Swedish Tech Weekly #253

This newsletter was sent on April 15, 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 2328 subscribers.

Mergers & acquisitions

Marathon Software, Stockholm-based investment firm specialized in niche software companies, acquired 70% of Gothenburg-based B2B fintech company Keeros. It was also announced that Marathon Software raised over SEK110M (€9.6M, $10M) in funding for further investments (English).

Funding news

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Mimo (Stockholm & London; unified payments platform with pre-approved credit built for SMEs, accountants and bookkeepers): £15.5M (€18M, $19M) in a first funding round led by Northzone, with participation from Fost, Cocoa VC, Upfin, and Seedcamp, alongside angels and operators (English). ➡️ Company first covered in my PRO subscription on July 5, 2023.

Gilion, formerly ArK Kapital (Stockholm, growth & funding platform for startups): €10M ($11M) in an equity funding round from existing investors including Annika Falkengren, and new investors Oscar Werner (recently appointed CEO at Gilion), Göran and Henrik Garvner, and Andrew Konopelski (English).

Plant (Stockholm, SaaS solution for the real estate and construction sector to identify and reduce the climate impact): SEK25M (€2.2M, $2.4M) from Latour Future Solutions, Almi Invest Greentech, and Course Corrected (English).

Capitainer (Stockholm; products for self-sampling of blood from the fingertip): SEK21M (€1.8M, $2M) from existing investors Sciety and Sciety Venture Partners (English).

Mat4Green (Gothenburg, provider of solutions for Indium tin oxide production and indium recycling): SEK6M (€520K, $570K) in equity funding from new investor Jovitech Invest, and existing investor Chalmers Ventures. Additionally, the startup secured a SEK3M grant from the Swedish Energy Agency (Swedish, machine translation).

Digital Venue, formerly Visitor Toolbox (Stockholm; SaaS solution for museums to visualize objects, collections, and history): SEK3.5M (€300K, $330K) in pre-seed funding from Marinvest, Grafo AS, Almi Invest, among others (Swedish / Breakit paywall).

Mycorena (Gothenburg, developer of fungi-based vegan protein): €175K ($190K) grant from the European Space Agency's (ESA) Discovery Programme, for the project "Resource Efficient Food Production System for Space Travel" (English).

NOQX (Stockholm, SaaS platform for goal setting success): around SEK2M (€170K, $190K) from angel investors including Maria Hedengren, Aref Abedi, and Niklas de Besche (Swedish / Breakit paywall). ➡️ Funding first covered in my PRO subscription on March 18.

Aire, formerly Energy Director (Jönköping; AI-powered real-time energy optimization solution): undisclosed amount from existing investor Spectria Invest (Swedish, machine translation).

Drifter World (Gothenburg, automatic AI-driven parking system): undisclosed amount from Knutsson Holdings, which becomes a "significant shareholder" (English).

• Nordstjernan Growth led a $28.5M Series B funding round raised by US-based company Oden Technologies, provider of AI-driven solutions for the manufacturing industry. Other Swedish protagonists in the round are Flat Capital (as new investor), and EQT Ventures (which invested in Oden previously). The company was co-founded by the Swede Willem Sundblad, who also is CEO (English).

• EQT Ventures led a $14M Series A round raised by UK-based tech engine for private equity deals Pactio (English).

• Luminar Ventures participated in a €5M seed funding round raised by Norwegian startup Photoncycle, which is building a "space-effective, autonomous energy system powered by the sun, enabled by innovative technology, affordable for many" (English).

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

News from Swedish startups & the tech sector

Sana launched a free version of its AI assistant for work, for personal use. It's available at sana.ai. The Stockholm-based startup aims to become a global category leader for enterprise and business AI assitants, and to reach more than one billion users, says founder and CEO Joel Hellermark (Swedish / Di Digital).

• Sana also made it as only "real" Swedish protagonist on the Forbes 2024 AI 50 List, which recognizes "the most promising privately-held artificial intelligence companies". There are at least two other companies on the list which partly have ties to Sweden, though: Replicate and Databricks.

• 40 Swedish startups will pitch in the four regional finals of Venture Cup's STARTUP 2024 competition (English).

BuddyCompany, the Stockholm-based provider of on-demand home service marketplaces and brands, is looking for co-owners/acquirers for its services/brands TaskRunner, Mooova, TechBuddy, and Expertiger.de. Moving forward, BuddyCompany will solely focus on its new SaaS platform BuddyPro (English).

• Brief profile of Nature Station, a Karlstad-based startup developing a modular multisensory health room pod that "brings nature's health effects to humans when humans can't get to nature". Recently, two prototypes were launched with pilot customer Epicenter (English).

Hiber, browser-based game creation and social gaming platform based in Gothenburg, has unveiled a tool named "SkyScape AI", which "automatically turns any image into an interactive 3D world (English).

• Isabella Löwengrip, entrepreneur and one of Sweden's first major online influencers (before the term even existed), co-founded an AI startup named Aimastar which offers AI-powered solutions for product photo creation and optimization to online retailers (Swedish, machine translation).

Cling Systems, Stockholm-based developer of intelligent systems for global battery circularity, reports net revenue of SEK10.5M for 2023, up almost 10x YoY (English).

Plantvation, Sundsvall-based startup offering cultivation technology for the forest industry, won the Almi Pitch 2.0 event at the Åre Business Forum 2024 (Swedish, machine translation).

ihopa, Stockholm-based platform for sharing products, is scaling down temporarily, to cut its burn rate, but is also looking for an additional co-founder with skills in scaling up a company (Swedish, machine translation).

Soundtrack Your Brand, the Stockholm-based music licensing service for businesses, launched an AI Playlist Generator (English).

• Erik Wallin, co-founder of Northfork, is stepping down as CEO and transitioning from his executive duties at the Stockholm-based provider of solutions to make recipes shoppable. Sara Larsson will succeed Wallin at the helm (English).

Mimo, Brite, and Atlar are the three Swedish protagonists on a Business Insider list of "32 most exciting European fintech startups to watch in 2024, according to venture capitalists" (English).

Della8, Helsingborg-based platform for facilitating and managing collective ownership of larger physical assets, is broadening its scope by also including shared ownership of boats in its offering (Swedish, machine translation).

• Tonight (Monday) at Epicenter in Stockholm, La French Tech Nordics hosts an event titled "How to reach 50% Women In Tech?", featuring three discussion panels (waitlist for last minute spots).

• Nordic APIs, an international community of API practitioners and enthusiasts, will host its Platform Summit 2024 in Stockholm on October 7-9, 2024.

• Funding megarounds made a comeback in Europe in Q1, and eight of those were raised by Swedish startups (English).

• 🎧 Podcast interview with Ingrid Bonde Åkerlind, Stockholm-based VC at Swedish-British firm Oxx, on product-market and go-to-market fit in B2B SaaS (English / 1 hour).

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 data lakehouse platform from southern Sweden launched after 12 months of development.

• Funding raised by a so far largely bootstrapped Swedish equity crowdfunding platform.

• A bootstrapped startup from a small town in Småland announced ambitious expansion plans in the US.

• Bankruptcies of five Swedish tech startups.

• One early-stage Stockholm-based AI startup, which participated in a renowned incubator, shut down.

• A startup which was named one of the "hottest in Stockholm", is rebranding and lost a co-founder to another company.

• 13 new Swedish tech startups.

• Fresh annual figures from various startups.

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

Other interesting things from the startup/VC world & beyon

• Monterro published the third Nordic B2B software benchmark report, in which nearly 300 software founders and executives provide insights into their challenges, KPIs, priorities and outlook (English).

• Founders must make sure that VC money doesn't make them dumb (English).

• "The moat for AI applications is in the data and the data engineering" (English).

• Building deep tech companies is easier and more affordable than ever before. Still not easy, but getting easier (English).

• Sweden’s underlying inflation rate fell more than expected in March, fueling expectations for the Riksbank to start cutting interest rates ahead of major peers next month (English).

• On September 1, 2024, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) will make the previously announced switch from Star Alliance to Sky Team (English, Swedish).

• Sweden's government plans to invest SEK385M ($36M) in strengthening the country's bomb shelters, emergency services and civil defence (English).

• Fucus vesiculosus, a type of seaweed found in the Baltic Sea, only reproduces at full moon. Now the plant will be sent to space, to study this more (Swedish, machine translation / the translations to "Stingray" and "bluefish" are incorrect).

• How the central Swedish city of Skövde became a hub for game development (Swedish, machine translation).

This newsletter was sent on April 15, 2024, to subscribers of Swedish Tech Weekly. To receive future editions, you can sign up for free on swedishtechweekly.com.