A New Chapter for Readmill and Prenzlauer Berg

By David Knight |

It’s a quiet, airy space; perfect for reading, you could say. But rather than the occasional turning of a page, the prevalent sound in the Prenzlauer Berg loft is a constant tapping of computer keys. This is Readmill’s new office, located in the Kulturbrauerei, and Silicon Allee was given a guided tour by the company’s CEO, Henrik Berggren.

Their move from the Amen HQ on Friedrichstrasse has put them smack bang in the new startup hub slowly taking shape in the neighbourhood to the north – follow the M10 tram line and you’ll go past The Factory before ending up near the mini-startup cluster around Nordbahnhof centred on 6Wunderkinder.

The loft is situated in the southwestern corner of the former brewery complex, and its maze-like attributes appealed to Henrik straight away. He said: “The one thing that I am always on the hunt for is something unique, something that when you step inside, instantly has a certain vibe. A lot of offices we saw looked like your average advertising agency.”

But the Kulturbrauerei was different, and Readmill, a social ebook sharing service, moved in on Tuesday. “It’s a Berlin thing because it’s actually still possible in Berlin to do something different; it’s possible to get something that’s unique, that’s pretty cool, that has a certain feel to it, without paying ridiculous amounts of money.”

Inside the new Readmill office

Readmill is still a small team of nine, with plans to build the team up over the next few months (they’re looking for developers and biz dev people, by the way), and Henrik is also hoping to fill some of the space by renting it to fellow startup – and fellow Passion Capital investment – Loopcam.

The move is the latest in a trend towards Prenzlauer Berg. With the first part of the Factory open for business, and big name clients SoundCloud set to move in soon, it’s rapidly becoming the place to be for startups. Henrik added: “We were actually looking more in Mitte and Kreuzberg, but I think that Prenzlauer Berg still has the right vibe – and the Tweek.tv guys are just next door. The neighbourhood is really good, and it’s easy to get here from different parts of the city. That was key.”

And so after nearly a year of sharing with Amen, Readmill finally has its own space – but Felix and co weren’t going to let them off that easily. In a fantastic ‘secret’ room, which a tongue-in-cheek Henrik described as the “Readmill Dark Room,” there was a surprise waiting on Tuesday.

“They hustled their way in on the day we were going to move, and when I arrived at nine in the morning, we found all these almost life-sized images of (the Amen team) on the wall. It really spooked me when I saw them!”

Readmill will throw an office warming party in the shape of the Friday at Six show on July 27. More info and tickets here.

A nice view out at the old Plazes office