Swedish Tech Weekly #244

This newsletter was sent on February 12, 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 was sent to 2248 subscribers (+13).

Mergers & acquisitions

Populum (Stockholm, employee survey platform) is being acquired by Norway-headquartered cloud-based HR software provider CatalystOne Solutions (English).

Funding news

Do you have unreported funding news you want to see here? Fill out this form or respond to this email.

Xensam (Stockholm, software asset management platform): $40M in a growth funding round from Expedition Growth Capital. This is the eight-year-old company's first funding ever (English). ➡️ PRO subscribers learned about this funding on Jan 11.

Myrspoven (Stockholm, solutions for AI-based energy optimization in buildings): €5.4M ($5.8M) in a funding round led by 4impact capital, Vantaa Energy, and existing investor AMAVI Capital (English).

Mantle (Stockholm, D2C brand for transformative skincare): SEK32M (€2.8M, $3.1M) led by Venrex (English).

Woshapp (Stockholm, digital provider of B2B car care services): SEK19M (€1.7M, $1.8M) mostly from existing investors (Swedish / Impact Loop paywall).

Lesslie (Stockholm, solution that helps businesses to save time and money on cross-border payments): SEK18M (€1.6M, $1.7M) led by Wellstreet, with participation from existing investor Quinary (English).

Moroxite F (Lund, developing next generation therapeutics in osteoporosis): SEK10M (€890K, $960K) from existing investors (English).

Nordkap (Stockholm, SaaS for real estate treasury management): SEK10M (€890K, $960K) from existing investors (Swedish, machine translation).

Reccan (Lund; easy-to-use blood test for quick, accurate and none-invasive screening for pancreatic cancer): SEK8.6M (€760K, $820K) from Sandberg Development and Strandberg Kapitalförvaltning, with participation from existing owners and the company's CEO and CTO (English).

Safety by Cilia (Stockholm, personal safety alarm solution discretely integrated into jewelry): SEK5M (€440K, $480K) from angel investors, at a pre-money valuation of SEK38M, a large increase from a year ago, co-founder and CEO Cissi Nilsson tells me. ➡️ First covered in my PRO subscription on Feb 5.

Fluicell (Gothenburg, tissue therapeutics platform): SEK5M (€440K, $480K) grant through Eurostars (English).

LumeoTech (Gothenburg, developer of technology to attach wearable electronics anywhere on any fabric): undisclosed amount from new angel investors, and existing investors (English).

EdAider (Stockholm, education platform for schools): undisclosed amount in a strategic investment from the Swedish edtech company IST Group (Swedish, machine translation).

Bubbi (Stockholm-based automated AI personalization platform for online retailers): SEK5.5M (€490K, $550K) from angel investors (Swedish, machine translation). ➡️ First covered in my PRO subscription on Jan 5.

• Pale Blue Dot led and Course Corrected participated in a $4.5M seed funding round raised by US-European startup Cosmic Aerospace, which is "building the world's most energy efficient passenger aircraft" (English).

 • Pale Blue Dot led and Mudcake participated in a £1M pre-seed funding round raised by UK-based startup Cbamboo, which is "building the operating system for the world's carbon border taxes" (English).

I covered 13 additional rounds, as well as more details, in my PRO newsletters last week.

News from Swedish startups & the tech sector

Sting unveiled eight Swedish startups selected for the spring programs Accelerate, Incubate and Incubate Deeptech (English).

Yazen, the three-year-old Lund-based digital healthcare provider helping people lose weight, generated revenue of SEK55M in 2023, up 27x (!) from 2021. The company is now preparing for a launch in Germany and the Netherlands (Swedish / Rapidus paywall).

• Sara Landfors, previously Head of Marketing at Validio, co-founded and is leading Normain, a new Swedish startup developing a no-code platform for custom AI apps specifically built for non-technical domain experts (English).

Corite, Stockholm-based platform for crowdinvesting in music artists, announced Aflow, an upcoming AI-powered service intended to help artists develop new skills and create habits needed for brand building and nurturing the fan base on social media (English).

• Two music technology veterans, Svante Stadler and Rikard Jönsson, have launched the startup Forever 89. It's based in Stockholm and Berlin and aims to develop contemporary musical instruments for the modern musician (English).

RecoMended, Borås-based startup that aims to become a large-scale, automatic and brand independent actor in textile repair, has signed a contract with a so far undisclosed, well-known jeans brand, which covers the entire European Union (Swedish, machine translation). ➡️ Company first covered as new early-stage startup in my PRO subscription in February 2023.

• Profile of Malmö-based startup Second Opinion, an upcoming digital healthcare provider for second opinions, and its founder Abdirahiim Abdi (Swedish, machine translation). ➡️ Company first covered as new early-stage startup in my PRO subscription in May 2023.

• Follow the bankruptcy of CAKE, TechCrunch published an interview with founder and CEO Stefan Ytterborn. “Right now, I think that we’re fighting our asses off trying to find a way forward", he says (English).

Knodd, Gothenburg-based online healthcare provider that so far specialized in treating young children, is expanding into also treating adults through the new brand "Läka", and opens its first physical healthcare clinic, in Malmö (Swedish, machine translation).

Zeeds, Uppsala-based startup founded in 2020, launched an iOS app to help users "make lasting change that matters", built on evidence-based methods from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Swedish, machine translation).

Stockeld Dreamery, the Stockholm- and New York-based maker of plant-based cheese, is introducing cultured cheddar slices made from fermented legumes to the market (English).

Froda, Stockholm-based digital loan provider for small businesses, is expanding into Germany, through its embedded finance solution which will be made available to customers of the neobank Kontist (English).

 • Ludwig Pettersson, founder and board member of publicly traded Stockholm-based p2p lending platform SaveLend, has passed away at the age of 32, after a period of illness (English, Swedish).

• A new version of the Swedish Climate Startup Map is available, now featuring 508 companies developing energy-related solutions.

• Three Swedish companies made it on Notion Capital's third "Cloud Challengers Top 100" list: Dema, Drem, and Ripe.

• The top 25 Nordic launches on ProductHunt in 2023 (English).

• By the way, the latest Swedish startup on ProductHunt is Helsingborg-based Squidler with its automated website testing solution for SMEs (English).

Hidden Dreams, the Stockholm-based B2B SaaS venture builder, is again encouraging individuals with specialized expertise to share their insights on "hidden problems" within their field, and to be part of making a solution become reality.

• NyTeknik opened the nominations for this year's version of the annual list of Sweden's 33 most innovative and promising tech startups (Swedish, machine translation).

• Klarna is launching its service "Sign in with Klarna" for third parties in 23 countries (Swedish, machine translation).

Spotify reported Q4 revenue up 16% YoY to €3.7B, MAUs up 23% YoY to 602M, subscribers up 15% YoY to 236M, and a €75M operating loss (English).

• Spotify also renewed the deal with podcast star Joe Rogan. It is reportedly estimated to be worth $250M – but there's no more exclusivity clause (English).

• Meanwhile, Daniel Ek is accumulating dry powder: The Spotify co-founder and CEO has cashed out another $57.5M in Spotify stock, just three months after he banked $64M, and 6 months after he offloaded $100M in shares (English).

• SaaSiest, the Lund-based B2B SaaS community, published its SaaSiest Benchmark report 2024, including figures from 143 B2B SaaS companies

Exclusives for PRO subscribers last week

For PRO subscribers last week, I also covered/curated these things, which have not been reported anywhere else.

• Two alumni of a Swedish startup which was acquired for close to SEK2B, are now building a similar product (and even received funding from that previous startup's co-founder).

• High profile pre-seed funding raised by a Swedish startup that wants to help independent developers to get paid while doing what they love.

• 11 new early-stage tech startups from Sweden, including a stealth startup in the renewable energy for enterprise space, and an upcoming financial OS for businesses. Entries include founder names, URLs (including to LinkedIn pages), and funding status.

• A Swedish fintech in the consumer financing space raised unannounced funding of SEK40M, and grew its valuation 2x from 2021. Net revenue grew 140% in 2022.

• First funding raised by a startup from central Sweden that wants to bring together buyers and sellers of forest-related services.

• Pivot of a Stockholm-based fintech, which raised pre-seed funding in 2022.

• A bootstrapped Swedish startup was named "Startup of the year" in its hometown. It makes it possible to 3D print products in lightweight metal and with material properties that otherwise require expensive and time-intense processes.

• A Swedish digital wedding planning startup which had raised over SEK20M went bankrupt.

• A Swedish pioneer in the electric vehicle space, whose company went public but eventually didn't make it, is back with a new startup.

• A SaaS startup from northern Sweden, still majority-owned by its founders, already published its year-end report for 2023, showing net revenue of over SEK50M, at a profit of over SEK12M.

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Other interesting things from the startup/VC world & beyond

• How founders should structure and prioritize their communication to capture and educate the audience (English).

• For finding product/market fit, founders should skip the mom-test, learn from their customers first, and sell second (English).

• Startups need dual theories on distribution and product/market fit. One is not enough (English).

• An important trait of exceptional startups is "intensity" (English).

• Hacker News comment thread on what people built with LLMs. Lots of potential ideas/inspiration in there (English).

• The Norwegian capital Oslo buys ChatGPT licenses for 110,000 students and teachers (Norwegian, machine translation).

• Sweden needs an additional 18,000 tech specialists per year until 2028 (Swedish, machine translation).

• Research samples collected over decades at Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Stockholm were destroyed when a freezer malfunctioned during the Christmas holidays (English).

• IKEA's Sweden-based online shop is now also offered in English language (English).

• January’s market saw plugin EVs take 52.5% share in Sweden, flat YoY from 52.4%. The Tesla Model Y was the month’s bestseller (English).

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


This newsletter was sent on February 12, 2024, to subscribers of Swedish Tech Weekly. To receive future editions, you can sign up for free on swedishtechweekly.com.