Here are all the news that I covered during the past week, in one go.
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Source for cited data from Bolagsverket: Eivora.
Mergers & acquisitions
- SaveLend (Stockholm, p2p lending platform) is taking over the p2p business and the Lendify brand from Denmark-based digital bank Lunar. Lunar moved into the segment in 2021 following the takeover of Sweden's Lendify in an all-stock transaction worth €100M. SaveLend will pay Lunar a performance-based remuneration amounting to 50% of actual revenues during the period 2023-2027 from the active investments taken over (English, Swedish).
- e-Förskrivning (Uppsala, Sweden's largest prescription app) is being acquired by Add Health Media. Financial terms were not disclosed (Swedish, machine translation). The startup (legally named Health Amplify) was founded and bootstrapped by Daniel Wänn, who according to his LinkedIn profile ran it alongside his full time job.
🟨 = <SEK10M 🟧 = SEK10M-100M 🟩 = >SEK100M ⬜️ = unknown range
- Trustly 🟩 (Stockholm, payments platform for digital account-to-account transactions): SEK1B (€90M, $100M) from most of the existing investors, in what the company's CEO Johan Tjärnberg describes as an "extremely offensive" (as in opposite of defensive) round to push forward new initiatives and capitalize on opportunities. The pre-money valuation was around SEK13B, down from SEK39B around one and a half year ago (Swedish / Breakit paywall, Swedish #2, machine translation).
- Verified 🟩 (Stockholm, B2B SaaS provider of AML and KYC solutions): SEK350M (€31M, $34M) from Verdane. It's the first external funding raised by Verified, which was founded in 2012. The company also acquires its Stockholm-based competitor Assently for an undisclosed amount (English, Swedish / Di Digital paywall, Swedish #2).
- X Shore 🟩 (Stockholm, maker of all-electric boats): SEK300M (€27M, $29M) in a funding round led by SEB Investment Management, with participation from existing shareholders and several new undisclosed investors. According to Breakit, the round was raised at a pre-money valuation of SEK700M, down an estimated 60% from a year ago. The funding will be used to continue scaling the in-house production, accelerate US market growth, and reach positive EBITDA during 2024 (English, Swedish / Breakit paywall).
- NA-KD 🟩 (Gothenburg, online fashion retailer): €20M ($22M) in a mix of equity funding and loans. The round was led by existing investor Quadrille, and saw participation from most existing investors, including Northzone, eEquity, Partech and Triple Point. The valuation is not known at this point (Swedish / Di Digital paywall, Swedish #2, machine translation).
- Padel Mates 🟧 (Stockholm, padel community app): SEK24M (€2.1M) in a funding round led by a strategic investor, the Kuwait-based business man Bader Alshayea. He'll help the startup to gain market share in the Middle East (Swedish, machine translation). According to data from Bolagsverket, the round was raised at a pre-money valuation of SEK130.1M, up from SEK59.9M a year ago.
- Pigello 🟧 (Stockholm, SaaS platform for property management): SEK13M (€1.2M, $1.3M) from new investor Green Group and unspecified existing investors (Swedish, machine translation). According to Bolagsverket, the round was raised at a pre-money valuation of SEK120M, up 69% from SEK72.9M post-money a year ago, when the company raised SEK8M. Co-founder and CEO Alexander Olsson confirmed the valuation increase when I asked.
- Indicio 🟧 (Uppsala, SaaS solution for market- and macroeconomic forecasting): SEK11.5M (€1.M, $1.1M) from, among others, Vitec and angel investor Johan Hernmarck (Swedish / Breakit paywall).
- Winning Impact 🟨 (Stockholm, upcoming app for sports community building and financing): SEK7M (€620K, $680K) in pre-seed funding from undisclosed investors, among them some of "Sweden's most outstanding athletes". Co-founder and CEO Sebastian Lundgren tells me that the company just opened a new round to raise up to SEK20M. He says the startup's goal is to move the power from tech giants such as Google and Meta, to individual athletes, associations and clubs. The company cites various well known Swedish athletes such as Malin Baryard, Henrik Larsson and Walter Wallberg as part of its team (as ambassadors or in other roles). Recently, Fredrik Niemelä – one of the brains behind Spotify's product during its formative early years – joined as Chief Strategy Officer (direct).
- Vidde 🟨 (Jörn, developer of an electric snowmobile): SEK5M (€440K, $480K) in a pre-seed round from undisclosed private investors. It's the company's first external funding. The money is being used to complete the development of the prototype and the production-ready design, co-founder Yalda Mirbaz tells me. During Q2 the company plans to raise SEK20M in a new round for the pre-serial production that is expected to begin after the summer, and during which Vidde will produce 5 scooters for initial customers such as SkiSkar and Icehotel (direct).
- Strandbacka Medical 🟨 (Träslövsläge, developer of a medical device to revolutionize the assessment of patients with abdominal pain at emergency departments): SEK4M (€350K, $380K) from existing shareholders. The funding will finance the start of a first clinical trial which is expected to take place in early 2024 (Swedish, machine translation).
- Intended Future 🟨 (Gothenburg, analytics-as-a-service platform for car design & engineering): SEK1.2M (€110K, $120K) from Chalmers Ventures and other undisclosed investors, in the company's first external funding (English).
- Pale Blue Dot co-led a funding round of undisclosed size raised by UK/Scotland-based Ember, provider of a "full stack" electric coach service - reimagining the bus network from scratch (English).
- The Inner Foundation invests an undisclosed amount in SPOKE, a UK-based mental wellness mobile app targeting young adults (English).
>> As subscriber, you have access to my exclusive curated Google sheet with all funding rounds.
[This section was only available to subscribers and has been removed when this post was made available for free. The unannounced funding data is still available in this week's daily newsletters ]
News from Swedish startups, the tech sector and VCs
- Dugga, Stockholm-based digital learning assessment platform, launches an AI-powered question generator tool. It enables teachers to "generate a high-quality exam to be used in the classroom or exam hall, within a minute". The company believes the feature is also useful for students when they want to practice on their own (English).
- Lisa&, Stockholm-based provider of Product-as-a-Service financing founded in 2021, signed an agreement with the European Investment Fund (EIF), guaranteeing the startup that the EIF will cover 80% of potential losses in a portfolio of SEK278M (€24.5M, $27M) in financing provided by Lisa& to PaaS companies (English).
- Stockholm Techstars Accelerator revealed its new (and final) cohort, comprising 10 startups – two from Sweden: Emigreat and Qlerify (English).
- Melon, the London-based microlearning startup founded by Swedish entrepreneur Sanna Fouquet, will launch in a few days, starting with an iPhone app. In late 2022, the company raised £1.2M in pre-seed funding from Peak, Inventure, Antler and angels (English).
- Noctie, Umeå-based startup founded in 2021 and developing a "personal AI chess coach with a human touch", launched the first version of its iPhone app (English).
- Profile of Helsingborg-based startup Wineally, founded by Ole Nielsen in 2017. The startup built a database of 706,000 wines, based on which it offers wine + food matching solutions for consumers, restaurants and online wine shops in more than 100 countries (English).
- Long profile of Stockholm-based impact initiative platform Milkywire – which so far has helped to raise SEK250M (€22M, $24M) – and its founder Nina Siemiatkowski (Swedish, machine translation).
- STILRIDE, Swedish manufacturer of personal mobility devices using industrial origami, revealed the final design and price of its first steel e-motorcycle, renamed Stilride 1. It will cost €15K. The units will be individually crafted and made to order at the company’s workshop in Stockholm for delivery in 2024 (English).
- Spotify is shutting down its live-audio app Spotify Live (which it bought as "Locker Room" in March 2021 for $57M), but says it will continue experimenting with live features in its main service (English).
- Sifted profiles Polarium, Stockholm-based maker of smart modular energy storage solutions that is "often described as the twin of Swedish battery manufacturer giant Northvolt" (English). The startup today inaugurated a new technology center, Polarium X, in Stockholm (English).
- Malmö-based Tengai unveiled what it dubs "the world’s first unbiased human-like recruiting avatar". The startup's news screening software "engages candidates, streamlines the screening process, and collects important candidate data" (English).
- MedHelp, 23-year old Stockholm-based publicly listed operator of a corporate health platform, launched an AI-powered solution which the company says can identify at the earliest stage when an employee is headed towards a long-term sick leave, enabling employers to establish early support and interventions (Swedish, machine translation).
- evroc, the ambitious stealth startup from Stockholm building "a hyperscale sustainable cloud to return data sovereignty to Europe", plans to move into a 550 sqm office in Katarinahuset at Slussen in Stockholm, and appears to be on a hiring spree for tech roles, promising "relocation assistance to move top talent to Stockholm including support with finding housing" (English).
- The FT published a piece about AI-designed fragrances, including a brief mention of Stockholm-based personalized perfume startup No Ordinary Scent (English).
- Mullvad, Gothenburg-based VPN provider, released its own privacy-focused browser, developed together with the Tor Project (English).
- Harvest Moon, Stockholm-based developer of regenerative sanitation solutions which recently raised SEK19M, is launching its waterless composting toilets for "pioneering customers" (English).
- Gothenburg-based startup Modvion is going to supply power giant RWE Renewables with wooden wind turbine towers for future onshore wind farms (English).
- Jarno Vanhatapio, Swedish serial entrepreneur most known for founding the e-commerce companies Nelly and NA-KD, is reportedly getting ready to launch a fintech startup, and looking for a CEO (Swedish / Breakit paywall).
- Danish AI nursing companion startup Teton, which just raised $5.3M in seed funding, plans to enter the Swedish market by the end of this year, and hopes to "dominate the Nordic market over the next two years" (English).
- The Swedish FinTech Association published its annual report (English / PDF, Swedish / PDF).
- Creandum has teamed up with Gergely Orosz at The Pragmatic Enginer for an anonymous survey about tech leader salaries. The answers will result in a report and a Salary Calculator (English).
- AGV Invest, Nordic PropTech platform connecting entrepreneurs, investors and stakeholders, raised SEK30M (€2.7M, $2.9M) in fresh funding for proptech investments (English, Swedish).
- Sana, Stockholm-based personalized learning platform, will hold an "AI summit" on May 31 in Stockholm and launched a waitlist (English).
- "Will AI cause the extinction of all life on earth?" – that's the totally unconcerning tagline of a debate named "The Last Supper", which will take place on April 25 17:30/5:30 PM at Epicenter Stockholm, arranged by byFounders in collaboration with STHLM TECH. Admission is free (English).
- Helen Agering joins Stockholm-based early-stage VC firm Spintop Ventures as new partner (English, Swedish).
- Inventure's Rebecka Löthman Rydå on "data opportunities rising in the wake of large language models" (English).
- 📺 TEDx talk by Wilma Emanuelsson, the 19-year old founder of Gothenburg-based eye-to-speech technology startup iTrack Reading, on her journey of starting to learn about cybersecurity at the age of 7, to becoming the CEO and founder of a deeptech startup (English, 16 minutes).
New Swedish tech startups
This week, I've added 8 new Swedish early-stage tech startups to my subscriber-exclusive tracker.
Swedish tech earnings
- Klarna generated a loss of close to SEK1B during Q1 2023, according to an internal document obtained by Breakit. That would be a major improvement from Q1 2022. For Q2, Klarna expects a loss of SEK300M, and for Q3 a small positive EBIT result (Swedish / Breakit paywall).
Other interesting things from the startup/VC world & beyond
- Global funding in the first quarter reached $76B — marking a 53% decline year over year from $162B in Q1 2022 – that’s even including a reported $10B investment into OpenAI and a $6.5B round for Stripe. Every funding stage last quarter was down 44%-54% year over year (English).
- The continued rise of European venture (English).
- Google and Amazon struggle to lay off workers in Europe, due to labor laws. In consequence, voluntary departures and individual settlements are favored (English / Bloomberg paywall, alternative URL).
- Layoffs at big tech companies have walked back only 8% of the pandemic growth (English).
- Strengths and weaknesses for the three categories of key players in generative AI: Big Tech, Generative-Enhanced Scalers, Generative-Native Startups (English).
- In the wake of the generative AI frenzy, the vector database space has piqued the interest of VCs, leading to high valuations for buzzy startups like Chroma, Weaviate, and Pinecone (English / Insider paywall, alternative URL).
- Thanks to LLM, the days of hand-crafted applications might be numbered (English).
- How to be a -10x engineer – strategies for wasting 400 engineering hours per week (English).
- A path to Partner in VC (English).
- Using GPT-4 to automatically create an investment memo based on a startup's PDF pitch deck (English).
- Paris votes overwhelmingly to ban shared e-scooters. Directly affected are Lime, Dott and Tier, which had won contracts previously (English).
Other interesting things related to Sweden
- The research program WASP (Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software) invests SEK200M (€17.6M, $19.1M) in cyber security research projects and recruitment of prominent international researchers (English, Swedish).
- In 2022, CO2 emissions from an average passenger car in Sweden dropped by around 25% compared to 2021, thanks to the rising popularity of EVs (Swedish, machine translation).
- Sweden’s plugin electric vehicles took almost 60% of the auto market in March, up from 55.6% year on year. The Tesla Model Y was the overall best selling vehicle of any kind, taking 10.6% of all passenger auto sales (English).
- Sweden currently has 39 dollar billionaires (Swedish, machine translation).
- Long piece about Sweden’s dysfunctional housing market, and how it has exacerbated social divides (English / Bloomberg paywall, alternative URL).
That's it for this week.