Swedish Tech Weekly #250

This newsletter was sent on March 25, 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 2299 subscribers.

Mergers & acquisitions

• The bankruptcy estate of Stockholm-based micromobility company Vässla was acquired by two Swedish business men, Mikael Andersson and Paul Frankenius, for SEK4.2M (€370K, $400K). Vässla is now restarting operations (Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

• The bankruptcy estate of Stockholm-based platform for cashier-less retail Storekey has been acquired by Storekey co-founder Daniel Lundh and the company's former CTO, with the help of undisclosed financial backers. The duo is now restarting operations (Swedish / Dagligvarunytt paywall, Swedish #2, machine translation).

Bemlo (Stockholm, marketplace for short-term staffing of nurses and doctors) is acquiring its Stockholm-based competitor Vivium (Swedish / Breakit paywall).

Epidemic Sound (Stockholm, music licensing provider for creators) acquires the Norwegian industry peer Soundly, which is specialized in sound effects (Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

PixelFox, a publicly traded Swedish operator, developer and acquirer of e-commerce businesses, acquires the Italian startup Userdesk, which provides AI-powered automatic support for systems, webshops, and digital services (English).

Katalysen Ventures, Stockholm-based venture developer, acquired the bankrupt German healthtech startup Smart4Diagnostics, creator of solutions to every stage of the pre-analytics cycle (German, machine translation).

Funding news

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Ingrid (Stockholm; delivery platform connecting merchants, carriers and consumers): €21M ($23M) led by existing investor Verdane, with participation from existing investor Schibsted Ventures, for the European expansion (English).

Candela (Stockholm, manufacturer of long-range electric boats) officially announced the funding round which had already been reported by the media in February. The final amount raised is cited to be €24.5M, and among investors is the largest global boat maker Groupe Beneteau (English).

CemVision (Stockholm, developing "the world's most resource-efficient cement"): €10M ($11M) in a seed funding round co-led by construction-tech focused US-based VC firm Zacua Ventures, and existing investors Polar Structure and Backing Minds (English).

BLIXT (Stockholm; developer of miniature, solid state circuit breakers and next gen modular multilevel converters): €5M ($5.5M) in a seed funding round co-led by Union Square Ventures (USV) and Energy Revolution Ventures (ERV) (English).

• Skye (Stockholm, stealth startup in the renewable energy for enterprise segment): €3M ($3.2M) in pre-seed funding led by byFounders, with participation from Emblem VC and Hawktail (Swedish / Breakit paywall). ➡️ Company first covered in my PRO subscription on February 8.

Southern Lights (Stockholm; platform to design, simulate and assess the feasibility of green hydrogen projects): €1.6M ($1.7M) in a pre-seed funding round led by Greencode Ventures, with participation from Wepa Ventures, Bling Capital, and angel investors (English).

Crypto Rogue Games (Umeå, Web3-centric game studio): $1.5M in a seed funding round from Merit Circle, Avalanche, SNZ, Coinfund, Lyrik Ventures, Devmons and Bryan Pellegrino (English).

Planboo (Stockholm, facilitating carbon removal through applying biochar to soils): over $1.1M in pre-seed funding from Katapult, Silverstrand Capital, Rockstart, Imaginal Seeds, and 8+ Ventures (English).

Propida (Stockholm, SaaS case management platform for the property sector): SEK500K (€44K, €48K) from angel investors. This is the first outside equity funding for Propida (Swedish, machine translation).

FLOX Robotics (Stockholm, provider of autonomous wildlife management as a service): undisclosed amount from E14 Invest II, Almi Invest, and Argand Partners, in a first equity funding round (English).

• Pale Blue Dot participated in a €4M seed round raised by French startup Pelikan Mobility, which is building a platform and a leasing solution that address challenges caused by the switch to EVs for commercial fleets (English).

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

News from Swedish startups & the tech sector

• AI Sweden has developed and published an AI Strategy for Sweden, inspired by the strategies of the EU, Canada, the USA, the UK, Germany, and Singapore.

• Ymner, Stockholm-based startup offering a database that seeks to help entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators to find and access public and private funding, is raising a VC fund with a target of SEK400M-800M for co-investments alongside public Swedish innovation funding (Swedish / Impact Loop paywall).

• Jenny Keisu, until last fall CEO of Stockholm-based all-electric boat maker X Shore, co-founded a stealth startup which aims to redefine the sports car in the electric age (English, Swedish / Breakit paywall).

• Stockholm-based startup Sparly has launched the Beta version (with controlled access through waitlist) of what it describes as "the world's first financial fitness app". Sparly aims to help young people to form tiny money habits, similarly to how Duolingo nudges people into language learning (English).

Magma, Stockholm-based math learning app for schools formerly known as Matteappen, is experiencing "unexpected high growth in Europe", and is looking for 30 students who can "help with mass-producing math tasks" during the first week of April (Swedish).

Stravito, Stockholm-based enterprise search engine software for market research founded in 2017, just crossed the €10M ARR mark, up 5x from fall 2021 (English).

Staccs, Stockholm-based streaming service for concerts and music documentaries, is launching its FAST (free ad-supported television) channel Staccs TV in the UK, Spain and Italy, on Samsung TV Plus, through an exclusive partnership with the South Korean giant (English).

Einride is opening the first U.S. Einride Smartcharger Station, located in Los Angeles County. It's the "largest operational charging site for electric heavy duty freight in North America" (English).

Coloreel, Jönköping-based startup developing technology that enables high-quality coloring of textile thread on demand, warned its shareholders that the company faces a severe bankruptcy risk, if no funding can be obtained (Swedish, machine translation).

Medpeople, Stockholm-based digital service for healthcare staffing founded 2017, is bankrupt, despite positive financial trends up until early 2023. Then Stockholm County began to drastically cut the reliance on external healthcare staffing. As a consequence, Medpeople lost around 30% of its revenue (Swedish, machine translation). ➡️ Bankruptcy first covered in my PRO subscription on March 11.

Coala Life, publicly traded Uppsala-based developer of a digital heart monitoring system, is also bankrupt (Swedish, machine translation).

PulPac, Gothenburg-based startup developing technology for low-cost, high-performance fiber packaging, is launching a plastic-free coffee lid for the take away market, created together with Swedish green chemical company OrganoClick (English).

Flightradar24, the Stockholm-based flight tracking platform, launched a GPS jamming & interference map.

• CAKE founder Stefan Ytterborn and the former design team of the electric motorcycle maker have created the strategy, product and brand agency "to be" (English).

• Serial entrepreneur Caroline Walerud, co-founder of Stockholm-based developer of 3D foot scanning technology Volumental, has stepped down as Executive Chair, to instead become full time operationally active with another company she co-founded, namely AirForestry (English).

• Johan Hallenby, founder of Gothenburg–based e-commerce aggregator Go North, is stepping down as CEO (Swedish, machine translation).

• The Swedish Proptech Map, which is created and curated by Gothenburg-based proptech startup Planima, has grown to 146 companies (Swedish, machine translation).

• The Nordic EdTech Summit will take place in Skellefteå on August 26-28.

Osito Ventures is a new Stockholm-based investment firm, founded by memmo co-founder Tobias Bengtsdahl, and Alexander Wallenberg.

• Angel investors in Sweden are more optimistic again, and expect as well as plan for increasing investment activity, according to the annual angel investor survey conducted by Connect Sverige (Swedish, machine translation).

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:

• Details on 11 new Swedish tech startups.

• Pre-seed funding raised by a startup from southern Sweden that supports businesses in getting better interest rates on their deposits.

• Debt funding secured by a hyper-growing Swedish software startup in the energy segment.

• Angel funding for a woman-led proptech startup from northern Sweden.

• Shutdown of a Swedish SaaS startup targeting medical research institutions.

• A startup from a smaller Swedish city wants to become "the Fortnox for people trading cryptocurrencies".

• Two former employees of a renowned Swedish fintech are in the process of founding a climate tech startup.

• 2023 financial numbers from various Swedish early-stage startups.

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

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Other interesting things from the startup/VC world & beyond

Shout-out to Eivora for providing me with access to their awesome AI-powered database of Swedish companies.  

Other interesting things from the startup/VC world & beyon

• A playbook for "building and scaling climate hardware", created by Norrsken VC, Planet A and Speedinvest (English).

• Nordic VC firm byFounders published its second annual Impact Awareness Report (English / 60 slides).

• Index Ventures launched a book titled "Scaling through chaos". It's available for free online.

• Despite the higher expense of serving AI as a product, average AI-infused software companies should benefit from AI’s productivity gains at the bottom line (English).

• "One of the few ways to launch an AI dev tools startup is to claim you will fully replace software engineers" (English).

• Fashion and tech need each other more than ever, but speak completely different languages (English).

• How to network at an unstructured mingle event (English).

• Google, Spotify and Microsoft (in that order) remain as the top 3 preferred employers by IT students in Sweden (Swedish).

• Sweden climbs to #4 in this year's World Happiness Index, from #7 last year.

• E-commerce revenue during the first two months of 2024 was 16% higher than during the same period of 2023 (Swedish, machine translation).

• Swedish companies and inventors submitted 5139 patent applications to the European Patent Office in 2023 – the highest Swedish figure ever, and #1 in the EU in relation to the population size (Swedish, machine translation).

• The tenth annual report on how young women in Sweden see the tech/IT sector, has been published (Swedish, machine translation)

• Johan Röhr, a Stockholm-based musician, has been unmasked as the person behind more than 650 different artists on Spotify, making him Sweden’s current most-played artist (English).

• 📺 Swedish public service TV company SVT released a documentary series on AI, named "Generation AI" (Swedish).


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This newsletter was sent on March 25, 2024, to subscribers of Swedish Tech Weekly. To receive future editions, you can sign up for free on swedishtechweekly.com.