The Nordics has become a hub in Europe’s wider startup community and is home to fresh innovation and exciting startups. This is possible with forward-thinking and impactful tech developments. Talking of the Nordics, Sweden has a thriving tech startup ecosystem, with a high density of innovative startups and a supportive environment for entrepreneurship.
Some key factors that have contributed to the growth of Sweden’s tech startup ecosystem include strong support from the government, access to a significant amount of capital, a highly educated and skilled workforce, collaborative and supportive culture among startup communities.
Big global companies like Spotify, Klarna, and King were all founded in Sweden and its capital Stockholm produces the second-highest number of billion-dollar tech companies per capita, after Silicon Valley.
Highlighting the significance and success of the Swedish startup ecosystem, Netflix released a six-part miniseries ‘The Playlist’, which centres around the success story of Spotify, the streaming platform that revolutionised music listening. It shows the founder Daniel Ek’s vision, the way he was driven by rejection by Google, and his skills such as urgent problem-solving.
Given that there are many more success stories in Sweden, here is a list of 10 most valuable Swedish tech companies collecting our data from Dealroom.
Founder/s: Torbjörn Ek
Founded year: 1992
Total funding: NA
Hexagon AB is a global technology company that specialises in providing digital solutions to customers across a range of industries, including manufacturing, construction, and geospatial. The company went public in 1995 and its IPO was a success.
The company offers a wide range of products and services such as software solutions that help customers streamline their manufacturing processes and improve quality, software and hardware solutions for surveying, mapping, and geospatial data analysis, construction software that helps contractors manage projects, plan and schedule resources, and improve efficiency, and metrology solutions.
Founder/s: Eduard Ludendorff
Founded year: 1820
Total funding: NA
A commercial bank, Swedbank AB, provides a wide range of banking and financial services to individuals, companies, and institutions. Its offerings include personal and corporate banking services, such as savings accounts, checking accounts, loans, mortgages, and investment services. The bank also provides various corporate and institutional banking services, including cash management, foreign exchange, trade finance, and capital markets.
Swedbank has a strong presence in the Nordic and Baltic regions, with operations in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Founder/s: Daniel Ek, Martin Lorentzon
Founded year: 2006
Total funding: $1.6B
The digital music streaming giant Spotify allows users to stream music, podcasts, and other audio content from a vast library of songs and shows. The service offers both free and premium subscription options, with the premium service providing additional features such as ad-free listening, offline playback, and higher-quality audio. In addition to this, Spotify also offers a range of tools and services for artists and creators, including analytics tools, promotional features, and direct monetization options.
It revolutionised music streaming with its innovative approach and emphasis on personalised recommendations and discovery. The company’s algorithms use machine learning to analyse user behaviour and preferences, allowing it to deliver highly customised recommendations to each user. With podcasts and live audio, Spotify is now the global leader in music streaming.
CEO: Thomas Ingenlath
Founded year: 2017
Total funding: $750M
An automotive brand Polestar is a joint venture between Volvo Car Group and Chinese owner Zhejiang Geely Holding. It focuses on producing high-performance electric vehicles that combine cutting-edge technology, design, and sustainability.
Polestar’s first model, the Polestar 1, is a hybrid grand tourer that was launched in 2019. The company’s second model, the Polestar 2, is a fully electric fastback that was released in 2020. The Polestar 2 features a range of advanced technologies, including an Android-based infotainment system and a vegan interior.
In November last year, the electric-vehicle maker backed by Volvo Car Group and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, secured $1.6 billion in financial and liquidity support from its two major shareholders.
Founder/s: Peter Carlsson, Paolo Cerruti
Founded year: 2016
Total funding: $5.5B
Tesla gigafactory’s rival from Sweden, Northvolt is on a mission to develop the world’s greenest battery cell and establish a European supply of batteries to enable the future of energy. Founded with the mission to build Europe’s largest battery factory. The company specialises in producing high-quality, sustainable lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles (EVs), energy storage systems, and other applications.
Northvolt’s manufacturing process emphasises sustainability, and the company aims to create a closed-loop battery recycling system that minimises waste and reduces the environmental impact of battery production. The company is also involved in research and development related to battery technology.
With customers such as BMW and Volkswagen, Northvolt has signed a $1.1 billion convertible note from AMF, AP funds 1-4, ATP, Ava Investors, Baillie Gifford, Compagnia di San Paolo through Fondaco Growth, and others.
Founder/s: Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Niklas Adalberth
Founded year: 2005
Total funding: $4.2B
The “buy now, pay later” giant from Sweden offers a variety of payment and financing services to consumers and retailers. Its BNPL service lets customers purchase goods and pay for them later in installments while it also offers other services such as direct payments, pay after delivery, and financing options.
Klarna also provides a range of tools and services to merchants, including marketing and customer insights, fraud prevention, and invoicing services. Its approach to payments and financing emphasizes simplicity and transparency, and the company is known for its user-friendly mobile app and website.
Founder/s: Lars Leksell, Laurent Leksell
Founded year: 1972
Total funding: NA
The medical technology company, Elekta AB specialises in developing and manufacturing equipment and software solutions for radiation therapy, radiosurgery, and brachytherapy. Its products and services are used in the treatment of cancer and other medical conditions. Its technology is designed to deliver precise and targeted doses of radiation to tumours while minimising damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Elekta’s offerings include linear accelerators, treatment planning systems, and patient positioning systems, among others. It has a global presence and operates in over 100 countries worldwide. In 2020, Elekta acquired ProKnow Systems, a cloud-based software company focused on radiation therapy planning and data analysis.
Founder/s: Andreas Bernström
Founded year: 2008
Total funding: NA
Sinch is a cloud communications company that provides a range of services that enable businesses to communicate with customers via a variety of channels, including SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and more. The company’s technology is designed to provide a seamless and secure experience for both businesses and customers, and Sinch offers a range of tools and features to help businesses manage their communications effectively.
In addition to this, Sinch also provides mobile identity verification solutions that enable businesses to verify the identity of their customers securely. The company’s verification services include two-factor authentication, number verification, and more. Sinch has acquired several companies in recent years, including SAP Digital Interconnect and Wavy.
Founder/s: Fredrik Jung Abbou, Joachim Hedenius, Johannes Schildt, Josefin Landgård
Founded year: 2015
Total funding: $721M
The digital healthcare unicorn Kry provides online medical consultations and other digital healthcare services. Its services are designed to enable patients to receive medical consultations and other healthcare services from the comfort of their own homes, via a mobile app or website. Patients can connect with licensed healthcare professionals, and receive medical advice, prescriptions, and referrals for further treatment.
In addition to its core telehealth services, Kry has also expanded into other areas of digital healthcare, including mental health services and home monitoring solutions for chronic conditions. Furthermore, it has entered into partnerships with several major healthcare organizations and insurance providers.
Last year, the healthtech unicorn received over $160 million in a new funding round. The investment came from existing backers including Teachers’ Venture Growth, Index Ventures, Accel, Creandum and others.
Tink (acquired by Visa)
Founder/s: Daniel Kjellen, Fredrik Hedberg
Founded year: 2012
Total funding: $314M
An open banking platform, Tink provides a range of services to help individuals and businesses manage their finances. It enables users to connect with their bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial accounts from a variety of providers, and view all their financial data in one place. Users can also access a range of financial management tools and services, including budgeting and savings tools, investment tracking, and more.
Tink’s technology is designed to help businesses integrate financial data into their own systems and applications, enabling them to provide more personalised and relevant financial services to their customers. The company’s technology also includes tools for fraud prevention, risk assessment, and compliance with regulatory requirements.
Last year, Visa acquired Tink for €1.8 billion and the combination is expected to enable clients to deliver substantial benefits for consumers to better control their financial experiences, including managing their money, financial data, and financial goals.