Located in northern Europe, Sweden is tucked in between the neighbouring countries of Norway and Finland. The country occupies the greater part of the Scandinavian Peninsula and is one of the oldest and most stable parts of the planet. Sweden ranks among the highest in the world in terms of standard of living and life expectancy. The US$ 530.8 billion dollar economy is highly dependent on free international trade, with exports amounting to around one-third of its GDP. Being an advanced welfare state, the country has one of the highest tax rates in the world, but the taxes are rational, and efficient. Health care, child care and education costs are primarily met by taxation.
From startups that manufacture autonomous, all-electric road transport vehicles to those that provide an online payment platform to facilitate cashless payments, Sweden has a fantastisk startup ecosystem worth exploring.
The analysis is based on data from Crunchbase, and overall, 16 startups have been analysed. Startups considered for this analysis are unlisted non-government entities that have raised more than $100 million (USD) of capital to date. The estimated revenue range was available for 11 startups.
The startups have been classified according to various industries based on data from Pitchbook, and the sector classification is based on Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). The sector classification is subjective and has been made considering the sector/industry that the startups closely resemble.
The industrial sector is ranked first both in terms of the number of startups (4) and the amount of funding (US$ 6.4 billion). Prominent industries in this sector include electrical equipment (US$ 6.04 billion) and logistics (US$ 249.5 million).
Einride is a unique startup that manufactures autonomous, all-electric road transport vehicles. Aptly named the Pod is the first fully electric, totally autonomous transport vehicle to operate on a public road in the world. The Pod allows for remote monitoring and operation as the operators can oversee and control the Pod on-demand, ruling out the need for an onboard human driver. The startup has raised close to US$ 152 million from investors such as Temasek Holdings, Soros Fund Management and Northzone.
Instabox is a shipping service that is available through select online retailers. With the promise of speedy and uncomplicated delivery, the startup offers same-day delivery with select online retailers, and its smart boxes are accessible to more than half of Sweden’s population. The startup has raised US$ 137.1 million in six funding rounds between 2017 and 2021. Founded in 2016, Northvolt operates lithium-ion battery plants that produce batteries for electric vehicles. In recent developments, the Swedish automobile manufacturer- Volvo Car Group has expressed its intention to establish a joint venture with Northvolt to develop and produce more sustainable batteries tailored to power the next generation of pure electric Volvo and Polestar vehicles. As a part of the 50/50 joint venture, Volvo and Northvolt aim to set up an R&D centre in Sweden that will begin operations next year. The startup has raised a staggering US$ 6 billion from investors such as Goldman Sachs, European Investment Bank, and Siemens.
The financial sector has attracted 32% of the funding or US$ 4.62 billion and is home to 19% of the startups. Among startups in this sector Klarna has raised the highest amount of funding- US$ 3.73 billion. Klarna was founded in 2005 with the aim of making it easier for people to shop online. Close to two decades later, Klarna is the leading global payments and shopping service providing purchase experiences to a whopping 90 million active consumers across more than 250K merchants in 17 countries. The startup has made nine acquisitions, with its most recent one being Toplooks.ai, an AI engine for online fashion and apparel shoppers, in March this year.
The consumer discretionary sector is also home to 19% of the startups and has attracted 6% of the funding or US$ 822.4 million. Prominent industries in this sector include automotive (US$ 528.2 million) and internet retail (US$ 294.3 million). Founded in 2018, Voi. provides e-scooters rental services. With the mission of shaping cities for people, reducing air and noise pollution, the startup boasts a community of 600K riders. Voi. has raised close to US$ 356 million across seven funding rounds between 2018 and 2020.
Overall Swedish startups have raised US$ 14.34 billion in funding, with a majority raising it within ten rounds. Of the 11 startups for which the data was available, eight had an estimated revenue range of less than US$ 50 million. Excluding startups for which the venture series was unknown, debt financing was ranked first in terms of the amount of funding (US$ 1.28 billion).
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