A Mysterious Berlin Startup, NumberFour, Just Raised $38 Million to Become ‘Europe’s Answer to Google’


NumberFour, a Berlin-based startup, has just pulled in Europe’s largest funding round in two years, with $38 million,  according to TechCrunch. The company has been called “Europe’s answer to Google and Facebook,” and the murderer’s row of investors are enough to raise some eyebrows: Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, Mike Volpi of Index Ventures, Sun Microsystems co-founder and early Google investor Andy Bechtolsheim, Skype/Facebook/Spotify investor Klaus Hommels, and XING founder Lars Hinrichs.

CEO Marco Boerries is a former head of Yahoo EMEA, and has operated his new company in stealth since setting up shop four years ago. He’s already established a U.S. office — so what exactly does NumberFour do?

Either not enough to talk about or too much to comprehend, apparently — they have only revealed that they plan to make “productivity, communication, sales, production, procurement, delivery, reservation and financial” apps for small businesses. No products releases yet, although investor Hinrichs said that, “NumberFour has the potential to become a leader for small-business software, a multi-billion opportunity.”

Citing the cloak-and-dagger proceedings and enormous hype-funding round, some analysts are already comparing the company to Color, a photo-sharing service which locked in $41 million in 2011, peaked at around 30,000 users/daily, and has since fizzled. Personally? I think Berlin’s a contrarian place to start-up, so I’m kinda excited to see what happens — I don’t like to doubt Europeans.