Swedish Tech Weekly #260

This newsletter was sent on June 3, 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. Last week's issues: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

Today Swedish Tech Weekly is being sent to 2411 subscribers.

Mergers & acquisitions

Jobylon (Stockholm, hiring platform) acquires Trustcruit, a Jönköping-based startup that offers a survey and HR analytics tool. Jobylon is financing this deal with fresh funding from Verdane (English, Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

• The investment firm Dahlgren Capital is buying a stake in Zebrain, Stockholm-based personalized coaching platform for employees and organizations, to become the single largest shareholder alongside the founders. Additionally, Dahlgren Capital invests SEK5M in equity funding (English).

• PRO subscribers only: A stealthy Swedish AI startup founded in 2023 was acquired by a major law firm (English).

Funding news

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

Cloover (Stockholm & Berlin/Germany, solution for renewable energy companies to offer subscription services): $108.5M in debt funding, alongside a $5.5M seed round led by Lowercarbon Capital, with participation from existing investors 9900 Capital and QED/Fontes (English).

Natural Cycles (Stockholm, digital birth control solution): $55M in a Series C round led by Lauxera Capital Partners, with participation from Point72 Private Investments. The company also added a revolving debt facility from JPMorgan Chase (English).

Epishine (Linköping, developer of organic solar cell technology for low power electronics): SEK69M (€6M, $6.5M) led by Pareto Securities, with participation from existing investors Philian, Axsol, and others (English, Swedish / Impact Loop paywall).

Profundus (Gothenburg; camera and software system for advanced retinal imaging, utilizing adaptive optics): SEK30M (€2.6M, $2.8M) from new investor Navigare Ventures and existing investor Gobia Enterprises, for the commercial launch initially in Europe and later in North America (English). ➡️ Partial closing of this round first covered in my PRO subscription on March 27.

Curoflow (Stockholm, white label telemedicine platform): SEK16M (€1.4M, $1.5M) led by Silicon Gardens, with participation from Impact Invest and private investors (English, Swedish).

Deedster (Stockholm; SaaS solutions for climate action targeting banks, financial institutions, and corporates): SEK15M (€1.3M, $1.4M) in a funding round led by Wellstreet (English, Swedish).

Pantlån (Stockholm; AI-powered valuation platform and online pawnshop): SEK10M (€870K, $940K) from existing angel investors (Swedish / Di Digital paywall).

Habbie (Karlstad; digital service for physical rehabilitation, habilitation and preventive care): SEK7M (€610K, $670K) from NWT Invest, Gorilla Capital, and Almi Invest (English). ➡️ Company first covered in my PRO subscription in November 2023.

DREV (Gothenburg, developer of sustainable battery cleaning technology): $125K from Norrsken Accelerator (English).

Net Zero Build (Stockholm, AI-powered platform helping real estate developers to reduce administration & costs related to environmental certification of buildings): $125K from Norrsken Accelerator (English). ➡️ Company first covered in my PRO subscription in April.

Bright (Stockholm, upcoming platform for digital textbooks, founded 2024): undisclosed amount in pre-seed funding from angel investors (Swedish, machine translation).

LanteRNA (Gothenburg, technology to help solve some of the largest remaining challenge for RNA-based therapeutics): undisclosed amount from existing investors Chalmers Ventures and Almi Invest (Swedish, machine translation).

Doconomy officially announced the €34M funding round, a Series B, which I already mentioned last week following a scoop by Di Digital. The round was co-led by UBS Next and existing investor CommerzVentures, and "will fuel Doconomy's expansion in North America" (English).

Eneryield (Gothenburg, AI-based technologies for electric power systems): undisclosed amount in a seed funding round from new strategic investor ABB, and existing investor Chalmers Ventures (English). ➡️ Funding first covered in my PRO subscription on April 30.

• Flat Capital participated with SEK11M in the $6B Series B round raised by Elon Musk's xAI (Swedish, machine translation).

• PRO subscribers only: Various additional rounds, as well as more details (English).

• PRO subscribers only: Google Sheet with funding data, 1000+ rounds added during the past 12 months (English).

News from Swedish startups & the tech sector

• I compiled a ranking of the most active investors in Swedish tech startups in 2024 to date (English).

Nuroe, a gamified training app for children 6 and up, "rooted in neuroscience" and promising "100% positive screen time", has been launched by Swedish healthtech Cogmed (English). ➡️ First covered in my PRO subscription on February 15.

Depict, the well-funded Stockholm-based product recommendations technology startup and Y Combinator alumni, is narrowing its focus by going all in on the fashion segment, and offering its technology exclusively for brands that use the e-commerce platform giant Shopify (Swedish / Breakit paywall).

• PRO subscribers only: A Swedish marketplace startup which raised around SEK200M in funding, is bankrupt (English).

FlipNbid, a Stockholm-based peer-to-peer marketplace for sneakers, is bankrupt (Swedish, machine translation).

Forloop, Stockholm-based no-code platform for web scraping and data preparation, launched the new version of its platform on Product Hunt (English).

Mentimeter, the Stockholm-based audience engagement platform, also went on Product Hunt – to release its new AI presentation maker AI Menti Builder (English).

• Gothenburg-based startup Adsorbi launches its first commercial product: a cellulose-based material that protects artwork and sensitive objects from degradation by air pollutants, "making it ideal for museums and archives" (English).

Again, Stockholm-based startup that allows consumers to share anonymized payment card purchase data in return for rewards, hit the milestone of 30 million transactions, tracked by 21,000 users (English).

• PRO subscribers only: Alumni of Storytel, the Swedish audiobook and ebook subscription service, have founded two new Stockholm-based startups, both in segments related to their old employer's business (English).

• Sami Osman, co-founder of Swedish investor relations app Quartr, is stepping down as CEO, and transitions into the role of VP of Operations. Fellow co-founder Oscar Küntzel is taking over at the helm (English).

Neko Health shares aggregated data from 2707 performed full body scans during its first year. 78.5% of people that went for a scan, were shown to be in good health (English).

• Profile of Swedish-American scaleup Recorded Future, which offers a threat intelligence platform, works with 40 governments on defence, and "adopts everything that has to do with AI as soon as possible because that's what the antagonists do" (English).

Northvolt is reportedly pushing its IPO into the next year (English).

Klarna reported its Q1 2024 financial results, revealing another profitable quarter and continued growth outpacing ecommerce (English). And in another press release related to its use of AI, Klarna outlines how the technology is helping it to save around $10M in sales & marketing spend (on an annualized basis (English).

Trustly, Stockholm-based payments platform for digital account-to-account transactions founded in 2008, reports revenue of SEK2.7B for 2023, and accelerating growth during the second half of the year (English).

• PRO subscribers only: A Swedish fintech reports explosive 9x revenue growth to over SEK100M, and swings from loss-making to a sudden large profit (English).

Vipps, the Norway-headquartered bank-owned Nordic p2p payments app, plans to launch in Sweden later this year, aiming to attract users who want to send money seamlessly from Sweden to other Nordic countries (Swedish, machine translation).

• The Nordics’ very generous parental leave could be one reason for the lack of female-founded unicorns, suggested Northzone partner PJ Pärson at an event in Stockholm last week, sparking a debate (English).

• In 2023, Sweden saw the second highest VC & PE investment activity among countries in Europe relative to their GDP, beaten only by Finland (English).

• Norrsken Mind is now accepting grant applications for psychedelic research in Europe.

• Tobias Bengtsdahl, former founder of memmo, is joining zero day investor Antler as partner in Stockholm (English). Meanwhile, Antler's Stockholm-based VC Julia Nilsson is leaving the firm, to join Stockholm-based AI startup Sana (English).

• 📺 Lukas Petersson, co-founder of Swedish AI startup Vectorview, asked Swedish politicians from different parties about AI safety in a program by public Swedish broadcaster SVT (Swedish, 6 minutes).

• PRO subscribers only: Curated list with bankruptcies and shutdowns of Swedish tech startups. Also available as Google Sheet.

• PRO subscribers only: Curated list with new Swedish tech startups; 20 added last week, 69 last month. Also available as Google Sheet.

Join PRO, if you are a startup investor, an analyst, or in an adjacent role.

Other interesting things from the startup/VC world & beyond

• SaaS and enterprise software funding is slowing so far in 2024 (English).

• The positive sentiment with which public software stocks entered Q1 is completely gone (apart from the few "AI stocks") (English).

• What to do (and not to do) in startup executive recruiting (English).

• "Instead of taking safe, well-paying jobs, our young people should take the lead as the world is being rebuilt around us" (English).

• The government is tasking the Swedish Research Council with evaluating how a national quantum technology strategy for the period 2025–2030 could look like (Swedish, machine translation).

• A number of companies in the Swedish IT security industry have created a secret network dubbed "Näringsvärnet", to help protect Sweden against cyber attacks from a foreign power (Swedish, machine translation).

• Emissions of greenhouse gases from the Swedish economy during 2023 decreased by almost 2 percent compared to the previous year (English).

• In Q1, Sweden's GDP increased by 0.7% compared to Q4 2023 – more than expected (Swedish, machine translation).

• Swedish telecommunications company Telia is postponing the shutdown of the 2G network until 2027 (Swedish, machine translation).

• Stim, the Swedish music rightsholders organization, collected SEK3.1B (€270M, $290M) in royalties in 2023, SEK400M more than in 2022 (Swedish, machine translation).

• There are four new Michelin star restaurants in Sweden – one in the south and three in Stockholm (English).

This newsletter was sent on June 3, 2024, to subscribers of Swedish Tech Weekly. To receive future editions, you can sign up for free on swedishtechweekly.com.