What a decade, what a year. The Nordic startups truly shined landing funding rounds one larger than another, with the largest funding round of 2019 reaching a staggering $1B! What you think - is there a Nordic startup that is going to reach higher this year?Before jumping towards the new year and new decade, let's do a quick recap of the highlights of 2019. Here are some of the largest funding rounds in the Nordics - and some guesses on what we expect to see from these startups in the future.
reMarkable is a Norwegian startup that produces the paper tablet - a unique device that looks, feels and acts just like paper. A wonderful gadget for all people who want to go paperless, yet enjoy taking notes by hand. The second version of the tablet is expected to hit the stores soon.For their Series A, they raised $xxM in October 2019 from Spark Capital, a capital fund known for backing great startups like Grammarly, FourSquare, and Twitter.
As put by Kevin Thau, partner at Spark Capital: “reMarkable has put together an incredible team and have successfully tapped into an ongoing trend towards devices with a dedicated purpose. They have created a unique technology from the ground up that’s already resonating deeply with users.”
Spacemaker AI is another amazing Norwegian startup, that fundraised for Series A in 2019. Like the name implies, Spacemaker AI is specialized in maximizing the potential of any urban building site. Or as put by their CEO Håvard Haukeland, “Spacemaker is building the worlds first commercial platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help architects, urban planners and developers make better decisions faster”
In June 2019 Spacemaker AI landed $25M lead by two European Venture Capital Funds Atomico and Northzone with participation from a variety of investors in property and construction tech. With the investment, Spacemaker is expected to begin their global expansion in 2020.
MaaS Global is the producer of Whim, a Finnish travel-as-a-service app allowing city travelers to book and pay for buses, trains, taxis, bikes, rental cars, and city scooters. They are also the recipients of multiple design and communications awards such as the Nordic Smart Cities Award 2016 and Red Dot Award 2017.
In November 2019 MaaS Global raised a new round of funding from BP Ventures, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Nordic Ninja. With the help of the 29,5M€ we can expect the startup to enter new markets in Japan and the US.
This Norwegian startup is truly making an impact. Kolonial.no delivers groceries to approximately 40% of the Norwegian households while saving tonnes of food waste and cutting off 130 000 unnecessary grocery trips a year. And more than that, Kolonial.no is one of the fastest-growing companies in the Nordics!
In April 2019, Kolonial received a whopping NOK300M in exchange for 15% of the company from Kinnevik, a leading Swedish investor behind big names such as Karma, Zalando or Omio.The CEO of Kolonial.no Karl Muthe-Kaas described the partnership as a dream deal: "We feel there is a great fit in both the strategic vision and the values of our companies. - - Kinnevik has the right expertise and the right mindset to help us in this journey and we are very excited to work with them." We too are very excited to see what this new partnership will bring about in the new decade.
eSmart Systems provides software solutions for inspections of powerlines, grid maintenance planning, and energy flexibility optimization. One of their coolest solutions is Connected Drone that turns drone and from-the-ground imagery into an asset library that the client can search through to find rust or deficits in their powerlines. So much time and money saved!
In June 2019 they landed a total of $34M when Energy Impact Partners (EIP) and Innogy Ventures joined the investment round initially closed by Equinor Energy Ventures, Nysnø Climate Investments, and Kongsberg Digital.
ePassi is the leading mobile payment solution for subsidized employee benefits in Finland. Through their electronic service, employers can offer all employee benefits in a single package. No more back-and-forth emails or paper slips!
In Q4 2019 ePassi was backed by Bregal Milestone and First Fellow Partners. According to the CEO of ePassi, Pekka Rantala will aid them with their international expansion: “The investment will allow us to continue to provide an outstanding service to our customers and partners through enhanced R&D, product development and innovation leadership, and this, in turn, will help us to attract further international interest."
This app makes applying for and managing loans easy. With Bynk, the user can place a request for loans amounting up to €28,000 and manage them effortlessly through the Bynk app.
Last year Bynk collected a magnificent €48M from top of the line investors Schibsted and LMK Industri. These venture capital funds are known best for their investments in Swedish startups like Lendo, Yepstr and WeMatter.
What the future will hold for Bynk, we do not know for sure. But taking the Bynk CEO Emil Hansson for his word, we can expect to see a whole new line of products from cards and peer-to-peer loans moving towards 2021.
You know that green star review on most e-commerce sites, right? That is a widget provided by Trustpilot - the world’s most powerful review platform where anyone at any time can leave a review.
As described by the CEO of Trustpilot, Peter Holten Mühlmann, Trustpilot provides more than just a rating:“ - - Trustpilot stars signify that a company has nothing to hide, loves its customers and shares our mission to create ever-improving experiences for everyone.” No wonder Trustpilot has grown into a true startup success story and the best-funded scale up in the whole of Denmark.
In 2019, Trustpilot raised $55M for its Series E, in a round lead by Sunley House, and contributed to by . the existing shareholders Vitruvian Partners, Draper Esprit, Index Ventures and Northzone also contributed. For this year, we are left guessing if and when Trustpilot may be planning an IPO.
Pleo is one of the booming Nordic startups and hot topics of coffee table conversations in Copenhagen for the past year. Pleo offers smart payment cards for employees for them to buy things they need for work while providing the companies an easier overview of their spending and receipts.
Their Series B round was led by Stripes with participation from existing investors Kinnevik, Creandum, and Founders. In 2020 Pleo is expected to expanding rapidly in Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and enter another four markets.
Love it or hate it, the scooters have taken the streets of the Nordic capitals. Leading the pack is the Swedish startup Voi Technology, raising a massive round of $85M.Voi's Co-Founder and CEO Fredrik Hjelm says that with this round of investment they aim to reach profitability as a company: “Next year we want to have a bunch of cities that are profitable over the whole year. And by 2021-2022, we should be profitable on a company basis.”
Voi's Series B investment round was lead by Stockholm-based investment group Vostok New Ventures with contributions from the existing investors Balderton Capital, Creandum and Raine Ventures.
It's Wolt! Yes, Wolt the Finnish startup with the wonderful delivery staff in blue uniforms bringing food where-ever and whenever you get hungry.
Last year Wolt raised a massive Series C of $130M continuing their partnership with Iconiq Capital to continue their international expansion. In 2020, Wolt has pledged to hire approximately 1000 new employees and develop their tech solutions to a new level. We're super excited to see what and where this potential unicorn-in-the-making will be rolling out next.
Northvolt secured the biggest funding round of 2019 in the Nordics: a massive 1 Billion dollars.Northvolt is a startup building Europe's largest lithium-ion battery plants to Sweden, Poland, and Germany. Their green-tech solution has caught the interest of some of the main car manufacturers such as Volkswagen and BMW that took part in Northvolt's Corporate Round. Northvolt also received a loan of €350M from The European Investment Bank.
What makes the story of Northvolt also so staggering is that the startup was founded in 2016, yet today they have already sold a significant part of planned production volumes estimate to value more than $13 billion through 2030.