When it comes to successful European tech start-ups, Stockholm has more than its fair share, from Skype to Spotify, King and more.
During a visit to Stockholm this week, I discovered that the city is something of an entrepreneurial boom town, with venture funding levels at an all-time high and legions of founders seeking to walk in the footsteps of celebrated founders like Niklas Zennström (Spotify) and Markus Persson (Minecraft).
Take a look at 15 of the fast-rising companies worth keeping an eye on.
Regarded as one of Europe’s most valuable fintech firms, Klarna provides online payment services for e-commerce sites in order to eliminate the risk for buyer and seller.
Customers are only charged after receiving the product.
Founded in 2005 by Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Victor Jacobsson and Niklas Adalberth, the company has raised $291.3m in six rounds from 12 investors and is valued at around $2.25bn.
Founded by Gustav Borgefalk, Chu Zhu, Niklas Jungegard and Robert Lyngman, Sqore is leading the field in smart recruitment, focused on students and graduates between 18 and 30.
The company’s platform gamifies the recruitment experience for applicants, and for employers, it automates the process between job ad and interview.
The company counts businesses from The Economist to London Business School, Autodesk, IBM, Volvo and Oxford University Press as clients. Just this week, it took on the University of Denver as a new client.
The company has raised $6.8m in two rounds.
Founded in 2011 by Rosie Linder, Peppy Pals develops educational, award-winning apps and books that nurture children’s social and emotional intelligence.
The company’s unisex mobile games teach children empathy, emotions and collaboration through role-playing and humour.
Oxojob is a mass headhunter of developers with a special focus on Java, C#, C++ and SAP.
It scans the web for developers and is currently focused on the Swedish market, where it can call on 36,000 developers.
At the January 2017 STHLM Tech Meetup, founder Andrei Postoaca said that in the Swedish market, more than 2,700 companies were looking for developers. Across Europe, he estimates that only 1pc of the overall population are developers. “This is way too few and education will need to start adapting,” he recommended.
Founded in 2015 by Johannes Herrmann, Alexander Hjertstrom and Fredrik Kempe, Airinum is developing the next-generation urban breathing mask.
The company raised $352,000 last year in seed funding and is selling its product in Asia.
Kempe told Siliconrepublic.com that the company is working hard to keep up with orders in Korea and the next evolution of its product may include smart internet of things (IoT) filters.
Resolution Games is the brainchild of Tommy Palm, formerly of King and one of the key figures behind the success of the Candy Crush Saga.
The company was the first investment in Europe by Google Ventures outside the UK, raising $6m in one of the biggest investment rounds by a VR game developer yet.
The company is working on a VR fishing game called Bait!, which launched on Gear VR several months ago and is one of the most popular titles to date. It also has the highest-rated game on Google’s Daydream, Wonderglade.
Na-kd is a Swedish fashion e-commerce start-up led by Jarno Vanhatapio. Founded in 2015, the company employs 90 people in Stockholm and Gothenburg, and has already amassed revenues of €22m.
The company has just raised €14m in a funding round led by Northzone, with participation from Swedish fund eEquity.
Stockholm and California-based Automile tracks mileage and trips, and provides route tracking via a small box installed beneath a vehicle’s dashboard.
Customers include Samsung and Nestlé.
The company recently raised $7.5m in a round led by SaaStr, with help from Salesforce Ventures, Niklas Zennström, Dawn Capital and Point Nine Capital.
Truecaller, which was founded in 2009, provides mobile communications apps with services such as caller ID, spam protection and other solutions.
The company has raised more than €70m to date from investors including Atomico, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital and Open Ocean Capital.
The company recently raised a further €10m from investment firm Zenith Venture Capital.
Founded in 2009, H&D Wireless is a Swedish IoT cloud and platform system that sustains wireless modules, cloud services and smartphone applications for smart homes and enterprises.
Its latest venture is in the field of cashless payments with its Griffin Enterprise Positioning and Payments System. H&D Wireless was recently the recipient of a $3m investment to expand this latest venture.
Considered one of Sweden’s fastest growing and most decorated high-tech start-ups, the company has said that it plans to list its shares at Nasdaq First North in Stockholm during the first half of 2017.
Now Interact is a B2C predictive intelligence solution offering omnichannel intelligence to brands.
Founded by Magnus Åström, the company has developed a service using machine learning to help companies improve their customer experiences, using real-time data from online stores.
The company recently raised $5m in a Series A round led by SEB Venture Capital, with participation from Inventure and Industrifonden.
Soundtrap has developed a platform that allows musicians to collaborate and record, regardless of what device or operating system they are using.
The offering, a kind of Google Docs for musicians, has also launched a version for schools. It is signing up over 200 schools a week and is part of the Google for Education programme.
The company recently raised $6m in a Series A round led by Industrifonden and former Spotify CFO Peter Sterky.
Video doctor platform for e-health Kry has been used by 30,000 people in Sweden and employs medical professionals to provide video consultations for €30 a pop.
The company has plans to launch in more markets across Europe after raising €6.1m in a seed round led by Index Ventures as well as Creandum and Project A.
Lifesum is a Swedish digital health start-up that helps clients become healthier by using applied psychology and technology.
The company was founded by Martin Wählby, Tove Westlund, Henrik Torstensson and Marcus Gners.
The company has raised $16.7m rounds in two rounds from four investors.
Universal Avenue is a platform for on-demand sales professionals, connecting small businesses with freelance sales people.
The company recently raised $10m in a Series A investment round specifically to provide services to UK businesses post-Brexit but also to enable its US expansion.
Updated, 11.11am, 23 January 2017: This article was amended to clarify Palm’s role in Candy Crush and the status of the VR game Bait!.
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