Swedish Tech Weekly #241

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This newsletter was sent on Jan 22, 2024, to subscribers of Swedish Tech Weekly. To receive future editions, you can sign up for free on swedishtechweekly.com.

Welcome to the latest from Sweden's startup & tech sector.

I'm Martin Weigert. Swedish Tech Weekly brings you a selection of some of the news I covered in my PRO newsletters last week.

Today's email is being sent to 2213 subscribers (+11). Last week's newsletter had an open rate of 66.1%, a new record.

Mergers & acquisitions

• Baemingo (Stockholm, digital payments and order solutions for restaurants and retailers) acquires the Swedish industry peer Autocall, which according to its website has been active in this sector since the 1970s (Swedish, machine translation).

• Taggr (Stockholm, provider of asset intelligence services) acquires two Swedish companies active in the same space, Trakk and Trackntrace (English).

• Effektify (Halmstad, SaaS solution for managing business growth) acquires the subscription-based marketing agency We Brand You Play (Swedish, machine translation).

Funding news

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• Northvolt (Stockholm, battery producer): $5B in debt funding from a group of 23 commercial banks, as well as the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB). The deal "represents the largest green loan raised in Europe to date" (English).

• Aira (Stockholm, D2C heat pump subscription service): €60M ($66M) in a Series B extension led by Altor, Kinnevik and Temasek, bringing the total Series B funding to €145M (English).

• TrusTrace (Stockholm, SaaS solution for supply chain transparency and product traceability): $24M in a growth round led by new investor Circularity Capital, with participation from existing investors Industrifonden and Fairpoint Capital (English).

• FerroSilva (Stockholm, developer of a new process for the production of fossil-free sponge iron): SEK33.9M (€3M, $3.3M) grant through the program "Industriklivet" (Swedish, machine translation).

• Vionlabs (Stockholm, AI-driven technology that intuitively extracts meaningful and emotionally resonant metadata from videos): SEK20M (€1.8M, $1.9M) from existing investors, led by Zenith VC (Swedish / Breakit paywall).

• Ribbn (Stockholm & Albuquerque / U.S., AI-powered commerce platform for resale merchants): $800K in pre-seed funding led by San Francisco-based Switch Ventures, with participation from "strategic angels in Sweden and the U.S" (English). ➡️ I covered that this round was upcoming on Dec. 5 in my PRO subscription.

• Enqlare (Stockholm, digital solutions for the maritime industry): $500K in a funding round led by Motion Ventures (English).

• Joy (Malmö, AI-powered solutions for solo healthcare entrepreneurs): SEK3M (€270K, $290K) from undisclosed investors, in a first closing of a first funding round targeting SEK10M in total. The company was founded by the serial entrepreneur and tech exec Charlotta Tönsgård (Swedish / Rapidus paywall). ➡️ I covered the company first on Oct. 4 for PRO subscribers.

• Konvoj (Stockholm, scheduling solution for healthcare and social care): SEK2M (€180K, $190K) grant from Vinnova, to built an AI-driven scheduling optimization platform (English).

• Logcast (Stockholm, social network for audio creators and their fans): undisclosed amount from Shibuya Startups KK. This funding comes in the wake of Logcast's launch of the Japan-centric app Oshi (English).

• Raymond, formerly GruppSol (Gothenburg, developer of solar cell systems): undisclosed amount from angel investor Mattias Weinhandl, former Swedish NHL player (Swedish, machine translation).

• Gullspång Re:food led a $17M Series A funding round raised by Israel-based startup The Mediterranean Food Lab, which developed an "unique fermentation-based approach to produce 100% natural, clean label plant-based flavor solutions" (English).

I covered 12 additional rounds, as well as more details, in my PRO newsletters last week.

News from Swedish startups & the tech sector

• Stina Ehrensvärd, co-founder and former CEO of publicly traded Stockholm & Silicon Valley-based secure login solutions provider Yubico, wants to make cybersecurity as popular as chess. In her new role as Yubico's Chief Evangelist, she is helping to create a miniseries centered around cybersecurity – inspired by the runaway success of Netflix’s hit The Queen’s Gambit (English).

• Spotin, Luleå-based startup providing a service that makes content shoppable, declared bankruptcy in fall last year (➡️ covered on Oct. 5 in my PRO subscription). Now founder and CEO Kristoffer Karlsson bought the rights to the platform and all IP back, and is looking for partners (English).

• CodeScene, Malmö-based next generation software engineering intelligence platform, launched an AI-automated code refactoring tool, filling a gap as most AI-assisted coding solutions so far have focused on writing new code (English).

• The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is expanding its trial of the electric headset of Malmö-based company Flow Neuroscience, to "initially 50 clinicians with depression", to test the startup's drug-free depression treatment, at home (English).

• Tioex, Swedish membership-based investment platform for buying secondary shares in growth companies, managed to invest $1M in SpaceX on behalf of its members. This move also "marks Tioex's entry into the U.S. market" (English).

• Yazen, the Lund-based digital healthcare provider helping people lose weight, is being scrutinized by Swedish public broadcaster SVT. In a response, the startup published a Q&A with its co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Martin Carlsson (Swedish, machine translation).

• Cinode, Stockholm-based SaaS platform for consultancy firms, is expanding into the Netherlands, the company's first market outside of the Nordics (English).

• Fundler, the former mobile robo-advisor founded in 2015 which last year pivoted to offer a SaaS product, is bankrupt (Swedish / Breakit paywall).

• Min Doktor (Malmö, digital healthcare provider) achieved a positive EBITDA result in all last three quarters of 2023 (English).

• Breakit writes about Elliot Evertsson Norrevik, a 15-year old who already is busy as tech solopreneur (in the evenings, after school), and has big goals (Swedish, machine translation).

• On the other side of the entrepreneurial age spectrum: "73-year old launches tech startup" is the email subject of a press release I received about the launch of Coachr, a SaaS coaching platform for leaders founded by Mats Svensson.

• Elsa Bernadotte, co-founder and Deputy CEO of Stockholm-based anti-food waste app & restaurant order solution Karma, is leaving her operational role, almost nine years after the company's inception (English).

• Spotify doesn't plan to create a dedicated app for Apple's upcoming $3,499 Vision Pro headset. Neither do Netflix and YouTube (English).

• How Spotify helped turn Afrobeats into a global phenomenon (English).

• Flattr, Sweden-founded microdonation subscription service which was acquired in 2017 by a German adblocking technology company, has shut down (English).

• Through a series of seminars, The Stockholm Chamber of Commerce is branding Stockholm as "Capital of Tech" (English).

• A new Swedish law requires foreign direct investments in companies engaged in "activities requiring protection" ("skyddsvärd verksamhet") to be approved by a government agency. It could deter some foreign VCs (Swedish / Impact Loop paywall). Here's a longer explainer about this law in English.

• SEK36M (€3.2M, $3.5M) in grants for innovation in water management and water supply are up for grabs (Swedish, machine translation).

• Fast Track Malmö opened the applications for the 2024 accelerator batch

Other interesting things from the startup/VC world & beyond

• Vay, the German startup backed by Kinnevik, Creandum and Spotify CTO Gustav Söderström (among others), is launching its teledriving car service in Las Vegas. Users can order a car, and it's being driven to them and picked up again by someone in a remote location (English).

• The IPO market looks ready to explode, says Nasdaq CEO (English).

• The global economy is moving into a new "super cycle," with AI and decarbonization being driving factors, according to the head of macro research in Europe at Goldman Sachs (English).

• Scaling from an idea others think is bad (English).

• Thoughts on the concept of "one-round wonder", referring to a startup which intentionally plans to raise only one single external funding round (English).

• UX-related thoughts on the "sparkle" ✨ section, which is where many companies place AI enabled features (English).

• A list of 12 GPTs for founders/startups (English).

• Only 18% of CEOs in Sweden say that they have used generative AI in their company, according to a PwC survey – significantly below the global average of 32% and the median of 28% in Western Europe (Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

• The Swede Marcus Wandt launched last week to the International Space Station (English).

• Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) will start flying to Atlanta from Copenhagen, and connect with Delta Airlines for onward travel within the U.S. – a move seemingly in preparation for the airline's plan to switch from Star Alliance to SkyTeam (English).

• This year, Apple will open its first physical store ever that is relatively close to central Stockholm, at Mall of Scandinavia (Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

• The Swedish Tax Authority is limiting public access to certain income information of Swedish tax payers (Swedish, machine translation).

• The National Library of Sweden has developed national guidelines for open science (English).


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And check out my regularly updated Swedish tech startup & VC lists.

Martin

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This newsletter was sent on Jan 22, 2024, to subscribers of Swedish Tech Weekly. To receive future editions, you can sign up for free on swedishtechweekly.com.