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Startup boom continues -- Stockholm tech and health firms attract record investment

The Stockholm startup scene continues to go from strength to strength, with a record amount being invested in the city’s technology companies by international investors so far this year.

During the first six months of 2016, more money was invested in Stockholm-based startups than during all of 2015, which also was a record year, according to a breakdown by Nordic Web, a resource on venture capital for the Nordic startup scene.

A total of $1.2 billion was invested between January and June this year, dwarfing the $892 million that was invested during the whole of 2015. At the same time, the number of investments swelled, from 90 in 2015 to 111 so far this year.

“We clearly see that the activity level in the local startup community is increasing and that more international investors are finding their way to Stockholm,” said Joseph Michael of Invest Stockholm. “Last year was a record year in terms of investments, but it turns out that it was only the beginning. I think we will see even more activity in the coming year.”

Behind the numbers are some interesting trends.

Like last year, companies in financial technology continued to attract most investments, with 20 finalized rounds in total. With groundbreaking firms like iZettle, Tink and Klarna, the Swedish capital has become the second leading fintech city in Europe.

The biggest difference in this year’s investments is the focus on healthcare and wellness startups. This sector was second when it came to the number of investments, with 11. It represents a dramatic increase; health and wellness was not even in the most popular list last year.

“This category is not new in Stockholm, there are plenty of great innovations and companies in this space that are now getting global recognition,” Michael said. “This is most likely due to a global trend and increased interest in the health and wellness industry.”

Media, e-commerce, recruitment, and sales and marketing startups also closed new investment rounds.

The biggest investments so far this year have been in music streaming service Spotify, mobile advertising firm Widespace, med-tech firm Irras, mobile banking app Tink, health app Lifesum and Universal Avenue, which lets companies access a local sales force on demand

Another striking trend is who is investing in Stockholm’s tech firms. This year, the capital is getting increased attention from some of the world’s largest and most prestigious investment companies.

500 Startups, one of the world’s leading early-stage venture funds and seed accelerators, has launched an ambitious program in Stockholm with seven investments so far this year.

Significant investments were also made by GV, the venture capital arm of Alphabet formerly known as Google Ventures, Index Ventures, Balderton Capital and Accel.

The record investment is yet anther sign that Stockholm has become the startup capital of Europe. Indeed, the city is the second most prolific tech hub in the world on a per capita basis, behind Silicon Valley, producing 6.3 billion-dollar companies per million people, according to analysis by London-based Atomico.

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This article was sponsored by Invest Stockholm.

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Last Updated (Wednesday, 07 September 2016 13:58)


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