It is not only doctors who speak of a “historic time” in view of the corona pandemic; the economy is also facing challenges of unprecedented dimensions. It will affect the traditional economy as well as digital companies and also the Fintechs. The current situation can lead to massive financial difficulties for many large, small and start-up companies, even in the short term.
The Federal Ministry of Economics under the leadership of Thomas Jarzombek and the state-owned KfW banking group already worked last week together with the Start-up Association on a draft for a “protective shield” for start-ups. The project involves a volume of several billion euros.
„Two thirds of the start-ups fear for their existence because of the measures against Covid-19″, says a quote from Berlin’s Tagesspiegel.
A survey conducted by the Start-up Advisory Board at the Lower Saxony Ministry of Economics revealed that two thirds of start-ups fear for their existence. It is urgent: Aid measures are needed within seven weeks to give companies a greater chance of survival, is further quoted in the Tagesspiegel.
Get active quickly now
“If we don’t take action now, we’ll lose half the tech world,” warns Christian Miele, Chairman of the German Start-Up Association, who already rushed through a 4-step plan last week (PDF) to protect German start-ups in the corona crisis, as “Start-ups are particularly affected by the current situation, as serious liquidity bottlenecks are to be feared in the short term due to loss of sales, the withdrawal of new investors and much more. Fast, efficient, comprehensive and targeted financial support measures are therefore urgently needed,” the association said. “We don’t have much time left,” it continued to press.
The Business Angels Network Germany (BAND) has also developed a proposal with the involvement of its members, which seems to be suitable for Angel financed start-ups and beyond, to cushion the greatest burdens of the crisis for start-ups. Among the key points are the release from liability for convertible loans within the framework of the acquisition grant from INVEST – subsidy for venture capital, as well as loans from the KfW.
Further suggestions in the BAND catalogue of measures refer to: Personnel cost subsidies and deferral of social security contributions, a temporary modification of the insolvency law and a flexible adjustment of the sales tax.
credit platforms see opportunities
Because investors are probably shying away from new and further investments in the coming months, start-ups whose business model specialises in the procurement of loans now see their chance. Their advantage is a quick credit decision. In addition, the Fintechs could also grant smaller loan amounts because the check works more easily – and no one has to come to the branch. “The clear signal is that we are ready,” says the Auxmoney boss in an interview with the industry portal FinanceFWD. A cooperation with the KfW is currently being examined, he added in a report.
The start-up is itself: The team around Jessica Holzbach from Penta (which had secured an investment of 18.5 million euros shortly before the situation became massively worse) directly launched its own website online, where companies and the self-employed can find out about possibilities for financial support.
In its own petition, Holzbach also calls for the process of applying for emergency aid and loans to be made digital, fast and as simple as possible, as this would not be fast enough in the current situation. Under the hashtag #PagePage, the company has drawn up concrete demands and launched a petition, which was signed by hundreds of entrepreneurs within minutes. Among the first signatories were other Fintechs, such as MODIFI and Sum up.
UPDATE 15 May 2020
Wirecard helps the Free State of Bavaria with Corona emergency aid program
The payment service provider Wirecard from Aschheim near Munich supports the Bavarian State Government in disbursing funds from the Corona emergency aid program for companies and freelancers as quickly as possible. Employees* of the Wirecard Communication Center help the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy to digitize large volumes of paper-based applications, thus speeding up the processing time.
UPDATE April 17, 2020
Kontist extends support activities
Many self-employed people throughout Germany are disoriented in view of the large number of different federal assistance programmes, possible security benefits and short-term changes in the criteria for support and do not know which assistance they can claim. Kontist is therefore expanding its activities to support the self-employed who are fighting for their professional existence in the current corona pandemic. Today, the company is launching the “Corona-Hilfe-Beratung”, an individual advisory service that enables self-employed and freelancers to quickly and easily find a suitable subsidy to secure their liquidity under the guidance of experts. Account customers and all other self-employed persons can book one-hour appointments with trained coaches.
Consultation appointments can be arranged via the online calendar Calendly is available to all self-employed persons at a fixed price of 79 euros per consultation hour, whereas Kontis customers pay 39 euros/hour.
PSP-Mollie provides financial support for new online shops
The payment service provider Mollie, based in Amsterdam, is helping affected retailers or restaurateurs who want to set up an online shop now to save their normal business by donating 500 euros per shop to the agencies that are helping to create the respective online shop. The webshop owner will also receive the first online transactions of 5,000 euros, which are processed via the payment platform, free of charge.
UPDATE April 10, 2020
Finleap Connect helps banks make quick credit decisions
In the course of Corona emergency aid, banks are urged to take decisions on loan applications as quickly as possible. Finleap Connect wants to support the banks with the new “Liquidity Manager”: The cloud-based tool enables banks to quickly read and automatically analyse all transactions and turnovers of the bank’s own account and/or third-party bank accounts in order to determine liquidity needs. The “Liquidity Manager” can also be used for subsequent liquidity checks.
UPDATE April 8, 2020
Music lessons in quarantine? How affordable video rental equipment enables virtual classrooms.
drum lessons in quarantine with the smartphone in hand is maximally difficult, after all he has to play somehow, thought Philip Krug, when his lessons no longer personal could take place. So the solution via laptop appeared due to the insufficient hardware not functional – but good hardware is unfortunately not always very expensive. The first thought was, somehow, I don’t know. practicable. The second thought was, that many other people are currently (and after the crisis probably also nor) have similar needs.
His thoughts on the one hand and good contacts on the other hand brought him to the idea of offering a rental model for all those who cannot attend their lessons or therapy sessions due to the acute danger of Covid-19 infection: via www.de-live.de you rent a video camera with microphone and speakers for at least one week. After a simple setup, everyone can now show, see and hear the music lessons, the yoga class, the pastoral care or club meeting and also the exchange in old people’s homes and nursing homes – for just 20 € for students or 50 € for teachers (as a “fair-use-model”) per week.
Whether only Philip can resume his drum lessons this way or whether there are many other interested users, the website www.de-live.de straight out and collects pre-orders, supporters and feedback for improvement.
Philip says: “Of course we are happy for everyone who is happy with facetime on their mobile phone. All others we try to help with our rental approach”.
Better done, than perfect.
Support measures of the federal states
The Competence Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries has published an overview “Support measures of the federal states for the corona pandemic”. In addition to the already known grants and loans, additional regional instruments for the creative industries are presented.
UPDATE April 2, 2020
Startups receive help from the federal government in the Corona crisis, but also the federal states have set up their own support programs. But for founders it is not always easy to keep the overview: What are the special features of the own federal state? Which KfW loans are available for start-ups suitable? What is the point of the guarantees provided by the Länder? And who is entitled to a grant from the Corona Emergency Aid Programme? Answers to these questions are provided by the digital association Bitkom with its Overview “Startup Country: Corona Aids”. “Politicians, after a brief hesitation, have taken decisive action especially to support start-ups in this crisis. Now it must the aim is to make these aids known to the founders”, said Bitkom President Achim Berg. “The start-up aid is a Investment in the future. With them, not only a multitude existing jobs are secured, but only with the help of innovative start-ups, we will be able to make digitalisation the end of the lockdown quickly and decisively.”
The Bitkom overview “Startup Country: Corona Aids”RSVP first an overview of federal aid programmes such as the Corona emergency aid, KfW loans and the Economic Stabilisation Fund and explains who is entitled to this support and how it can be is requested. There are also notes on tax law aid measures such as reduction of tax advances or deferral of Tax liabilities.
In addition, there is a separate overview for each federal state, which aid measures have been passed by the state parliaments, which start-ups can take advantage of them and where applications have to be made. For further questions there is a contact point in each state with contact details.
The overview “Startup Country: Corona Help” is available online atwww.getstarted.de/startup-land-corona-hilfe
Anybill – Stick together in hard times
Due to the current crisis situation, anybill has launched an initiative in recent days to provide special support to local retailers, restaurants and cafés during this period.
With their initiative #wesupportlocals, anybill would like to support companies that are currently unable to operate their business, restaurant or café due to the current situation. But these companies are exactly those who make our cities so liveable and lovable. In order to preserve these favourite places, it is necessary that the companies have financial means – especially in the current situation.
On their portal #wesupportlocals (www.wesupportlocals.com) the companies can register and thus offer their customers vouchers. The entire voucher amount is paid out directly to the companies and the vouchers can be redeemed after the crisis period.
Register a company:
Buy a gift certificate:
UPDATE 27 March 2020
Especially the small pubs and the nice little shops, which everyone likes to keep in the neighbourhood, will be hit especially hard by the Corona crisis. More than anyone else, they are dependent on daily customers. Berlin’s OptioPay now wants to help together with sponsors and has created the new voucher platform HilfeLokal.de From now on, customers can support their favourite shops in the immediate vicinity by paying for vouchers and HilfeLokal.de will forward the sales directly to them. The voucher can be redeemed immediately upon reopening. If the customer wants to donate the voucher in solidarity, the voucher can also simply be let expire;
UPDATE 24 March 2020
So the Berlin Fintech Contact participates in a wide range of activities that have emerged in the industry in recent days. It called for a voluntary hackathon against the Corona crisis. Within 72 hours, the tax team developed an online tool with which all self-employed people can apply for immediate tax relief. The application, which is linked to the German tax offices and is based on an official template from the Bavarian Ministry of Finance, should enable self-employed people to defer tax payments due for previous years due to the Corona pandemic with just a few clicks – without incurring interest or fees. In addition, the amount of tax prepayments, which are usually due quarterly, can be easily adjusted as required and suspended if necessary.
Yesterday Bitkom published a position paper (PDF, https://www.bitkom.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/ganzheitliches-unterstutzungspaket-fur-startups-in-zeiten-der-coronakrise_get-started-by-bitkom_0.pdf) and calls for a comprehensive package of measures for young growth companies The main aim is to close short-term liquidity gaps, facilitate simplified state co-investments and accelerate the introduction of the Zukunftsfonds. However, short-time work compensation should also be simplified and further subsidies for personnel and fixed costs, such as commercial rents, should be introduced.