner (MSc, 2013) and Robin Klemm (Msc, 2016), offers end-of-life services. This past July, the company secured corporate funding.


- Mercanis raised €9.2M during a seed funding round. The start-up, co-founded by Moritz Weiermann (MSc, 2016), provides AI-controlled procurement and sales software.

- SumUp, founded by Jan Deepen (Promotion, 2006) and Daniel Klein (Diplom, 2002) secured a $100M in credit financing. The start-up enables other companies to accept credit card payments.

- arttrade, a fintech investment platform founded by Svenja Heyer (BSc, 2013), raised €2M during a pre-seed funding round.

- HOLY, founded by Frederick Jost (BSc, 20217) and Philipp Nass (BSc, 2017), secured €10.5M during a series A funding round. This sustainable D2C company provides the powder behind a diverse range of new soft drinks.

- metrofibre, founded by Christopher (BSc, 2018), Arndt (Diplom, 1994), and Moritz Rautenberg (BSc, 2021), secured credit financing worth €120M. They are developing a high-performance glass fiber network.

- Better Basics Laborbedarf GmbH, co-founded by Mario Schneider (BSc, 2011), secured an undisclosed sum through strategic investment. The start-up produces innovative laboratory supplies using 3D-printing technology.

- C1 Green Chemicals AG, co-founded by Christian Vollmann (Diplom, 2002), received €10.4M in funding. The company is developing a high-efficiency catalysis designed to produce sustainable methanol, thereby preventing a significant amount of carbon emissions.

- marta has successfully completed a funding round. The platform, co-founded by Philipp Buch (BSc, 2017) and Jan Markus Hoffmann (BSc, 2017), allows families to connect with the caretakers who are right for them.

- Floy, a start-up that helps radiologists using AI-based technology, secured €2.1M during a seed funding round. The company was founded by Leander Maerkisch (BSc, 2020) and Benedikt Schneider (BSc, 2021).

- Aitme, co-founded by WHU graduate Emanuel Pallua (MSc, 2014), works on robotics-based solutions for modern industrial kitchens. The company has now been taken over by Circus.


- Ostrom, an energy management platform co-founded by Matthias Martensen (BSc, 2014) secured US$7.5M in a series A funding round. The company makes green electricity more accessible and affordable to households across Europe.

- numa, under the leadership of Christian Gaiser (BSc, 2008), raised an impressive €55M in series C funding round. The funds will be used to help expand the company’s digital hospitality platform, which helps with short and mid-term rentals and travel accommodations.

- mammaly, founded by Stanislav Nazarenus (MSc, 2019) and Alexander Thelen (BSc, 2019), secured €14M in Series A funding round. The start-up, in collaboration with veterinarians, develops treats for dogs that target their ailments.

- PowerUs, co-founded by Julian Lindinger (BSc, 2019) and Konrad Geiger (BSc, 2019), successfully closed a series A funding round, earning US$24M. The funds will help them on their mission to empower skilled technicians, such as electricians and HVAC installers, in their careers.

- Entrix, a grid-scale battery storage optimization and trading platform founded by WHU alumnus Steffen Schülzchen (BSc, 2014), successfully completed a seed funding round.

- Vamo, an air-to-water heat pump subscription service founded by Laurenz Ohlig (MSc, 2023) and Falk Hantl (MSc, 2023),secured €3M in seed funding. The company offers their customers heating solutions.

- JOKR, the last-mile delivery platform co-founded by Benjamin Bauer (MSc, 2012), secured $50M in a Series D funding round. JOKR is revolutionizing on a hyper-local scale the way essential groceries and convenience products are ordered and delivered.

- Springlane Grillgarage, with founder Marius Till Fritzsche (Diplom, 2008), raised €20M in a venture funding round. This will allow the company to continue to growing its international outdoor cooking equipment business.

- FENKA Robotics, co-founded by Moritz Fendt (BSc, 2019) and Niklas Janka (BSc, 2019), raised €1.7M in a pre-seed funding round, furthering their goal of providing top-quality robots for full-service rentals.

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