Swedish Tech Weekly #251

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This newsletter was sent on April 1, 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 2315 subscribers (+16), and is free of April Fools' jokes.

Mergers & acquisitions

Embracer (Karlstad, video game holding company, publicly traded) is selling the video game development company Gearbox Entertainment to Take-Two Interactive, for $460M (English).

• A consortium has placed an acquisition bid on Awardit, publicly traded Stockholm-based SaaS provider of loyalty programs. The consortium represents 49.4% of the shares and includes the Danish PE firm Polaris Private Equity, Awardit founder Niklas Lundqvist, and a few more. The offer values Awardit at around SEK1.15B (€100M, $110M) (English).

Happy at Work (Gothenburg, employee engagement platform) is being acquired by the Finland-headquartered HR company Webropol (Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

Netigate (Stockholm, SaaS feedback solution for brands) acquires the Finland-based startup Lumoa, which describes itself as "the first customer experience platform to offer generative AI" (English).

Funding news

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Dema (Stockholm, e-commerce analytics platform for profitable growth): €7M ($7.6M) in a seed funding round from existing investor J12 Ventures, new investor Daphni, and angels (English). ➡️ Funding round first covered in my PRO subscription in early January.

Arevo (Umeå, precision nutrition technology to grow healthy plants with zero leakage): €6.6M ($7.1M) in a funding round led by Industrifonden, with participation from existing investors including Fort Knox Förvaring, Navigare Ventures, and Stora Enso Skog (English). ➡️ Funding first covered in my PRO subscription on February 20.

Terra Labs (Stockholm, developing a solution that will use AI and satellite technology to monitor land in real-time from space): €4M ($4.3M) in a seed funding round from Norrsken VC (English). ➡️ Company first covered in my PRO subscription in July 2023.

Buddywise (Stockholm, B2B real-time risk detection solution for preventing injuries and loss of life at the workplace): €3.5M ($3.8M) in a seed funding round co-led by Kvanted and J12 Ventures (English).

Agteria Biotech (Stockholm; scalable, patent-pending feed additive for cows to reduce methane emissions): €1.4M ($1.5M) in a pre-seed funding round led by Norrsken Launcher, with participation from Mudcake (English, Swedish / Di Digital paywall). ➡️ Company first covered in my PRO subscription in November 2023.

Brain Stimulation (Umeå, digital tools for stroke rehabilitation): SEK15M (€1.3M, $1.5M) from existing investors including Backing Minds, Fort Knox and Partnerinvest Norr, as well as angel investors. The company just submitted its FDA application, to be permitted to enter the US market (English).

Everdrone (Gothenburg, developer of drone technology for emergency response): SEK11M (€1M, $1.1M) from the company's major shareholders, serial entrepreneur Maciej Drejak (who also is Everdrone's head of software), and GLA Invest (Swedish / Breakit paywall).

DREV (Gothenburg, developer of sustainable battery cleaning technology): €700K ($760K) in a pre-seed funding round led by Unconventional Ventures (English). ➡️ Company first covered in my PRO subscription in June 2023.

Aurora Arts (Skövde, developer of the upcoming open world pet collecting role-playing game Fae & Fauna): SEK5.7M (€510K, $550K) in a funding round led by game entrepreneur Ellen Mellåker. Aurora Arts was founded by Tilla Segerstedt (English).

Parlametric (Lund, business intelligence and market research provider): SEK4M (€360K, $390K) from existing investor I Love Lund, and others (Swedish, machine translation).

Vasuma Eyewear (Stockholm, D2C fashion driven sustainable eyewear brand): unspecified "seven-digit SEK amount" in first outside funding, from Tom Dinkelspiel (Swedish, machine translation).

Catch Me (Stockholm & Katrineholm, digital fair staffing platform specializing in side jobs): undisclosed amount from Sörmlandsfonden and other undisclosed investors (Swedish, machine translation).

• EQT Ventures led a $50M Series B round raised by Hume AI, a US-based startup and research lab "building AI optimized for human well-being" (English).

• J12 Ventures led a $1.6M pre-seed funding round raised by UK-based startup ayora, which is building "the world's first revenue management co-pilot for lawyers" (English).

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

News from Swedish startups & the tech sector

• Wimt, founded in 2022 and formerly named "Winning Impact", launched the beta version of its platform for sports community building and financing (Swedish, machine translation).

• PowerMate, Stockholm-based startup founded a few months ago, has launched its iOS and Android app for sharing access to private EV charging stations (English).

Vendi is the new startup from the founders of Swedish fintech Willa, offering an AI-powered prospecting platform for businesses (Swedish / Breakit paywall). ➡️ Company first covered in my PRO subscription in early March.

• Brief profile of I-Safety, a new Linköping-based startup that has developed a digital solution which enables the police and the private sector to receive anonymous tips about upcoming acts of terrorism or crime. I-Safety founder Cecilia Gärding previously worked as coordinator for an EU-funded project against extremism and terrorism (Swedish, machine translation).

Northfork, Stockholm-based provider of solutions to make recipes shoppable, becomes the exclusive recipe shopping partner for the developer platform of publicly traded US-based online grocery company Instacart (English).

Not So Ordinary, bootstrapped Gothenburg-based women fashion rental platform founded by Jenny Bruhn and Lina Karlsson, has recently signed several large Swedish fashion retailers as customers, such as Gina Tricot, Bubbleroom, and Ellos (Swedish).

• Profile of PaperShell, the three-year-old Swedish startup developing technology to build paper back into a more resistant version of wood (English).

• Brief profile of Karlstad-based startup DIRI Safety Solutions, which last year launched a risk management tool for the workplace. Co-founder and CEO Melinda Persson says that she secured the first pilot customer "when the product still only was a sketch on a napkin" (Swedish, machine translation).

Sportscom, Helsingborg-based subscription app for live sports audio streaming which launched in August, is already shutting down again, citing "the current funding climate" (Swedish, machine translation).

Addressya, Stockholm-based "address as a service" solution for developing countries, has chosen a voluntary liquidiation of the company, but is in talks with potential buyers of assets (Swedish / Di Digital paywall). ➡️ News first covered in my PRO subscription in mid November 2023.

Dibz, Stockholm-based queue-management platform for housing founded in 2020, grew revenue 4x in 2023 to around SEK10M. ARR grew by 160% to SEK17.3M at the end of 2023. Dibz has raised funding once, SEK6.6M from angel investors in late 2021 (Swedish, machine translation).

Imbox (Gothenburg, customer relations SaaS solution) reports net revenue of SEK46.8M for 2023, up 12% YoY. Profit was SEK8.3M, the same as in 2022. The company has not raised any outside funding . ➡️ First covered in my PRO subscription on March 26.

• Christian Sjölander, founder and CEO of Gothenburg-based small modular reactor ("SMR") project development startup Kärnfull Next, has been appointed as an expert in the Swedish government's inquiry into nuclear power's future (English).

Kivra, Sweden's leading digital mailbox service, is launching a feature which allows users to get discount offers from local grocery stores into their Kivra app. The first chain to make use of this is Coop (Swedish, machine translation).

• In the UK, Spotify is testing the waters for an online education offering of freemium video courses, that are produced in partnership with third parties (English).

• Five of Sweden's 23 customer-owned regional Länsförsäkringar insurance companies, have launched the digital home insurance provider Sejfa.

• The Financial Times published a long piece about publicly traded Swedish supplier of accounting software Fortnox and its stock price rise during the past four years (English).

• 📺 Eira Tobrand, Reid Jackson, and Daniel Karsberg – VCs at Stockholm-based Luminar Ventures – discuss Europe's energy transition, the startup opportunities that come from this, and why the Nordics lead the charge in revolutionizing energy systems for a sustainable future (English / 20 minutes).

Exclusives for PRO subscribers last week

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

• A one year old Swedish legaltech startup reportedly raised a Series A from a renowned San Francisco-based VC firm.

• A Swedish femtech startup is raising a SEK6M funding round, of which SEK3M already have been secured.

• A former Swedish tech exec co-founded a startup that soon will launch an app aimed at recreating the utility of Facebook's event feature, when it was in its heyday.

• Bankruptcies of three Swedish tech startups, one from Stockholm that appeared in the show Draknästet, a boostrapped one from southern Sweden, and one from northern Sweden, which had raised around SEK10M in funding.

• A boostraped startup in the EV charging space from southern Sweden increased net revenue 5X year-over-year to over SEK15M last year, while delivering a small profit.

• A SaaS startup from Jönköping grew revenue 40% year-over-year to over SEK10M last year, while staying break-even.

• Eight new Swedish tech 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 & beyon

• 70% of Y Combinator’s Winter 2024 batch are AI startups. 57% of the founders are serial entrepreneurs, and 16% are female (English).

• In the AI space, a lot of revenue is experimental, and may not have the same retention qualities of true ARR (English).

• Selling software will evolve to selling AI agents that act on behalf of users (English).

• How to build a trillion-dollar company (English).

• The owner of a property in Sweden won a legal battle to keep a 14-kilogram (31-pound) meteorite (English).

• The Swedish operator of the electricity transmission system may call up civilians for training on an ongoing basis, so that they could help maintain the Swedish electricity system in the event of war (Swedish, machine translation).

• Volvo makes its last-ever Diesel passenger car and puts it in a museum (English).

• A Swedish lawyer filed a lawsuit against Facebook Sweden, on behalf of clients who fell victim to scam ads on the social network (Swedish, machine translation).

• Sweden drops 1 position to #7 in the Economist Intelligence ranking of the countries with the best business environment (English).

• 13 Swedish media companies have published seven recommendations on when and how Swedish media consumers should be informed about the use of AI in editorial media products (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 April 1, 2024, to subscribers of Swedish Tech Weekly. To receive future editions, you can sign up for free on swedishtechweekly.com.