From Spotify to Klarna to Mojang, Stockholm is midstride in what they hope to be a series of landmark multibillion dollar exits and IPOs. The impact of Swedish entrepreneurs also transcends borders, with the likes of Soundcloud, King.com, and Skype having Swedish origins and founders. Part of Stockholm’s success is attributed to their forward-thinking local and national governments’ investments in digital infrastructure, computer access, and digital education since the 1990s. The culture’s keen appreciation for design aesthetic gives way to beautiful products, and high education levels mean a variety of strong local talent. Yet there are risks. The tax structure is quite unfriendly towards startups and employees, and housing is in short supply and expensive. This drives entrepreneurs to relocate abroad, and makes it difficult to attract much needed international talent to help Swedish startups scale past their small domestic market. Still, Stockholm has momentum. Since 2013, a variety of coworking spaces (Epicenter, SUP46, The Kastle) and notable events have emerged to unite the startup community and help it overcome Swedish ‘Jantian’ modesty.
These businesses offer industry expertise and are a source of startup talent and potential customers. They help fuel the local startup community.
Up and coming startup
Acquired for $2.5B by
Up and coming startup
Acquired for $175M by
Daniel and Martin founded music streaming service Spotify in 2006. Since then, Spotify has grown to become the largest online music streaming service in the world. They are staples of the Stockholm tech and startups community.
Pär is the founder and CEO of STING, a government backed incubator. He coaches companies in both ICT and cleantech and has worked with developing new technology-based export companies in everything from financing and production to building up businesses in other countries.
Jane is a serial entrepreneur and an avid investor, having been the first angel investor in Klarna. During the last 15 years, she has been involved in almost a dozen startups. Currently she is the CEO of Teclo Networks.
In 2013, Jessica, Nathalie, and Sebastian founded SUP46 in the heart of Stockholm as a meeting place for the city's most exciting companies. The vision of the SUP46 founders jumpstarted Stockholm's startup community, and has since given way to a dozen more coworking spaces.
Founded in 2005, Klarna has become one of Stockholm's most recognized tech companies. The founders maintain an active presence in the Stockholm startup scene and offer inspiration for many area entrepreneurs.
Fredrik, along with the rest of the Creandum team, is one of the most active and respected VC's in the Nordic region. Creandum has led institutional rounds of financing in many companies that have disrupted their respective markets. These companies include, among others, Cint, Spotify and Videoplaza.
Tyler is one of the core pillars of the Stockholm tech community. Among a variety of community initiatives, Tyler founded #STHLMTECH Meetup, which unites geeks, hackers, entrepreneurs, event organizers, and designers from across the city. Additionally, he is a board member at SUP46, an Executive Producer at global startup conference Launch.co, and the founder of Skweal.com.
Hans is the Stockholm-based Partner of Northzone, a top-tier VC based in Oslo but active across the Nordics. Hans verticals of interest are ecommerce, fintech, cybersecurity, and enterprise. Companies in his portfolio include Tobii, Fyndiq, Footway, and Climatewell.
Alan and Nami founded Truecaller in 2009, a platform that allows people to identify and block unwanted callers. The service has over 100 million users, and investors include Sequoia Capital, Atomico and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers
Perhaps the most knowledgeable person in the Swedish mobile industry, Tomas is running a global tour for tech startup to enable global growth, covering such venues as CES, MWC, SLUSH and many many more. Tomas loves to help startups and share his fenomenal global network. Tomas is advising a few selected startups and is on the advisor board for SUP46. His expertise and consistent presence has garnered him the nickname "Mr. Mobile."
An innovation cluster formed by industry, academia and the public sector. The aim of the foundation was to make the region a world-leader in electronics research. The number of high tech firms here helped pave the way for future startups.1986
Stokab was formed by the Stockholm government to build a fiber-optic network throughout the city. This laid fundamental infrastructure for widespread use and for startups to build upon.1994
Labeled as "personal computer reform", the government modified the federal tax code to subsidize computer purchases. This allowed for virtually every Swede to have a personal computer, driving computer literacy. Many founders attribute this decision as having major impact on where they are today.1998
Listed #1 for its contribution to the Web 1.0 boom days, this was significant early international recognition of what Stockholm was doing, and what it was destined to become.1998
Stockholm Innovation & Growth, or "STING," provides a variety of support to entrepreneurs, from mentorship and acceleration to funding. It's played a pivotal role in the growth of the Stockholm startup scene.January 2002
Creandum is a staple of the Stockholm funding scene. It's Partners are active, well-respected, and have funded a number of Sweden's top startups. Northzone, an Oslo-based competitor, will open its Stockholm office soon after.March 2003
Spotify, Klarna, and several other startups from this period are the foundation of Stockholm's Web 2.0 success stories. Young founders, some coming out of the dotcom bust, blazed their own trail. These leaders now churn out lots of talent and are slated to many new millionaires.Feb 2005 / Oct 2006
Tied to the hashtag created to unite the community, #STHLMTECH Meetup has given voice to the startup community and is a staple networking event for the local tech scene.June 2013
The first coworking space of the city, SUP46 helps anchor the Stockholm startup community. It was quickly followed by 10+ more coworking spaces.October 2013
A milestone funding event not just for Stockholm, but for the Nordics and beyond. This round valued Spotify at $8.5B, the highest startup valuation in Europe at this time.June 2015