Swedish Tech Weekly #245

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This newsletter was sent on February 19, 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 2253 subscribers.

Mergers & acquisitions

AlexisHR (Stockholm, people operations and analytics platform) is being acquired by Norway-headquartered HR tech company Simployer (English).

HomeQ (Stockholm, market place for first hand rental contracts) is being acquired by Schibsted Nordic Marketplaces (English).
 
• The bidding war for Gothenburg-based automated business transactions network Pagero has concluded with Thomson Reuters now controlling 99.45% of the shares and votes (English).

• Swedish private equity firm Nordic Capital acquires a majority stake in Canadian SaaS company Zafin (English).

Funding news

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Roam, formerly Opibus (Stockholm & Nairobi/Kenya, developer of electric mobility technology): $24M in a Series A funding round consisting of $14M in equity funding led by Equator Africa, as well as a $10M debt commitment (English, Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

Fever (Stockholm, API-centric platform for virtual power plants): €10M ($10.8M) in a seed funding round led by General Catalyst, with participation from previous investors La Famiglia and Norrsken VC (English).

Capitainer (Stockholm; platform for microsampling of blood for everyone, everywhere): SEK30M (€2.7M, $2.9M) in a funding round led by strategic investor We Venture Capital, with participation from existing investor Sciety (English).

Kameo (Stockholm & Oslo, digital marketplace for crowdfunded loans to property developers): SEK30M ( €2.7M, $2.9M) in a funding round led by Incore Invest (English, Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

Suturion (Lund, developer and manufacturer of a sewing machine for standardized closure of the abdomen): SEK24M (€2.1M, $2.3M) from new investors including Scale Up Life Science Invest and Impilo Partners, and existing investors (English).

3eflow (Luelå; designs, manufactures and sells/licenses smart distribution systems for drinking water): SEK20M (€1.8M, $1.9M) from Longrun Capital, in the company's first larger funding (Swedish / Impact Loop paywall).

Ella (Stockholm; digital healthcare app for women before, during and after pregnancy): SEK4.5M (€400K, $430K) from undisclosed investors. ➡️ First covered in my PRO subscription on Feb 9.

Life Inside (Gothenburg, B2B SaaS solution for integrating interactive video testimonials on any website): SEK4M (€350K, $380K) from angel investors (English).

VOC Diagnostics (Stockholm, AI-supported technology for early detection of ovarian cancer through smell in a blood sample): $350K grant together with Linköping University, from Vinnova and the U.S. National Science Foundation (English).

Zuna (Stockholm, upcoming SaaS solution for online retailers that helps to optimize product assortment based on customer demand): SEK3M (€270K, $290K) in pre-seed funding from angel investors, including Rickard Glamsjö, as well as EHAB and Holmströmgruppen. ➡️ First covered in my PRO subscription on Feb 13.

Starfish of Sweden (Lund, developer of medical devices for preventative care of pressure ulcers): SEK2.5M (€220K, $240K) from angel investors, in an ongoing round with the goal of SEK5M (Swedish / Rapidus paywall).

GOOZO (Gothenburg, HR platform focusing on employee well-being): undisclosed amount from Building Great Companies Group (BGC) (Swedish, machine translation).

Resitu (Stockholm, developer of an innovative solution for breast cancer biopsies): undisclosed amount from Scale Up Life Science Invest (Swedish).

Vividye (Gothenburg, resource-efficient dyeing technology for textiles): undisclosed amount from existing investor Chalmers Ventures (Swedish, machine translation).

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

News from Swedish startups & the tech sector

• 40 startups will pitch at Sweden's new major tech conference The Tech Arena in Stockholm later this week (English).

Lovable wants to "build software that builds software". The ambitious Stockholm-based startup was founded by a team surrounding former Depict co-founder/CTO Anton Osika (also former founding engineer at Sana) and just made itself known to the public for the first time (English). ➡️ PRO subscribers learned about Lovable on February 2.

• Creandum published its second Founder Compensation report (English).

Vässla, Stockholm-based micromobility company, had to file for bankruptcy, after a district court rejected the company's request for extended coroporate reconstruction. The startup was just about to raise a small funding round to be able to exit the reconstruction. Founder and CEO Rickard Bröms writes that "the company is fully restructured and ready for a new chapter" (English, Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

Matspar.se, mostly bootstrapped Stockholm-based comparison platform for groceries sold online, launched a feature for food brand websites that allows consumers to add products from such a website to their Matspar shopping bag/checkout page (Swedish, machine translation).

• Interview with Kira Unger, co-founder and CEO of Stockholm-based legal platform PocketLaw, on the tough steps the startup took last year to shift the strategic focus from SME to large corporate customers (English).

• Profile of Law Off The Shelf, a new Stockholm-based startup aiming to democratize law through a digital marketplace for legal products targeting businesses (Swedish, machine translation).

Mynt, Stockholm-based provider of smart corporate credit cards and spend management to SME, announced a strategic partnership with Visa, through which third parties can offer Mynt-powered (white label) card and spend management solutions to their customers (English).

Minesto, publicly traded Gothenburg-based company, announced that its utility-scale tidal power plant is delivering its first electricity to the national grid in the Faroe Islands (English).

• The estate of 18-year-old bankrupt Malmö-based airbag bicycle helmet Hövding has been acquired by the private owned Austrian industrial iSi Group (English, Swedish / Di paywall).

VOI, Stockholm-based e-scooter provider, is laying off another 120 office employees, 70 of which are full time roles, representing around 12% of the workforce (English, Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

Neo4j, the Malmö-founded and now Silicon-Valley based graph database firm, is looking to go public on Nasdaq's stock exchange in New York as soon as the window for initial public offerings opens up again (English).

• The Swedish FinTech Association published its annual report on the state of the Swedish fintech sector (English / PDF, Swedish / PDF).

Mashup aims to be "Europe's most exclusive startup/VC meetup" and will take place on May 15-16 in Malmö (English). ➡️ PRO subscribers learned about Mashup and some background in late January.

Base Camp is a 48-hour hackathon that will take place on April 12-13 in Stockholm. It's arranged by early stage VC and company builder Superangel, and designed for already established early-stage startups.

• EQT Ventures is hiring a "Head of AI" (English).

Exclusives for PRO subscribers last week

PRO subscribers last week also read about these things (among many others), which have not been covered/curated elsewhere:

Pre-seed funding for a Swedish startup which enables customers to build better genAI products.

• A stealthy Swedish AI proteomics startup raised funding from an US VC firm.

• An under-the-radar social networking startup from Stockholm raised pre-seed funding from a high-profile US early-stage VC.

Bankruptcies of various Swedish tech startups, including a shopping marketplace, an online career advisor app, a B2B SaaS solution, and a developer of innovative furniture.

• Unannounced down-rounds raised by two Swedish fintechs.

Nine new early-stage tech startups, including an upcoming circular marketplace for fashion, a startup that develops an LLM approach to an automotive after-sales vertical, and an AI-powered solution for monitoring manufacturing.

Join PRO, if you are an investor, analyst, or a sales exec, who wants an information advantage.

Want an annual PRO subscription paid by invoice, or one for your entire team? Respond to this mail and let me know. I'll provide you with an individual quote.

Other interesting things from the startup/VC world & beyond

• Y Combinator released a new list of 20 types of startups the accelerator wants to join its program, including Climate tech, new space, and explainable AI (English).

• The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has denied OpenAI’s attempt to trademark “GPT" (English).

• Some entrepreneurs in Europe worry over the EU’s Big Tech acquisition crackdown, as it might be a blow for their exit strategies (English).

• How to nail product-market fit by fine-tuning strategy with customer needs from day one (English).

• Founders should pitch "like a dinner party jerk", not holding back, and putting shyness and cordiality aside (English). I don't like this advice but it's good to know for Nordic founders what (some) US VCs might expect from them.

• Two Sweden-based entrepreneurs have created an alternative organizational structure called regenerative community organism (RCO). It aims to redefine the way we think about sustainability and regenerative business practices (English).

• E-commerce revenue in Sweden shrank 8% in 2023, despite the high inflation (Swedish).

• Swedish major banks are moving to adjust product offerings and increase surveillance, amid growing fraud attacks by organized crime rings (English).

• Arla, the largest dairy producer in the Nordics, releases a product line made from oats (Swedish, machine translation).

• A Swedish non-profit has developed a dating app for people with mild intellectual disabilities and autism (English).

• Drug seizures in Sweden have reached an ”all time high” (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 February 19, 2024, to subscribers of Swedish Tech Weekly. To receive future editions, you can sign up for free on swedishtechweekly.com.