Swedish tech scene cheers $1bn investment

More than one billion dollars has already been invested in Sweden's tech scene in 2015, according to a new report tracking funding flowing into the Nordic country.

Swedish tech scene cheers $1bn investment
Swedish kronor, hot off the press. Photo: Riksbanken/TT
The money has come from around 180 investors, according to Industrifonden, the Swedish venture capital fund that carried out the research.
“The Swedish startup sector is booming and continues to punch above its weight in terms of global winners,” the report concludes.
It adds that business angels, international hedge funds and corporate investors have all stumped up money for the growing tech scene so far in 2015, with foreign donors participating in about 40 percent of all Swedish funding rounds.
Among deals involving international participation, investment from the USA was most common, followed by the UK.
But the research suggests that a few wealthy Swedish individuals or companies remain most influential, with Sweden's top ten most active investors involved in half of all deals.
Music technology, software and ecommerce were among the key sectors to attract investment.
The news comes as a global buzz continues around Swedish startups, especially those in the capital.
Following in the footsteps of the likes of Skype, Spotify and Mojang, Stockholm is fast becoming one of Europe's biggest tech hubs. According to separate recent research for investment firm Atomico, Stockholm has the largest number of billion dollar companies per capita outside of Silicon Valley.
Other European cities are also increasingly viewing the Swedish capital as a strong source for international talent, with leading business and technology group Berlin Partner recently linking up with Visit Berlin to try and convince Stockholm-based startups to relocate to Germany.
Jessica Stark, founder and CEO of SUP46, a Sweden-based startup members' group told The Local in September that the initiative was “a great validation of our startup scene (…) a natural development given the amount of exciting startups we have here.”
But there are ongoing concerns about Sweden's infrastructure, most notably its current accommodation shortage, as the startup scene continues to grow.
“The housing market is a bit tricky but there is help to be had,” Julika Lamberth, Business Development Manager for Stockholm Business Region, told The Local last week.
She said the state-funded organisation – set up to drive investment to the city – was consulting with businesses and international professionals in the city to analyse the problem. This includes stepping up efforts to link tech firms with local municipalties and real estate companies in the area.
“We are a facilitator and we can connect interesting players together (…) to make it easier for international companies to continue to attract international talent,” she added.


Malmö games start-up wins Supercell backing

The Finnish mobile games giant Supercell has invested 35 million Swedish kronor ($2.6million) in a Malmö games startup, in a further sign the city's games incubators are attracting international attention.

Malmö games start-up wins Supercell backing
Some of the Bouncy Tins designed by Luau. Photo: Screen Grab/Luau Games
Malmö's Luau Games, based in the city's Minc Incubator, has so far developed just one game, the as yet unreleased platform game Bouncy Tins. 
The game, which features “tiny robots trying to make their way to freedom”, is designed to be easily played with a single finger on a mobile phone. 
“I am super proud that we have gained the attention of the world's absolute best mobile games developer,” Luau co-founder Stéphane Stamboulis told the Sydsvenskan newspaper. 
“The plan is to develop a new mobile game, which will probably be on the market in around a year.”
Stamboulis and his co-founder Michel Savariradjalou, so far the company's only employees, plan to hire ten colleagues over the next six months. 
The two Frenchmen previously worked as art directors at the Malmö offices of the Swedish games giant King.