2021 – the year of eCommerce start-ups

eCommerce has become the second most appealing industry for start-up founders in Germany in 2021


2020 was a difficult year for business founders all over the world. Many had to abandon their plans after the coronavirus hit and left the economic outlook insecure and unstable. In Germany, government measures including financial aids helped the start-up industry to recover relatively fast, though. According to the Statista Dossier Plus “Startups in Zahlen – Q2 2021” (start-ups in numbers – Q2 2021) based on data provided by startupdetector1, the number of new start-ups had already increased in the first quarter of 2021 compared to Q1 2020. The development continued through Q2 2021. A total of 806 new start-ups were founded in this years’ second quarter, which is 213 businesses more than in the same period in 2020. The new businesses range across several business sectors, but many center around certain industries:

Most new businesses were founded in the software industry. A total of 140 start-ups were registered in Germany in the second quarter of 2021. This means 35 start-ups more than in the same period in 2020. eCommerce has become the second most attractive industry for start-up founders. While in Q2 2020, it was the medical field which was in rank 2 of the top 10 start-up industries with a total of 71 foundations, eCommerce has outrun the medical field in terms of start-up foundations in Q2 2021. A total of 95 new eCommerce start-ups were registered with the German authorities in the second quarter of 2021. This means an increase of almost 60% in the number of new eCommerce start-ups compared to Q2 2020. The number of medical start-ups increased by only 18% in the same period. It is likely that the general trend towards more online shopping – sparked off not least by the coronavirus pandemic – is responsible for the wave of start-ups in the eCommerce sector. Another interesting fact about Germany’s new eCommerce start-ups is that about one third of them have women in CEO positions. This is the biggest share of women in the upper management of all industries analyzed in this start-up foundation comparison in Q2 2021.

1: startupdetector defines a start-up as an innovative, in most cases digital company which is ten years or younger and has a high growth and scaling potential, often addressing digital markets. startupdetector regularly identifies and gathers the newly founded start-ups in Germany according to the definition.

Visit our news area for additional content around the topic of eCommerce.

September 2020

Weekly eCommerce insights

The ecommerceDB newsletter