Swedish Tech Weekly #246

This newsletter was sent on February 26, 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 2255 subscribers.

Mergers & acquisitions

Åhléns is buying a major stake in Dashl, Stockholm-based digital provider of beauty services. The Swedish department store chain is reportedly acquiring the shares from Dashl investors H&M Group Ventures and Cristina Stenbeck (Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

Funding news

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

Candela (Stockholm, manufacturer of long-range electric boats): SEK215M (€19M, $21M) from existing investors including Joel Eklund and Svante Nilo Bengtsson (Swedish / Breakit paywall).

Adway (Gothenburg, automated social recruiting and candidate nurturing platform): SEK31.6M (€2.8M, $3M) from existing investors Spintop Ventures, Brightly Ventures, and Octopus Ventures. ℹ️ Funding first covered in my PRO subscription on February 15.

Airpelago (Gothenburg, support software for efficient inspections of linear infrastructure with drones): SEK20M (€1.8M, $1.9M) from existing investors such as VEQ, for the expansion into several European countries (Swedish, machine translation).

Serverpod (Stockholm; next-generation, open-source, scalable app server, written in Dart for the Flutter community): €1.7M ($1.8M) in a pre-seed funding round led by PreSeed Ventures, with participation from Tiny VC and angels (English). ℹ️ Funding first covered in my PRO subscription in November 2023.

Vitala (Stockholm, platform that enables healthcare providers to prescribe and monitor diagnosis-specific physical activity): SEK15M (€1.3M, $1.4M) in a funding round from new investors Spintop Ventures and Huxley Ventures, and existing investors VNTRS, Curus, Partnerinvest Norr, and Fort Knox. The startup has large ambitions for the US market (Swedish, machine translation). ℹ️ Funding first covered in my PRO subscription in October 2023.

DealGuru (Lund, community for deals and bargains): SEK10M (€890K, $960K) in pre-seed funding from Gorilla Capital, Innovestor, as well as unspecified angel investors and family offices (English, Swedish). ℹ️ Startup first covered in my PRO subscription in July 2023.

Digmi (Jönköping, provider of customized tablet subscriptions for hair salons): SEK5.5M (€490K, $530K) in an oversubscribed funding round from unspecified new and existing investors (English, Swedish).

Qura, formerly Lawlabs (Stockholm, upcoming solution that's aiming to simplify legal research with AI): SEK4M (€360K, $390K) in pre-seed funding from undisclosed "prominent law experts" (Swedish / Breakit paywall).

• VNTRS has invested an undisclosed amount in Finnish startup Coiniverse, which offers an app for coin collectors (English).

I covered 10 additional rounds, as well as more details, in my PRO newsletters last week.

News from Swedish startups & the tech sector

• Leya won the Pitch40 startup competition at last week's The Tech Arena conference in Stockholm. BrainZell won the Incubator Star Challenge (English).

• Swedish startups are currently valued at €239B, twice as much as 2019. That's according to the "Sweden Tech Report 2023" published last week by Dealroom and several Swedish partners (key takeaways: Swedish, machine translation).

• Stockholm-based startup Vidde launched Alfa, its pre-series electric snowmobile (English).

Intergiro, Stockholm-based provider of financial infrastructure "for innovators and change-makers", grew revenue by 300% in 2023, and also achieved its first cash positive month, according to a blog post by the company's founder and CEO Nick Root. (English).

• A man from Florida, who runs a retail shop where he exclusively sells CAKE electric motorcycles, has bought the bankrupt Swedish startup's remaining US inventory (English).

BuddyCompany, Stockholm-based provider of on-demand home service marketplaces and brands, launched a SaaS offering named BuddyPro, described as "the most popular Field Service Management software in the Nordics". It's being rolled out in major European languages, and in Arabic (English).

• Sifted talked to Anton Osika about his recently announced startup Lovable, and his belief that most businesses soon won't need software engineering teams anymore (English).

Heart Aerospace might be cutting up to 70 jobs, as part of an internal reorganization. The company has around 200 employees (English, Swedish). ℹ️ News curated on February 13 in my PRO subscription.

Go North, financially struggling Gothenburg–based e-commerce aggregator acquiring and scaling brands on Amazon, found an agreement with its lenders to restructure its debt. Now the ambition is to grow organically and with positive cash flow (Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

Cardo Health, Stockholm-based startup offering digital health solutions to people in emerging markets, has reached the 100,000 user milestone with its AI-powered health advice agent available through WhatsApp in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, which launched in July (English).

Steep, Stockholm-based startup offering a SaaS solution aimed at making data useful and accessible throughout organizations, launched a free plan for individuals and small teams (English).

• Profile of Örebro-based digital marketplace for transport buyers and haulage companies Truckzter (Swedish, machine translation).

Gilion, the Stockholm-based growth platform and alternative lender for founders formerly known as ArK Kapital, announced former Sinch CEO Oscar Werner as new CEO (English).

• There reportedly is a disagreement between the Klarna co-founders Sebastian Siemiatkowski (CEO) and Victor Jacobsson (not operationally active anymore in Klarna) about the role of the latter. That conflict recently led to a board spat involving current partners at Klarna backer Sequoia Capital, according to media reports (English).

• Epic Games will bring Fortnite back to iOS in Europe. The US company says that Epic Games Sweden AB will operate the new mobile Epic Games Store and Fortnite in Europe (English).

Vapaus, a Finland-headquartered startup offering a zero-emission benefit bike service to employers, has raised €15M in a debt facility from Sweden-headquartered Norion Bank (formerly Collector Bank), in order to expand its presence both in its home market, and in Sweden (English).

VNV Global, publicly traded Stockholm-based investment company, is selling its stake in Swedish EV online store Carla to Verdane (English).

North Ventures, a Copenhagen, Denmark-based early-stage VC firm, has raised around DKK150M (€20M, $22M) for a new fund, with the target being DKK300M. The firm also wants to invest in startups from southern Sweden (Swedish / Rapidus paywall).

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:

• An under-the-radar startup from a smaller Swedish city, which offers a product to improve work meetings, secured a strategic investment from a European company in the electrical engineering space.

• Unannounced Series A-sized funding round by a startup whose technology improves growing healthy plants.

• Unannounced seed funding round raised by an under-the-radar software startup from Stockholm.

• Bankruptcies: a startup in the indoor vertical farming space, and a startup which focused on real world gait analysis.

• A pivot by a bootstrapped Swedish startup in the social gaming sector, towards AI (of course).

• 11 new early-stage tech startups.

Join PRO, if you are an investor, analyst, or a sales exec. It's a great way to diversify your deal flow.

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

• Nordic early-stage VC firm byFounders will arrange its annual 48-hour sailing trip from Oslo to Copenhagen (and back) in May 2024, and invites "pioneers of the New Nordic startup and tech ecosystem" to join (English).

US Tech Weekly is a new weekly newsletter that summarizes selected seed+ funding rounds in the US. It's curated by Chirag Modi, who has been doing the same for Europe for nearly two years with European Tech Weekly.

• Longer piece explaining what went wrong at TechStars, which once was one of the world’s leading accelerator programs (English).

• On fundraising challenges faced by outsider founders (English).

• "Our company is doing so well that you're all fired". (English) Satire, and yet not really.

• Swedish alcohol monopoly Systembolaget will install self-checkout facilities at around 100 stores across Sweden (Swedish, machine translation).

• A Swedish court ruled that informing webmasters that Google had removed links to their content due to the "right to be forgotten", is itself a breach of privacy of the person making the right to be forgotten request (English).

• Around 200,000 households in Sweden (or 7% of all households) pay for a so called HVOD subscription, meaning a "hybrid video on demand" offering at a discounted paid rate, that includes some commercials (Swedish, machine translation).

• Uber launches its shared ride service UberX Share in Stockholm. It promises savings of up to 20% if passengers accept picking up another rider along the route (Swedish, machine translation).

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


This newsletter was sent on February 26, 2024, to subscribers of Swedish Tech Weekly. To receive future editions, you can sign up for free on swedishtechweekly.com.