Startups: Austrian Success Stories

The Austrian startup scene is particularly dynamic in the fields of information technologies, media and life sciences as well as in creative industries. Above all, there is a boom in startups focusing on the creation of Web platforms and mobile applications and there is a growing interest of investors.

A successful exit from the incubation phase is one of the most important drivers of growth in the startup scene. The early phase financier exits from the investment and new corporate partners acquire strategic stakes. Many young companies have succeeded in achieving a valuation exceeding the million euro threshold, attracting increasing amounts of capital, especially from abroad.

  • Runtastic: Established by four students at the University of Applied Sciences in Hagenberg, it was acquired by Adidas in 2015 for EUR 220 million.

  • Shpock: Flea market App with ten million users. It was launched by Katharina Klausberger and Armin Strbac in 2012 before being taken over by the Norwegian media group Schibsted in 2015.

  • Bwin: Founded in 1997 with 12 employees, the company now has a global workforce 3,100 people and is the biggest online gaming provider with annual revenue of USD 760 million.

  • Jajah: The supplier of Web-based telephony was established in 2005 and acquired by the Spanish company Telefonica in 2009 for EUR 145 million.

  • Paysafecard: The company was set up in 2000, and has emerged as the European market leader today with its development of the first online mean of payment approved by banking law.

  • UBIMET: Established in 2004, the two-man company is now the fastest growing private European supplier of meterological services. Red Bull has held a stake in the company since 2012.

  • AFFiRiS: The biotech startup founded in 2003 develops vaccines against Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons’s and diabetes, launching the world’s first clinical tests for a Parkinson vaccine in 2012.  

These companies are beacons of light in a diversified startup landscape, from the Robo miracle cube programmed by children to the diabetes App developed by MySugr, from the analysis App targeting skin diseases from Scarletred to the 3D ceramic printers of Lithoz, a spin-off of the University of Technology.

For detailed information about the funding system for startups in Austria, please have a look at the website of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) as well as the Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH  (aws).

Have a look at our startup-video:

For more information have a look at our startup-brochure:

Brochure: Startup Location Austria (PDF, 846 kB)