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‘Significant progress’: Swedish fintech Klarna cuts losses in half


Profitability should be achieved before the end of this year. Also: OpenAI does not want to leave Europe and ChatGPT app starts in the USA with strong download numbers.

CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski founded Klarna in 2005 together with two friends.
Bloomberg / Gettyimages

Good morning! Even during the weekend, work in the digital scene continued in many places.

The top topics:

The Swedish fintech company Klarna has reached a major milestone: The startup, known for its “buy now, pay later” concept, halved its net loss in the first quarter. The company’s cost-cutting measures have thus paid off. Klarna posted a net loss of 1.3 billion Swedish kronor ($120.7 million/€112.5 million), down 50 percent year-on-year. At the same time, the company was able to increase sales and invest in artificial intelligence (AI), as CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said.

According to the company, the results show that Klarna is making “significant progress” towards profitability on a monthly basis. Klarna, which now has more than 150 million customers, received a credit rating of BBB/A-3 with a stable outlook from S&P Global in April. Klarna hopes to reach profitability in the second half of the year. [Mehr bei CNBC und Sifted]

On Founder scene: Clevershuttle is insolvent, the Berlkönig History: Shared on-demand bus rides are only successful in two cities. According to our columnist Don Dahlmann, the reason for this is simple: ridepooling might seem like a great idea on paper, but it’s not quite as easy to implement in reality. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]

And here are the other headlines of the night and the past few days:

OpenAI-Boss Sam Altman has meanwhile confirmed that he now wants to comply with the rules of the EU and does not want to leave Europe with ChatGPT. He had previously promised that if OpenAI could not comply with EU regulations. However, having now completed a European tour, which included discussions with EU regulators, his concerns appear to have been allayed. In addition to Paris, Altman was in London, Munich and Warsaw. [Mehr bei Bloomberg und The Information]

Die ChatGPTapp by OpenAI reached 500,000 downloads in just six days. The app was only available in the US and for iOS in the first few days (before the current expansion into eleven other global markets). This makes it one of the top performing new app releases both this year and last year. [Mehr bei Techcrunch]

Twitter withdraws from the EU pact against disinformation and thus turns its back on the voluntary code of conduct. This was tweeted by EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton on Friday evening. However, this brings the social media company only a few advantages: Because some regulations will be mandatory from August. [Mehr bei Handelsblatt]

Nikola is in danger of losing its listing on the Nasdaq technology exchange. According to the struggling electric truck developer, that’s because the stock price has traded under a dollar for the past 30 days. The company has until Nov. 20 to comply with Nasdaq’s floor price rule, which dictates that the stock price must be above one dollar for ten consecutive business days. [Mehr bei Techcrunch]

Cryptocurrencies: Paradigm, a crypto venture capital firm, is expanding its focus into artificial intelligence (AI) companies. Paradigm was created in 2018 by Coinbase-Co-founder Fred Ehrsam and former partner of Sequoia Capital, Matt Huang, founded. The firm has earned a reputation as a top crypto fund by, among other things, owning early stakes in the blockchain security firm Chainalysis has acquired. [Mehr bei The Block]

Our reading tip on Gründerszene: Laura Böntert today runs a marketplace for second-hand bridal wear. The beginnings of your startup Bride Cycle went bumpy: In addition to money and time, she lost almost all rights of use. [Mehr bei Gründerszene+]

Don’t want to miss anything? Then subscribe to our Gründerszene newsletter! It appears every morning at 8:30 a.m. and brings you all the important news straight to your inbox.

Have a good start into the week!

Your Gründerszene editors

Source: https://www.businessinsider.de/gruenderszene/business/schwedisches-startup-klarna-halbiert-verluste/

Virus protection on subscription: simple, clear and secure


Virus protection on subscription: simple, clear and secure

Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2023/04/18/kaspersky-premium-virenschutz/

Here’s how to archive apps on Android


eWhen the storage space on the smartphone is running out, it can quickly become really annoying. But so that you don’t have to delete everything from your mobile phone, you can also use the archive function. We’ll show you how to archive Android apps.

While with the first smartphones one was still wondering how one was ever going to fill 16 GB of memory, this is no problem at all today. No wonder that most smartphones are now equipped with a much larger memory.

But what if the built-in storage space on the smartphone is no longer sufficient? Then it can help to uninstall unused apps. But if you don’t want to do exactly that, you can now archive apps on Android.

You want to archive apps on your Android smartphone?

According to Android, freeing up storage space is the main reason why users uninstall apps from their devices. But that will no longer be necessary in the future, because you can now easily archive your apps on Android.

With this variant, you can save up to 60 percent of the storage space of an app in the future and do not have to remove the app in question from your device.

How does Auto-Archive work?

If you have activated the auto-archiving on Android, your smartphone keeps track of which apps you rarely use. These will then be partially deleted from your device. However, you will retain the app and saved user data.

If you want to use the app again, you can open it as usual by tapping on the app symbol. It will then be loaded from the archive and you can use it as normal. The only requirement is that the app is still available on Google Play.

Here’s how to archive apps on Android

It only takes a few steps to activate auto-archiving on your Android smartphone. As soon as you want to install an app on your smartphone, but there is no longer enough storage space, you will be informed of the new feature.

Android will inform you in a pop-up window that you are running out of storage space. You can turn on auto-archiving directly in this pop-up.

Also interesting:

Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2023/04/18/auto-archive-apps-beie-android-archivieren/

Newspaper report: Data leak at Tesla points to major technical problems


The “Handelsblatt” received 100 gigabytes of data from Tesla’s IT system. Also: Nvidia is scratching the trillion dollar mark and milestone for Elon Musk’s Neuralink.

The Tesla files could cause a lot of trouble for the company: European supervisory authorities are alarmed by the data leak.
Tim Levin / Business Insider

Good morning! While you slept, work continued elsewhere in the digital scene.

The top topics:

At the US electric car manufacturer Tesla there seems to have been a glitch on the subject of data protection: insiders have passed 100 gigabytes of data to the “Handelsblatt”, which is said to come from Tesla’s IT system. These Tesla files, as the German newspaper calls them, also give the impression that the car manufacturer has greater technical problems than previously thought.

A total of 23,000 files were submitted to the medium, indicating that data from customers, employees and business projects is inadequately protected. Among the files are Excel spreadsheets that appear to list the salaries and home addresses of over 100,000 current and former employees. Even more explosive, however, is a report describing problems with the Cybertruck, as well as documents documenting accidents involving the autopilot. These allow the assumption that the system is far from mature and that the safety of the driver is at risk. The newspaper notified Tesla of the data leak and subsequently received a letter from its in-house counsel, who said the whistleblower was a “disgruntled former employee.” Tesla would like the “Handelsblatt” to send the company a copy of the data and delete its own copies immediately. But the journalists would like to have 65 questions answered about the Tesla files, especially those that deal with the safety of Tesla’s customers. However, Tesla has not yet responded to this, according to the “Handelsblatt”. [Mehr bei Handelsblatt und Handelsblatt]

On Founder Scene: Over Let’s go! Students can plan parties and get to know others. Jan Hecker developed the app while he was a student himself. Now his startup has been Yodel accepted. How does it go from here? Is there a big relaunch of the former hype app? Our editor Maybrit Martschin has the answers for you. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]

And here are the other headlines of the night:

Nvidia could snag a spot in Wall Street’s most elite club practically overnight after its stock’s massive surge this week: According to Factset, the chipmaker catapulted its market value to just under $1 trillion by the end of the week. At the close of trading on Wednesday, the Californian company was still worth $755 billion. Nvidia would be the fifth publicly traded US company with a current value of one trillion dollars – after Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon. [Mehr bei Wall Street Journal und CNBC]

Neuralink, Elon Musk’s brain implant company, says it has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct human clinical trials. The startup is developing a small device consisting of wires fitted with electrodes that connects the brain to a computer. The approval is a milestone for the company, which was founded in 2016. [Mehr bei Bloomberg und Reuters]

Ford has with the competitor Tesla reached an agreement to allow customers of its electric vehicles to access the Tesla Supercharger network. The Ford F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit vehicles can be powered with an adapter on 12,000 Superchargers across North America starting next year. The partnership makes Ford the first major automaker to adopt the so-called North American Charging Standard from its competitor Tesla. [Mehr bei Techcrunch und Bloomberg]

Layoffs: JPMorgan plans according to information from the agency Bloomberg mass layoffs after the takeover of the California-based First Republic Bank. Around 1,000 jobs are to be cut at the bank, which is popular with startups and in the tech scene. The job cuts affect about 15 percent of the 7,000 employees. [Mehr bei Bloomberg]

Ali Baba According to its own statements, plans to hire 15,000 employees this year. The Chinese e-commerce retailer has denied reports of layoffs. A statement published on Weibo on Thursday said that the “big six business units need to hire a total of 15,000 new employees.” The company announced that it would hire 3,000 college graduates. [Mehr bei South China Morning Post und Bloomberg]

Our reading tip on Gründerszene: Layoffs at the delivery service startup des Considerable-Makers Circus Kitchens: The startup laid off a total of 35 employees on Monday. The reasons for this vary. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]

Don’t want to miss anything? Then subscribe to our Gründerszene newsletter! It appears every morning at 8:30 a.m. and brings you all the important news straight to your inbox.

Happy Friday!

Your Gründerszene editors

Source: https://www.businessinsider.de/gruenderszene/business/tesla-files-datenleck-handelsblatt-bericht/

In 2 hours to New York?


A new hypersonic aircraft could soon cover great distances at high speeds. For example, in less than two hours to New York – and with relatively climate-neutral hydrogen.

People have always been drawn to far away places. Nowadays, there are a number of planes overhead, day and night, bringing vacationers and business travelers to their destinations comparatively quickly and easily. But be honest: Who would want to sit in economy class for 20 hours and then spend seven to 14 days in Australia?

Some may still remember the Concorde airplane. The jet was traveling at insane speeds, connecting New York and London in less than three hours. But the aircraft was hardly worthwhile economically.

The loss of one machine then sealed the end of the jet. But such an era of transport could soon begin again. At least when it comes to a Swiss start-up.

Hypersonic aircraft can reach speeds of up to 6,000 kilometers per hour

Specifically, it is about the company Destinus. This develops the prototype “Eiger”, which should significantly reduce travel times by plane. The hypersonic aircraft reaches a speed of 6,000 kilometers per hour and flies at supersonic speeds.

The sustainability aspect is also interesting. The plane flies with liquid hydrogen and only emits heat and water vapor as a result. The fast flight is also relatively climate-neutral. In order for the jet to reach distant destinations quickly, it travels at an altitude of 50 kilometers.

From Frankfurt to Sydney in 4 hours and 15 minutes

Because the Eiger flies at the edge of our atmosphere, travel times are also reduced due to the lower air resistance. It takes about four hours from Frankfurt to Sydney. A flight to Tokyo takes around three hours. The jet manages the historic route from London to New York in 90 minutes.

So far, the company has been financed with money from investors. At the same time, the Spanish government recently contributed around twelve million euros. So the potential of the technology seems to be there.

In a first version, the jet may carry 25 passengers as early as this decade, and the capacity is then expected to increase to 100. The plane tickets, on the other hand, should not be cheap. Hydrogen is still significantly more expensive than kerosene.

Also interesting:

Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2023/04/18/hyperschall-flugzeug/

Apple launches money market account in the US


The subject of interest rates is currently on everyone’s lips. Because: The European Central Bank (ECB) has initiated the turnaround in interest rates. In Europe, therefore, many banks lure with lucrative returns. Now Apple has caused a bang in the USA. Because the iPhone group promises 4.1 percent interest on its money market account.

Apple promises 4.1 percent interest on savings accounts in the US

Apple has presented a digital savings account. The promise: 4.15 percent interest per year for Apple Card users in the US. According to an official statement, this corresponds to an “interest rate that is more than ten times the national average”.

The savings account can therefore be set up in Apple’s wallet app. There are no fees, nor is there a minimum deposit. Meanwhile, Apple Card users can access their money at any time. According to the company, the account can be filled in two ways.

Apple on the hunt for customers

On the one hand, there is the possibility that all bonuses from Apple’s “Daily Cash” rewards program will end up there. These are based on all purchases made with the Apple Card and average between one and three percent of the purchase value. There is also the option of transferring money to the account.

The maximum limit is currently 250,000 US dollars. The savings account is also based on a cooperation between Apple and the investment company Goldman Sachs. The hurdles seem extremely low. Because if you want to benefit from the 4.15 percent interest rate at Apple, you only have to be 18 years old and have an Apple Card.

Interest: Will the Apple savings account also come to Germany?

The catch: Apple’s savings account is initially only available to customers in the United States. Does the iPhone group also want to offer a call money account with 4.15 percent interest in other countries? There is no official information on this yet. The interest program from Apple can also only be used with all iPhones from version iOS 16.4.

Meanwhile, the high yields could mean that some US banks will accelerate their cash outflows. Especially since there were previously only money market funds as a lucrative alternative in the USA. The US dollar and US government bond yields are currently experiencing a veritable price rally.

Also interesting:

Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2023/04/19/41-prozent-zinsen-apple-tagesgeldkonto-usa/

Twitter glitch ruins Ron DeSantis’ US election campaign


It was supposed to be a pivotal moment, but turned into an embarrassing event. Also: AI gives Nvidia rosy prospects and OpenAI sets up its own fund.

With the event, Twitter boss Elon Musk supported the presidential candidacy of controversial Republican and Trump rival Ron DeSantis (pictured in the background).
CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images

Good morning! While you slept, work continued elsewhere in the digital scene.

The top topics:

Technical glitches Twitter turned the start of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign into a rather embarrassing event on Wednesday. What was intended to be the defining moment for the Republican began 20 minutes later than planned. In a first attempt with more than 500,000 listeners, it was not possible to transmit the sound for more than a few seconds at a time.

DeSantis, who appeared in a live conference (“Spaces”) with Twitter CEO Elon Musk and venture capitalist David Sacks, needed Sacks’ help to eventually relaunch the Space with a smaller audience via his own Twitter feed. At times, the conversation felt more like a Twitter Spaces endorsement than a presidential bid, with DeSantis, Musk and Sacks praising DeSantis’ ability to speak directly to audiences through the platform. [Mehr bei Bloomberg, Techcrunch und The Information]

On Founder Scene: Build an app without programming knowledge? With the startup program Smapone from Hanover this should work: It should take just 30 minutes to complete an app. The founders Sven Zuschlag and Thomas Schwarz run the company in Hanover together with around 130 employees. We have the pitch deck for you, with which they already convinced football legend Thomas Müller. [Mehr bei Gründerszene+]

And here are the other headlines of the night:

Nvidia has clearly exceeded the expectations of the analysts: In the current quarter, the chip group wants to achieve around eleven billion US dollars in revenue. The experts had just expected 7.2 billion. In the past quarter, sales slipped by 13 percent to 7.19 billion dollars, but with 2.04 billion the Californian company was able to post a significantly higher profit than in the previous year. According to Nvidia, technology for data centers and applications with artificial intelligence (AI) was particularly in demand. The stock rose more than 25 percent after the announcement. [Mehr bei Handelsblatt und CNBC]

OpenAI has closed a $175.3 million fund to invest in other startups, according to a securities filing. The fund, managed by CEO Sam Altman and COO Brad Lightcap, has raised funds from 14 investors, according to the filings. While OpenAI is a startup itself, the firm also invests in more than a dozen early-stage companies and often offers special incentives to companies that use its language models. [Mehr bei The Information]

Snowflake has reported its slowest annual revenue growth since its IPO in 2020 and cut its fiscal year revenue guidance by just over $100 million. The database provider’s revenue for the three months ended April 30 increased 48 percent compared to the same quarter last year to $623.6 million, compared to growth of 53 percent in the prior quarter. Snowflake also announced the acquisition of Neva known, a search engine startup founded by former Google– Executives was established. [Mehr bei CNBC und Bloomberg]

Meta has laid off employees in ad sales, partnerships and communications, ending the third stage of cuts announced in March. The social media giant wants to cut costs, but media reports in the US have already reported that the cuts have led to a drop in morale and productivity. [Mehr bei Techcrunch und The Information]

Investment: Figure, a Californian startup that aims to build general-purpose humanoid robots, has raised $70 million from investors in its first round of funding. The funds will be used to accelerate the development and manufacture of the first autonomous humanoid, which is expected to be launched in the coming months. The value of the year-old company was not disclosed, but a source close to the company put the value at over $400 million. [Mehr bei Reuters]

Our reading tip on Gründerszene: Most recently, the Berlin Schnell-lieferdienst succeeded Considerable not to close a new financing. An emergency sale seemed more and more likely. But the startup has now been able to avert this: several investors – including the supermarket chain rewe – have provided further growth capital of 150 million euros. However, the Flink founders pay a high price for this. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]

Don’t want to miss anything? Then subscribe to our Gründerszene newsletter! It appears every morning at 8:30 a.m. and brings you all the important news straight to your inbox.

A nice Thursday!

Your Gründerszene editors

Source: https://www.businessinsider.de/gruenderszene/business/twitter-pannen-ruinieren-us-wahlkampfauftakt-ron-desantis/

These are the new o2 tariffs [Anzeige]


o2 customers and anyone who wants to become one may have already noticed. The o2 Free tariffs are gone, the brand new o2 Mobile tariffs have arrived! We’ll explain what stays the same, what changes and how you can benefit from the new o2 Mobile tariffs.

Bye, o2 Free – hello, o2 Mobile!

o2 says goodbye to the o2 Free tariffs; since April 5th, these can be booked under the new name o2 Mobile, whereby you still have the choice between a normal and a boost variant. And that’s not the only thing that stays.

They also remain loyal to the o2 Grow advantage. With this permanently integrated tariff function, you benefit from the fact that your data volume grows by up to 10 GB every 12 months. Only with the Unlimited tariffs does o2 waive the Grow advantage. In addition, you can continue to rely on a flat rate for telephony and SMS, as well as on the previous handling of EU roaming.

o2 Mobile: All tariffs at a glance

For a better overview, we will show you all the new tariffs that are now available to you at o2 below.

o2 Free tariffs: This is new

Much remains the same, but in addition to the name, the content of the tariffs has also changed in some cases – much to your delight. When looking at the new tariff overview, it is noticeable that the basic price in each o2 mobile tariff has been increased by 3 euros. Telefónica boss Markus Haas openly communicated the price adjustment at the beginning of the year. This is now made up for by the new performance.

But this means that you already have a higher data volume available in the o2 Mobile S tariff – instead of 3 GB, 4 GB are now included and thanks to the o2 Grow advantage, another GB is added every year.

In the future, surfing will be standard in the o2 Mobile tariffs in the 5G network with up to 300 megabits per second, where previously a maximum of 225 megabits per second was possible. Non-5G enabled smartphones connect directly at LTE speeds.

By the way, you will continue to save if you combine two o2 Mobile tariffs. You only pay half the price for the second tariff, which makes it worth equipping the entire family with o2 Mobile tariffs.

To the new tariffs of o2

Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2023/04/19/o2-mobile-tarife/

You should take this into account when purchasing and operating


Since the rise in energy prices, balcony power plants are more in demand than ever. Meanwhile, politicians are trying to lower the hurdles for purchase and operation. Still, there are some pitfalls. That’s why we reveal how you can avoid getting in trouble with your landlord or neighbors.

They are small, comparatively compact and fit on almost any balcony: we are talking about so-called balcony power plants, which have become increasingly popular since energy prices have risen. No wonder, because a few kilowatt hours of energy can be generated independently for comparatively little money. But what do you have to pay attention to with a balcony power plant?

Anyone who thinks that you can simply buy such a solar system in a hardware store or online and get started right away is wrong. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) wants to simplify the process, which is part of the federal government’s photovoltaic strategy. Nevertheless, there are a few things to consider when purchasing and operating.

Balcony power plant: Installation decides on legitimacy

A maximum feed-in limit of 600 watts continues to apply. Plants that exceed this performance generally require a much more complicated approval process. It also depends on where the modules are installed.

If they are simply lying on the balcony, approval from the landlord is not necessarily required. The situation is different for systems that the tenant wants to mount on balcony parapets or on walls. In principle, this is a structural change that requires the consent of the landlord or the owner company.

In addition, courts have made relatively different decisions in the past. If a system impairs the appearance of a building and cannot be easily dismantled, owners can take legal action to have it removed. In inconspicuous cases, on the other hand, there is more to be said for the tenant.

New federal government plans simplify installation

But that should soon change with the plans of the federal government. If everything goes according to plan, tenants should soon be able to install systems with an output of up to 800 watts in order to avoid having to report twice to the Federal Network Agency and the network operator. It should also be possible to run counters backwards until further tests have been completed.

So far, this has only been permitted in exceptional cases. If you operate a balcony power plant, you have to make sure that you use all of the electricity or feed it into your own grid “for free”. If the legal hurdles disappear, the adaptation should increase rapidly.

Balcony power plant: tips for tenants and apartment owners

Like the consumer law firm Rightmart citing a study by HTW Berlin, around 128,000 balcony power plants were installed nationwide in 2020 and 2021.

However, since the legal situation for the operation of such systems is still vague, the law firm has drawn up a checklist with eight points to safely operate a balcony power plant.

  • Feed-in limitation of maximal 600 Watt
  • rental contract check for permission and requirements
  • Renter: Written permission obtain from the landlord
  • Registration at the Federal Network Agency and at the distribution network operator
  • power socket available?
  • comply with building regulations (crash, fire protection)
  • Apartment owners: Written consent of the community of owners
  • glare on Neighbors take into account

Also interesting:

Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2023/04/19/balkonkraftwerk-tipps/

Artificial intelligence: is the German startup scene left behind?


Audeering founder and CEO Dagmar Schuller is one of the German AI pioneers. In an interview, she reveals how the Knight Rider series motivated her to found the company – and appeals to the VC scene.

Dagmar Schuller co-founded the AI ​​startup Audeering back in 2012.

Dagmar Schuller is probably what you would call a pioneer: In 2012, she founded the AI ​​startup Audeering together with Florian Eyben, Björn Schuller, Martin Wöllmer and Felix Weninger – long before artificial intelligence conquered the world. The company has developed a technology that recognizes more than 50 emotions by analyzing the voice and is intended to help prevent certain diseases, for example. A lot has happened in the German AI landscape since Audeering was founded, says Dagmar Schuller in an interview with Gründerszene. But from their point of view, there is still a lot of catching up to do on one point in particular.

You dealt with automation and artificial intelligence early on. When did you realize how much potential there is in technology?

The subject has fascinated me since I was a teenager. I learned to program early and worked in IT risk management in my first job in the 1990s. Even then you could see the tendency that digitization would increase more and more. During that time, I also got a scholarship to New York University. At that time, much more had happened in this area in the USA than in Germany. At that point at the latest, it was clear to me: This is not just a short-term trend, but will prevail in the long term. And it is the same with artificial intelligence: we are experiencing a new industrial revolution.

Why is it that the USA is apparently always one step ahead of us when it comes to AI?

It’s a matter of mindset. In the US, people are more explorative and allow themselves to make mistakes. There’s a very risk-taking approach there: you like to be the first and the biggest to do something. In this country, people act rather risk-averse, one tends to ask: Has anyone done this before? What could go wrong? If you come up with something really new and disruptive, people tend to look at it with skepticism.

read too

6 German AI startups beyond ChatGPT that you should know

How can we change that?

The linchpin is to provide citizens with well-prepared and understandable information. If I can’t teach someone what the benefits of a technology are, it won’t catch on. We also need a more open approach. If I block everything out of fear of making mistakes, it will eventually overwhelm me because other parts of the world are far more advanced. We need to reduce our dependencies on the globalized system and regain more control.

Especially with regard to China?

Also, but not only. The USA, for example, is a strong driver in the area of ​​foundation models, which are currently developing great relevance. We have to focus more on our own strengths, such as optimizing processes, and at the same time have more confidence in the application and use of new technologies so that we can have a say in such important developments.

As a founder, can you still get past artificial intelligence?

No I do not think so. Sooner or later there will be points of contact with AI in all industries. Some are direct, some are indirect. Some are more intense, some you don’t even notice because it has become quite normal in the meantime. Even in classic sectors such as handicrafts, processes are increasingly being controlled and optimized by AI.

When you and your co-founders founded Audeering, the topic of AI was far from mainstream. How did the idea for the startup come about?

One of the inspirations was the Knight Rider series. The main character was always a bit colorless in relation to the cool car with great features. A car that you could communicate with, that understood how the driver was doing and thought along with you. That was a trigger that made us think: What if such a technology really existed?

read too

Top investor: “Ask yourself what AI means for the future of your startup”

How difficult was it initially to convince others of the project?

Incredibly difficult. When you start in Germany with an idea that doesn’t exist anywhere else, many people want to wait and see. In addition, when we started intelligent speech analysis in 2012, the problem of speech recognition, which was obvious to many people, had not yet been solved. But that happened very quickly, and from then on more interested people approached us, because speech analysis is a logical extension of speech recognition – you don’t just want to understand what someone is saying, you also want to understand the sincerity and message between the lines, um to make a better decision. In the meantime, the topic of emotion recognition in language has become a major and sustainable trend.

In which areas can language analysis be used?

There is particularly great potential in wellbeing and healthcare. Voice biomarkers can be used to recognize certain characteristics that can be helpful, for example, in prevention and for better self-awareness and well-being. Even if you already have a diagnosis, such a monitoring tool can accompany the therapy very efficiently and individually. A second example is smart devices that automatically adjust to the user’s state of mind through speech analysis and can thus ensure greater safety or better comfort in the car, for example. All in all, our type of speech analysis gives you a tool that creates added value for the user and thus leads to better customer satisfaction and higher performance for companies.

You never raised venture capital with Audeering – was that a conscious decision?

It was important for us to prove that our technology works. This is only possible if you can show a corresponding product. That’s why we partnered with Jabra (Danish manufacturer of audio equipment, editor’s note) We were looking for a suitable strategic partner who, unlike classic venture capital, also uses our product as a customer for their headphones, among other things, or as a software-only product in the call center. Incidentally, this is one of our greatest advantages over other providers: We not only work on a project basis, but have developed a standardized, validated and scalable product with reliable and robust detection performance, fully compliant with data protection, from an ethical point of view – and already in practical use around the world.

It has now been more than ten years since you were founded. Where do German startups stand today in relation to AI?

Despite all the adversities caused by regulatory projects and the like, the German AI landscape is one of the most committed startup cultures imaginable. Anyone who makes it here under these conditions is really prepared for anything. Unfortunately, there are still too few lighthouses. I see a lot of creative ideas and creative minds, a lot of good concepts. I would wish that this power would also be supported financially by a vital venture capital market, which will hopefully be less risk-averse in the coming years than it is at the moment.

read too

10 startup ideas that ChatGPT thinks are “new and innovative”.

Source: https://www.businessinsider.de/gruenderszene/technologie/kunstliche-intelligenz-ist-die-deutsche-startup-szene-abgehangt/