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The Startup That’s Harder To Get Into Than Harvard

Meet Blinkist, a Berlin-based, award-winning startup that improves millions of people’s lives on a daily basis.
by Tom Farrar | Jan 16 2020

In 2018, thousands of people applied for a job at Blinkist. 1,600 candidates were interviewed, of which 73 were hired. Blinkist’s acceptance rate was 4.6%, and Harvard’s acceptance rate—5.2%.

It’s common knowledge—Harvard is tough to get into. Once there, expect to be surrounded by the smartest people—with the biggest and brightest ideas. Having Harvard on a CV opens up a lot of doors—and it’s the same with Blinkist. A company rapidly on the rise, being built by some of the world’s smartest people.

The Blinkist app gathers the key insights from over 3,000—and counting—of the world’s best nonfiction books into snappy 15-minute reads and listens. After successfully securing $35 million in funding, quickly acquiring over 13 million users, and recently becoming the startup with the highest level of employee satisfaction in Germany—Blinkist is firmly one of Europe’s most exciting companies.

“Blinkist encourages you to read more nonfiction books. The app contains cleverly written digests—called Blinks—where books are broken down into their main arguments.”
–The New York Times

Founders Holger Seim, Niklas Jansen, and Tobi Balling. Sebastian Klein not pictured

Here’s why some of the Europe’s sharpest minds are keen to land a job at Blinkist.

1. One Of The Best Apps In The World

“Blinkist is one of the world’s best apps.”
– Apple

Blinkist has won numerous major awards from Apple, Google, and the United Nations. Notably, the app was acknowledged for its contribution to Global Education and Learning by the UN.

“With Blinkist you can boost your knowledge and gain new perspectives so that you can be a better professional, a better partner, or a better you.”
– The United Nations

Plus, Blinkist is addressing a problem a lot of us have—we want to read, but have very little time. With Blinkist it’s possible to race through that reading list by squeezing reading into the day in 15-minute bursts, like during a commute, or whilst cooking.

By resolving a reading problem, and benefiting millions of people around the world, Blinkist employees are very proud and passionate to be a part of the team.

2. The Best Startup To Work For In Germany

Some of the smartest minds in tech, marketing, writing and data are building Blinkist. The startup employs around 150 people, from over 50 countries. People have moved countries, even moved to the other side of the world to land their dream job with Blinkist.

“I moved to Berlin after living in New York City for ten years to work at Blinkist. I knew I would be working alongside some amazing people, building a revolutionary product. This, mixed with an exciting new culture and the way of life Berlin offers made the move an easy decision.”
– Carlos Alvarado, Country Manager at Blinkist

People have left Silicon Valley, and the world’s most powerful, influential, and innovative startups (including Google, Soundcloud, and Twitter) to be a part of Blinkist. This makes the Blinkist office a creative hub of extraordinary thinkers, constantly exchanging ideas, and pioneering new ways to learn.

3. One Of The Most Heavily Backed Startups In Europe

The app quickly caught the attention of some big players in the startup world, quickly raising over $35 million to become one of Europe’s most backed startups. VC giants Insight Venture Partners, (who were early investors in Twitter and Tumblr) were particularly impressed with Blinkist, and wanted to support their reading revolution.

“As a concept and an investment opportunity, Blinkist offers something genuinely unique. The company presents an exciting model which is defining and spearheading a whole new category of self-development.

…We only want to work with the brightest and most ambitious teams, and we know that Blinkist and its founders share our vision for making a positive, global impact.”
– Harley Miller, Vice President at Insight Venture Partners.

4. Join A Global Revolution Becoming A Smarter World

The app grew by over 10 million users in just 3 years, making it one of the fastest, most disruptive and exciting startups around. Recognition from The New York Times, Forbes, The Huffington Post and The Guardian, to name a few further emphasizes the excitement surrounding the app.

“As a productivity coach and one of the life long learners, I can’t tell you how happy I was to find Blinkist. If you enjoy nonfiction reading and are short on time, Blinkist will be your new favorite App.”
– Karen Trepte, Huffington Post

However, the most exciting thing about Blinkist is it’s only just getting started. There may be over 3,000 titles on the app, but 40 new ones are added every month, inspiring people to continue learning and constantly widen their horizons.

If you’re someone who’s curious, or wants to push themselves or build a company with similar impact to Blinkist—download the app now and surprise yourself with how much there is to learn.

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