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12 Icelandic startups heating up Reykjavik’s tech scene in 2022

Iceland-startups-2022

The annual festival of Icelandic tech startups, the Iceland Innovation week recently got concluded last week in Reykjavík and TFN attended the thrilling event. It glimpsed some exciting startups showcasing their work, hackathons, symposiums, exhibitions, and talks about sustainable innovation focussing on climate change.

At the conference, Icelandic entrepreneur David Helgason announced the launch of the climate initiative, Transition Labs. It is a climate initiative based in Iceland that partners with the highest impact climate projects from around the world to rapidly deploy their solutions and help them scale fast.

At the same time, Business Iceland also announced the official international opening of Reykjavik Science City. Business Iceland is a public-private partnership established to lead the promotion and marketing of Iceland in foreign markets and stimulate economic growth.

While TFN’s founder and EIC, Akansha Dimri was present at the event, she got the opportunity to meet with some of the most enticing startups from the Nordic island country contributing to the country’s economy, creating jobs and expanding globally. She also attended the Ok, Bye Climate Summit at the Harpa concert hall and the biggest startup hub of Reykjavík, Gróska. Without further ado, take a look at those roaring the tech sector of the country.

Kaiser Global Founder
Image credits: Kaiser Global

Kaiser Global

Founder/s: William Patrowicz
Founded year: 2018
Total funding: NA

Kaiser Global builds infrastructure and research coalitions exploring breakthroughs in space, energy, and the environment. Its coalitions aim to solve frontier challenges that improve the human condition, protect the environment, and capture extraordinary economic potential.

CarbFix Founder
Image credits: CarbFix

CarbFix

Founder/s: Sigurður Gíslason, Eric Oelkers
Founded year: 2007
Total funding: NA

With sustainability goals, CarbFix captures CO2 and turns it into stones underground in less than two years through proprietary technology. The company’s mission is to be a key instrument to tackle the climate crisis and substantially reduce global CO2 emissions.

In April 2021, CarbFix signed a €3.9 million grant agreement with the EU Innovation Fund to support further development of its carbon sequestration method at Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant. The grant amounts to almost half of the total cost of the project, called Silverstone, which aims at near-zero energy production at the power plant.

Lucinity Founder
Image credits: Lucinity

Lucinity

Founder/s: Gudmundur Kristjansson
Founded year: 2018
Total funding: $8.1M

Anti-money laundering startup Lucinity provides AI-enabled & cloud-based AML software for financial institutes. It features solutions for reviewing, investigating, narrating, measuring, detecting money laundering, and more. It uses Human AI to help banks fight financial crime more efficiently and allows banks to increase their AML programs’ productivity. The company identifies suspicious activity through its proprietary behaviour detection system.

In 2020, Karma Ventures and byFounders led a $6.1 million funding round in the Icelandic startup Lucinity. Also, existing investors such as Nordic-based Crowberry Capital and US-based early-stage investor Preceptor Capital participated in the round.

OZ Sports Founder
Image credits: OZ Sports

Oz Sports

Founder/s: Gudjon Mar Gudjonsson
Founded year: 2016
Total funding: NA

The Icelandic sports technology company OZ Sports is a destination for creators and communities to make memories together. People can represent themselves with personalised avatars and live voices in unbelievable experiences. OZ Arena is an augmented reality offering that makes use of AI and Machine Learning to replace empty stands and a lack of atmosphere at matches

Smitten team
Image credits: Smitten

Smitten

Founder/s: Asgeir Vísir, David Simonarson
Founded year: 2018
Total funding: NA

Icelandic dating app Smitten is targeted at Gen Z and others who think online dating should be fun. It feels like you are playing a game on every profile with quirky questions and interactive games such as the user-favourite Guessary game. With instant-conversation starters, this app makes it super easy to get into a fun conversation without the awkwardness of lame opening lines.

In June 2021, the dating app has raised $2.7 million in a seed funding round led by byFounders alongside participation from PROfounders, Brunnur Ventures, Inventures, Tiny.vc and several angel investors.

PayAnalytics Founder
Image credits: PayAnalytics

PayAnalytics

Founder/s: Margrét Bjarnadóttir, David Anderson, David Gaddis Ross.
Founded year: 2017
Total funding: NA

HR tech startup PayAnalytics is a software solution that enables human resources managers and consultants to conduct their own salary reviews, measure gender and other demographic discrepancies in pay, and offer recommendations on how to close pay gaps.

The software is used by companies ranging from 30-to 100,000 employees, in 43 countries across 6 continents. In late 2021, PayAnalytics closed a $3.4 million funding from Eyrir Vöxtur and existing investor NSA Ventures.

Kara Connect founders
Image credits: Kara Connect

Kara Connect

Founder/s: Hilmar Eidsson, Thorbjorg Helga Vigfusdottir
Founded year: 2014
Total funding: $8M

Another Reykjavík startup is Kara Connect, a telehealth office platform that links therapists, healthcare specialists, and educators with patients in a seamless and secure way. It is at the forefront of mental health accessibility. It offers a simple and secure GDPR-compliant online consultation and in-practice management platform for professionals in the health and welfare sector.

Recently, Kara Connect picked up $6.3 million from the Iðunn Enterprise Fund managed by Icelandic Kvika Asset Management. The funding is intended to support the growth of Kara Connect in Europe.

Sidekick Founders
Image credits: Sidekick

Sidekick Health

Founder/s: Saemundur Oddsson, Tryggvi Thorgeirsson
Founded year: 2014
Total funding: $88.6M

Iceland-based international digital therapeutics innovator, Sidekick Health works with the mission to improve the health of humanity. Integrated digital therapeutics solution to improve the outcomes of patients with Atopic Dermatitis (AD), which is an inflammatory, pruritic, chronic, or chronically relapsing skin disease that affects up to 14% of adults worldwide.

In March, Sidekick Health picked up $55 million in Series B funding led by London-based VC Novator Ventures beside Wellington Partners, Asabys Partners and Frumtak Ventures and a US-based strategic investor.

Alvotech Founder
Image credits: Alvotech

Alvotech

Founder/s: Róbert Wessman
Founded year: 2013
Total funding: $321M

Biotech startup Alvotech is on a mission to improve patient lives and the sustainability of the global healthcare ecosystem by broadening the availability and accessibility of biosimilars. It is focused solely on the development and manufacture of biosimilar medicines for patients worldwide. Its current pipeline contains seven biosimilar candidates aimed at treating autoimmune disorders, eye disorders, osteoporosis, and cancer.

Hopp founders
Image credits: Hopp

Hopp

Founder/s: Ragnar Þór Valgeirsson, Ægir Þorsteinsson
Founded year: 2019
Total funding: $2.8M

A Reykjavík startup from Hopp is a micro-mobility SaaS solution and e-scooter sharing franchise for local entrepreneurs. The company claims to provide a sustainable transportation solution for the modern city enabling riders to travel without leaving a carbon footprint and aims to leave behind a cleaner planet, one ride at a time.

Late last year, Hopp nabbed $2.8 million in funding from Brunner Ventures to drive the international growth of its franchise strategy.

Mussila founders
Image credits: Mussila

Mussila

Founder/s: Hilmar Thor Birgisson, Margret Juliana Sigurdardottir
Founded year: 2015
Total funding: $2M

An innovative edtech startup Mussila operates with the goal to create digital solutions with the aim of improving the learning process and the overall quality of education available to young people worldwide, to better equip them for the future. It streams a series of music apps for kids that teach the basics of music through fun and creative play.

GreenBytes Founders
Image credits: GreenBytes

GreenBytes

Founder/s: Jillian Verbeurgt, Renata Barajas
Founded year: 2020
Total funding: NA

GreenBytes, which is also based in Reykjavík conserves the environment and meets Iceland’s personal goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040. It tackles the issue of food waste, which should be addressed. GreenBytes aims to reduce food waste while increasing the profit margin for restaurants. The green-tech startup uses AI to combat food waste and help restaurants live a less chaotic life. The female-led company is taking on restaurant food waste by combining cutting-edge technology with creativity, communication and out-of-the-box thinking.

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