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German investment in AI startups is low

Over the last ten years, startups that focus on artificial intelligence (AI) have received EUR 1.2 billion of investment here – a small sum in comparison to other countries.

14 Jun. 2019
Photo: UnternehmerTUM GmbH (appliedAI)

The number of AI startups in Germany is increasing. According to an initiative set up by AppliedAI , there are currently 214 new companies that are using artificial intelligence in their services or products. Startup Landscape 2019 reports that most of them are based in Berlin and Munich. But, AppliedAI continues, German AI startups received only around EUR 1.2 billion from investors over the last ten years. By comparison: in China, the company SenseTime alone has received over EUR 2.2 billion since 2017 for its business based on facial and image recognition software. Differences are also evident in the number of employees: SenseTime has around 2,000 employees, while in Germany there are only 9 AI startups with more than 100 employees, Andreas Liebl, Managing Director of AppliedAI, told the “Handelsblatt” .

In November 2018, the federal government promised grants worth billions for startups and research establishments. In March of this year, however, it emerged that the amount has turned out to be significantly lower. According to Liebl, the political framework conditions require urgent change, involving the allocation of public contracts to startups, for example, or encouragement of investment during the growth phase.