Swedish Tech Weekly #247

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This newsletter was sent on March 4, 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 2259 subscribers.

Mergers & acquisitions

• The Swedish SaaS startups Boardeaser and VisualBy are being acquired by Swedish cloud-based accounting software maker Fortnox for SEK100M. There's also an option for an additional future earn-out of up to SEK62M (Swedish, machine translation).

Apica (Stockholm, active monitoring platform that helps solve complex digital performance issues) has acquired the US telemetry data management pioneer Circonus (English).

Irisity (Gothenburg, provider of AI- powered video analytics software, publicly traded) is acquiring the Hungarian-Swedish provider of AI-based modular video analysis technology Ultinous for SEK45M (€4M, $4.4M) (English).

• The bankruptcy estate of Stockholm-based electric motorcycle maker CAKE was acquired by the Norwegian businessman Espen Digernes, who runs a car dealership in Norway (English).

• The bankruptcy estate of Växjö-based property management SaaS solution INBooks has been acquired by Norway-headquartered software company 24SevenOffice Group (Swedish / Breakit paywall).

Pharus Tech, formerly JobAgent (Stockholm, talent acquisition engine) was acquired by Swedish HR consultancy TQ Nordic, formerly TalentQ (Swedish, machine translation).

Artportable, Stockholm-based online art platform, merges with Swedish industry peer Artworks (Swedish / Breakit paywall).

Funding news

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Plexigrid (Stockholm and Gijón, Spain, software for making the electricity grid more flexible): €6.5M ($7M) in mixed grant and equity funding from EIC Accelerator. (English).

Apica (Stockholm, active monitoring platform that helps solve complex digital performance issues): $6M led by Riverside Acceleration Capital (RAC), with participation from existing investors Industrifonden, SEB Foundation, Oxx, and Leo Capital (English).

Compular (Gothenburg, next generation computational tool for material development): €5.3M ($5.7M) in a mix of equity and grant funding from EIC Accelerator (English).

Sleip (Stockholm, developer of AI-tools to aid in a better understanding of how and why horses move the way they do): SEK43.1M (€3.8M, $4.2M) in a seed funding round led by the German healthcare company group Boehringer Ingelheim (Swedish / Di Digital paywall). ➡️ Funding first covered in my PRO subscription on January 12.

Gedea Biotech (Lund, developer of antibiotic free treatment for vaginal infections): €2.5M ($2.7M) grant from EIC Accelerator (English).

Qlucore (Lund, provider of visualization-based software for research-oriented data analysis and precision diagnostics, publicly traded): €2.5M ($2.7M) grant from EIC Accelerator (English).

Today Mobility, formerly Tidler (Stockholm, precise end-to-end logistics for the automotive industry): SEK9.2M (€820K, $890K) mostly from existing investors, but also some strategic new ones. The fresh funds will be used to achieve profitability on the company's initial markets Sweden and Norway, as well as for preparing the expansion beyond those. ➡️ Funding first covered in my PRO subscription on February 27.

Superagent (Gothenburg, solution that helps developers deploy AI-agents to the cloud): $500K in pre-seed funding from Y Combinator (English, Swedish / Breakit paywall). ➡️ Startup first covered in my PRO subscription in November 2023.

Pharmista Technologies (Lund, developing a reusable pregnancy test being hygienic to use and easy to interpret): €500K ($540K) convertible note from the BioInnovation Institute's Venture Lab acceleration program (English).

Bionamic (Lund, SaaS solution for antibody R&D data): SEK4M (€360K, $390K) from new investor I Love Lund and existing investors LU Holding, Fårö Capital AB, and others (English).

BONI (Stockholm, moodboard platform and SaaS solution for interior designers): SEK4M (€360K, $390K) in an oversubscribed first funding round from angel investors (Swedish / Breakit paywall).

FinetuneDB (Stockholm, no-code LLM operations platform): €150K ($160K) in pre-seed funding from Antler. ➡️ Funding first covered in my PRO subscription on February 13.

TrackPaw Scientific (Lund, technology to digitalise preclinical studies): SEK1.6M (€140K, $160K) in an extension of the SEK5M pre-seed funding announced in October, from ERM Invest (English).

• Creandum led a $16M Series A funding round raised by Spanish startup Embat, a fintech specializing in corporate treasury management (English).


I covered 8 additional rounds, as well as more details, in my PRO newsletters last week.

News from Swedish startups & the tech sector

• 17 Swedish companies are on the Financial Times' eighth annual FT1000 ranking of Europe’s fastest-growing companies. Two even made it into the top 10: Vakanta and Fairlo.

Renewcell, publicly traded, H&M-backed Stockholm-based alternative materials manufacturer for the textile industry founded in 2012, has filed for bankruptcy (English). CEO Magnus Håkansson says that the demand for Renewcell's products simply wasn't large enough yet (Swedish / Impact Loop paywall).

Wedsly, a Stockholm-based digital wedding planning service, is also bankrupt (Swedish / Di Digital paywall). ➡️ Bankruptcy first covered in my PRO subscription on February 9.

• The production of Volta Trucks' flagship electric truck may be resumed soon, following the acquisition of the bankruptcy estate (English).

HETCH, the Helsingborg-based tech hub, has unveiled nine companies taking part in its latest accelerator batch, most of them from Sweden (English).

• Stockholm-based startup Combify launches "Sweden's first AI-powered search engine for property information" (Swedish, machine translation).

ChromaWay, Stockholm-based creator of blockchain infrastructure, founded a new startup named Fanzeal, which offers a blockchain-powered white-label sports fan engagement platform.

Arboair, Linköping-based startup that develops an AI-driven image analysis solution for forest owners, is part of a project which aims to build an AI platform for forest analysis using synthetic training data (English).

Ingrid Capacity, the ambitious Stockholm-based energy storage infrastructure provider, announced Axel Holmberg as new CEO. He'll replace co-founder Arvid Lilljeqvist at the helm (English).

• Profile of DREV and interview with its founder and CEO Arelys Sosa. The Gothenburg-based startup develops sustainable battery cleaning technology for battery manufacturers (Swedish, machine translation).

• Profile of PryvX, Antler-backed Stockholm-based startup addressing cybercrime through a privacy preserving collaboration platform (Swedish, machine translation).

Emission Twin, formerly The Ontology Way, was voted "Malmö's Startup of the Year" (Swedish).

Sesamy, Stockholm-based startup which began with enabling subscription-free content purchases, but now offers a comprehensive SaaS solution for "AI-powered revenue optimization for publishers, podcasters and creators", is gearing up for a launch in the UK (English).

Mindler, Stockholm-based digital service for talking with psychologists, launches in Norway – the company's fifth market (English).

• Stockholm-based startup Humy shares some technical and some non-technical learnings from engineering products with GPT since December 2022 (English).

• Klarna published a press release praising the performance of its OpenAI-based customer support bot (English). The release went pretty viral and reportedly caused stocks of various international teleperformance companies to drop (English). Klarna also published its 2023 numbers (English).

Kyte, the drone delivery service of Norwegian autonomous logistics startup Aviant, is launching its first pilot test in Sweden (Swedish, machine translation).

• Entrepreneurs in Sweden who would like to participate in the next season of Draknästet (the Swedish version of Dragon's Den), can now apply (Swedish).

Skåne Capital Day, arranged by Malmö-based startup house Minc and partners, will take place on March 20 and bring together investors and pre-seed startups.

Kinnevik is selling its entire shareholding in Swedish telecommunications operator Tele2. Proceeds amount to a total of SEK13B (€1.2M, $1.3M). After this transaction, Kinnevik's investment portfolio will only consists of startups/scaleups, and the investment firm will sit on a lot of cash (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:

• A new bootstrapped Swedish startup has developed a solution for cost savings on cloud computing.

• An AI-powered valuation platform raised first, unannounced funding, as did a Swedish startup working on an AI solution for guiding website visitors.

• An under-the-radar B2B SaaS startup that helps organizations to prevent incorrect payouts, and to detect fraud, is growing nicely while being close to break-even.

• The business of winding down startups is booming in the US – and there's a Swedish player in this field, too.

• 14 new startups; latest financial figures for several tech startups; and much more.

Join PRO, if you are an early-stage 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


• Norwegian specialist growth investment firm Verdane has closed another €1.1B fund (English).

• French OpenAI competitor Mistral announced a ChatGPT rival named Le Chat (English).

• Europe remains hard to crack for North American VCs (English).

• A checklist for FOAK (First-of-a-kind) projects in climate tech (English).

• The time-boxed startup – what if startups had an expiration date? (English)

• Thoughts on AI-first service businesses (English).

• The Hungarian parliament has voted in favor of ratifying Sweden's Nato accession, removing the last major obstacle (English).

• The Swedish government plans to create the country's first ever STEM strategy. One center piece will be initiatives that encourage girls/young women to consider a (future) career in technology (Swedish, machine translation).

• Sweden's national AI strategy needs to implement gender equality principles, to prevent AI from being disadvantageous to women, write Backing Minds founding partner Susanne Najafi and the economist Shoka Åhrman (Swedish, machine translation).

• A Swedish business delegation led by the crown princess couple visited the Silicon Valley (English).

• Polestar secured a $950M loan from a dozen banks, critical funds needed following Volvo’s decision to pull back its financial support of the electric automaker (English).

• An annual representative survey on Swedish people's attitudes regarding digital integrity shows a sharp increase in behaviors and the desire to protect personal data online (Swedish, machine translation).

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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 March 4, 2024, to subscribers of Swedish Tech Weekly. To receive future editions, you can sign up for free on swedishtechweekly.com.