Swedish Tech Weekly #249

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This newsletter was sent on March 18, 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 2293 subscribers (+24).

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Mergers & acquisitions

• Swedish investment company Novax increased its stake in Stockholm-based fitness studio subscription service Bruce to 75%, thereby becoming the majority owner (Swedish / Breakit paywall).

Funding news

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

Asgard Therapeutics (Lund, exploring direct cell reprogramming technologies to develop ground-breaking cancer immunotherapies): €30M ($33M) in a Series A funding round led by RV Invest and Johnson & Johnson Innovation (English).

Voi (Stockholm, e-scooter & micromobility operator): $25M in equity funding from existing investors including VNV Global, Raine Group, Nineyards Equity, Balderton, Creandum, Project A, Stena, and Black Ice Capital. The company also secured an unspecified amount in debt financing for vehicles (English).

Tibber (Stockholm and Førde / Norway, digital energy company): around NOK250M (€22M, $24M) in equity funding from existing investors such as Balderton Capital, Eight Roads, Summa Equity, Founders Fund and Schibsted. The exact amount was not confirmed. Tibber also secured additional debt funding (Swedish / Breakit paywall).

Symcel (Stockholm, developer of a system for continuous metabolic measurements of living organisms): SEK86M (€7.6M, $8.3M) from Lareim, Flerie Invest, and others, for taking Symcel into the commercial scale-up stage and launching "the world’s fastest system for the detection of live bacteria" (English).

Speqta (Stockholm, SaaS services for independent ad-spending, publicly traded): SEK55M (€4.9M, $5.2M) from Fåhraeus Startup and Growth Fund, Solberget Invest, and Speqta board member Mikael Lindblom (English).

Younium (Stockholm, SaaS solution for B2B subscription management and billing): SEK31M (€2.8M, $3M) from existing investors including Partinc (English).

Myrqvist (Stockholm, online store for "premium footwear without the premium price tag"): SEK9.3M (€830K, $900K) led by Borghem Invest, with participation from Skiren and existing investor Incensus (Swedish, machine translation).

Enduce (Umeå, technology for energy recovery from shower water): SEK5.2M (€460K, $500K) from undisclosed investors (Swedish / Impact Loop paywall).

Tab Technology (Stockholm, upcoming smart commerce solutions): €210K ($230K) in pre-seed funding from Icebreaker.vc and angel investors (English).

Subscriby (Stockholm, subscription management software and market platform for brands): SEK500K (€44K, $48K) in pre-seed funding from Propel Capital. After the summer, the plan is to raise a first larger funding round, co-founder and CEO Josefina Sonnhammer tells me. ➡️ First covered in my PRO subscription on March 13.

Ochno (Västerås; developer of a smart flexible port technology designed for charging, presentations, and seamless communication): undisclosed amount in a strategic investment from German BACHMANN Group (English). ➡️ First covered in my PRO subscription on February 23.

Vectorview (Stockholm, solution that makes it easy to evaluate the capabilities of foundation models and LLM agents): undisclosed amount in pre-seed funding from Wave Ventures. Recently, the company was admitted to Y Combinator (English).

• Flat Capital invests SEK10M in the Sequoia- and OpenAI-backed US startup Harvey, which is working on an AI-powered legaltech solution (English).

• VNTRS invested an undisclosed amount in Norway-headquartered startup Stack by.me, which offers an "inclusive investment app that feels like social media, with focus on e-learning and community" (English).

• Volvo Cars Tech Fund has invested an undisclosed amount in Breathe Battery Technologies, a UK-based software startup working on improving battery performance (English).

• The Inner Foundation has invested an undisclosed amount in US-based startup MANUAL, which offers a digital engagement platform, designed to support and meet the unique needs of emerging adult men within higher education in the US (English).

I covered 7 additional rounds, as well as more details, in my PRO newsletters last week.

News from Swedish startups & the tech sector

• Stockholm-based Nordic Air Defence (NAD) emerged from stealth mode, developing "high tech defensive solutions for both civilian and military use". The startup was founded by three founders of Swedish drone startup Katla, and serial entrepreneur Karl Rosander (Acast, Sesamy). The latter tells Breakit that NAD is about to raise a "quite substantial" funding round (Swedish / Breakit paywall).

Lamina Clinic, a new Stockholm-based startup, launched a digital tapering program for antidepressant medication – the world's first, according to the company (English). ➡️ Company first covered in my PRO subscription in January.

• Swedish virtual ward startup Medoma and Stockholm's S:t Görans Hospital have successfully completed a pilot test of tech-enabled hospital level in-home care. It's now becoming a regular feature (English).

• The Financial Times and Statista have published an inaugural report and ranking on Europe's 125 leading startup hubs (i.e. incubators and accelerators). SSE Business Lab is the highest ranked Swedish hub, reaching #26 in the overall ranking, #1 in the segment "Track-record", and #3 in the segment "Nordics & Baltics".

Rison, Gothenburg-based climate fintech startup, and SEB Nordic Energy, launch a joint venture to invest SEK500M in technological projects and measures that reduce businesses' or properties' energy consumption (Swedish / Di paywall).

Melt&Marble, Gothenburg-based producer of designer fats via precision fermentation, says it's close to achieving commercial-scale production, and plans to expand into the US in 2025 (English).

Flower, Stockholm-based software platform for energy forecasting, optimization and trading, grew revenue last year 10x, to around SEK100M, while delivering a break-even result (Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

Instabee, Stockholm-based operator of last-mile logistic brands Instabox and Budbee, generated revenue of SEK2B in 2023, down 13% YoY. Loss halved to -SEK464M (Swedish, machine translation).

Kavall, the Stockholm-based hyper-local rapid grocery delivery service, has relaunched as an independent startup.

PeakPath is the new name of the Stockholm-based Y Combinator alumni formerly known as Nudge Labs.

Aira, the well-funded Stockholm-based D2C heat pump subscription service, is launching its own proprietary "digital first" heat pump, initially available on the company's main markets Germany, Italy and the UK (English).

• A profile of and interview with Jan Jäderberg, the inventor of the fusion energy solution that is being developed by Stockholm-based startup Novatron Fusion (English).

• The Norwegian businessman who bought the bankruptcy estate of Stockholm-based electric motorcycle maker CAKE, paid SEK18.1M (€1.6M, $1.8M) for CAKE's assets in Sweden, as well as the global IP and brand rights (Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

Semanttic, Gothenburg-based startup offering an AI copilot for UX prototyping, was admitted to the Tech Stars Miami spring class of 2024 (English).

• 31 startups have been added to the Swedish AI Startup Landscape, bringing the current total to 198 (English).

• The flying electric hydrofoil ferry developed by Swedish startup Candela will soon operate on New Zealand’s Lake Manapōuri, which is often described as the cleanest lake in the world (English).

Boneprox, Gothenburg-based provider of SaaS solutions for dental imaging and digital dentistry, is expanding into Colombia (English).

ScreenshotMagic, developed by Malmö-based software engineer Usman Rajab, is a Mac app that utilizes AI to automatically provide descriptive names for images such as screenshots.

Spotify is adding music videos to its mobile and desktop apps in Sweden and ten other markets (English). In other Spotify news: The company is shutting down its satellite offices in Stockholm (Swedish, machine translation).

• Food delivery and Q-commerce provider foodora will launch delivery by drone in Stockholm's outskirts starting from May, and intends to expand it to other parts of Sweden (Swedish, machine translation).

• London & Partners, the business growth and destination agency for London, is opening an office in Stockholm. I will be led by Salla Hänninen and is tasked with finding Swedish startups interested in expanding into the UK (Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

• Google is hosting a CTO Mingle in its Stockholm office on Wednesday, March 20. It's aimed at "CTOs and tech leaders in startups and scaling companies". Registration page.

Ating is a new Swedish investment firm focusing on mission-led B2B early-stage startups that solve critical problems facing each industry (Swedish / Impact Loop paywall).

SVCA, the Swedish Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, is encouraging entrepreneurs and company representatives to participate in a survey on attitudes towards venture capital and its protagonists (Swedish / 5-10 minutes).

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 Nordic VC firm appears to have led a yet-to-be announced pre-seed funding round raised by a Swedish stealth startup in the energy space, at a pre-money valuation of SEK100M.

• Unannounced pre-seed funding raised by a Swedish AI sales assistant startup.

• A mostly bootstrapped, profitable startup in the EV charging and energy storage space, based in a small Swedish town, increased net revenue by 3x in 2023, to over SEK100M.

• A Swedish healthcare staffing startup was declared bankrupt, despite having come close to a break-result in 2022, while growing revenue 38% YoY.

• A founder of a Swedish fintech stepped down as CEO to focus on their health.

• London-based Swedes launched an AI tool for predicting influencer performance.

• A Nordic early-stage investment firm recruited an investor who might easily be Sweden's youngest VC.

Join PRO, if you are an early-stage investor, analyst, or a sales exec.

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

• Tech startup workers in the US are receiving 37% less equity in their companies on average compared with 18 months ago; average salaries are down 0.2% since 2022 (English).

• A list of European early-stage deeptech investors by VC firm SquareOne. Its partner Georg Stockinger encourages "fellow DeepTech investors from Sweden" to reach out to join the list (English).

• A guide on how to go deeper with founder reference checks (English).

• In a decades-old conflict about the top-level-domain .nu, a Swedish court has rejected claims for SEK210M in damages made by the South Pacific island of Niue to the Swedish Internet Foundation (Swedish, machine translation).

• The European privacy rights activist organization NOYB is challenging a loophole in Swedish law which allows data brokers and people search engines to exempt themselves from the GDPR, thereby "depriving millions of Swedes of their fundamental right to privacy" (English).

• IKEA is still the most reputable company in Sweden, according to an annual study. Tesla has fallen the most, followed by Spotify (English).

• As the Alps are heating up, more European skiers make longer trips north, to the colder mountains of Scandinavia (English).

• Researchers in Gothenburg have developed an AI model that can successfully find signs of lymph node cancer in 90 percent of cases (English).

• In a pilot project, the police in Malmö will place drone "airports" on the city's rooftops (Swedish, machine translation).

• Sweden is going to shut down its 2G and 3G net at the end of 2025. According to the Swedish Consumer Agency, plenty of products are still sold that will become unusable after that date (Swedish, machine translation).

• A comparison of how much it costs to buy a typical Swedish shrimp sandwich and a large beer at restaurants at various Swedish airports (Swedish, machine translation).

• Guide to famous Swedish pastries (English).

• Stockholm's 10 best wine bars, based on aggregated reviews from several platforms (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 18, 2024, to subscribers of Swedish Tech Weekly. To receive future editions, you can sign up for free on swedishtechweekly.com.