14 fast-moving Copenhagen start-ups to watch in 2018

12 Oct 2017

Cyclists outside the Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen. Image: William Perugini/Shutterstock

Copenhagen is a city that is defiantly carving its own path to tech glory.

Everyone knows that Copenhagen is scenic, historic and graceful. Everyone knows it is the home to Carlsberg, lots of bikes and, of course, the Little Mermaid.

But what people are beginning to realise more and more is the sheer scale of the city’s start-up ambitions.

According to #CPHFTW (Copenhagen For The Win), a community led and organised by start-ups, the ambition is to place Denmark and the Öresund Region firmly among the best places in the world to start a business. Other cities around Europe with their own start-up ambitions should take note of the collective and comprehensive power of #CPHFTW.

There are approximately 400 tech companies in Denmark that run the gamut of technologies, from analytics and big data to gaming, cloud, fintech and apps.

The city of Copenhagen has a proud history of successful tech companies that include Zendesk (founded in a loft), Unity, Trustpilot, Siteimprove and LogPoint, and one of its highest-profile entrepreneur exports is Berlin-based Ida Tin, co-founder and CEO of women’s menstruation-tracking app Clue.

Momentum is also being stirred by the arrival of ByFounders, which has just revealed a new €100m fund for the region.

It is no surprise, therefore, that Copenhagen sees itself as a place that Silicon Valley talent would want to migrate to in the coming years.

And so, here are the Copenhagen start-ups you need to watch out for in 2018.


Intent on disrupting the $50bn tattoo business, Tattoodo is a social-media play for people who want to share tattoo designs, and it has more than 20m users to back it up. Launched by Johan Plenge and Mik Thobo-Carlsen, the company last year raised $2.5m in venture capital. Tattoodo has also launched an Android and iOS app for people who want to share tattoo designs, styles and news.


Pleo provides a subscription-based service for companies to automate expenses and has more than 1,000 businesses using its platform. It has both a virtual and physical company card that enables SMEs to take more control over employee expenditure. Founded by Jeppe Rindom and Niccolo Perra, the company raised $3.5m in February, bringing total investment so far to $5.5m.


Tonsser offers a vertical social network aimed at young soccer players who want to get discovered by a bigger club. Currently live in France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, Tonsser is planning a big foray into the UK market in 2018 and recently raised £2.5m in a new round. During the summer, it emerged that Tonsser is collaborating with Nike and now has 380,000 youth players registered, up from 100,000 last year.


Rfrsh is an e-sports media and live entertainment producer that works with emerging elite e-sports teams to help them build their brand and secure lucrative sponsorship and marketing agreements. It has management deals with three major Counter-Strike teams: Astralis, Heroic and Godsent. Rfrsh raised €7.2m in June from lead investors Creandum on top of €4m raised in 2016.


On a mission to democratise the recording of football, Veo uses AI and video camera technology to enable amateur soccer clubs to stream and video matches and training sessions without the need for an operator. The Veo camera rig consists of two 4K cameras inside a 3D-printed box and records a 180-degree panorama of the entire pitch. Using deep neural networks and computer vision, the Veo camera tracks the ball and player with precision. The company is understood to have raised €2m to date.


14 fast-moving Copenhagen start-ups to watch in 2018

Image: Airtame

Airtame has created an ingenious wireless HDMI device that wants to help rid homes, office and schools of cords and cables. The wireless device can plug into the HDMI port of any screen or projector, and streams content from any computer when connected to Wi-Fi. Airtame has already raised $1.3m in a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter and a similar amount from private investors.


Vivino is a wine community website and app that has 20m users who contribute millions of ratings, making up one of the world’s largest wine libraries. Founded by Heini Zachariassen and Theis Sondergaard, Vivino last year raised $25m in a Series B round led by SCP Neptune International, the family investment vehicle of Moët Hennessy CEO Christophe Navarre.


Monsenso offers an m-health solution to help optimise the treatment of mental disorders. Founded in 2013 by Jakob Bardram and Mads Frost as a spin-out from the IT University of Copenhagen, Monsenso’s technology is based on research that was completed under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme. Earlier this year, the company raised €3m in a funding round.


Relink is a machine-learning technology company whose platform matches applicants to jobs and vice versa. It sells APIs that use machine learning to screen candidates and match them to job openings, and its platform has so far read more than 20m CVs. Earlier this year, Relink raised $1m in a seed funding round led by Seed Capital and other investors.

Gan Integrity

Gan Integrity builds cloud-based compliance software for managing corporate risk, third-party due diligence and whistleblower concerns about safety. Its platform combines time-consuming compliance tasks into simple, automated campaigns. Earlier this year, Gan Integrity raised $9m in a Series A round led by Edison Partners.


Skidos is an edtech start-up that relocated to Copenhagen from New Delhi. Led by Aditya Prakash, the company has created a software development kit that helps developers turn casual games into learning apps. In recent weeks, Skidos raised around €638,000 in seed funding.


Founded by Sara Green Brodersen and Jens Farvig Thomsen, Deemly is a reputation and social-verification tool for P2P marketplaces and sharing economy businesses, helping them to build trust for their community and ultimately allowing users to take their reputation with them across all their online activity.


Founded in 2014, Coinify operates as a blockchain payment service provider for merchants and consumers, and it works with global payment providers, online merchants, physical shops and individuals. Last year, Coinify raised $4m in a Series A led by SEB Capital. In recent weeks, SEB teamed up with Nasdaq to trial blockchain for mutual fund trading.


HR tech player Planday is an employee scheduling and communication app that claims to bring down staff costs by 5pc and administration time by as much as 75pc. The app is widely used by hotels, retailers, restaurants, call centres, fitness clubs and more. Planday has raised more than $17m in three different rounds.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years