Oct 28, 2015 Katja Toropainen
The session will feature some of the hottest Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Danish technology companies that have found their product-market fit, and are looking to scale quickly. Most of the companies are in the series A/B territory, having raised $5-25M in venture capital. In the Nordic Showcase, we will get to hear why these businesses were founded in the first place, what problem the entrepreneurs are solving, and what their next steps are on the way to leaving a mark on the global technology community. The companies are:
Acast is a podcasting app and web service providing free, on-demand audio content, enhanced by additional rich media and links. It was launched in Stockholm in 2014 and only four months from that named “Start-up of the Year” by IDG magazine, Internetworld and ‘Most innovative media service’ at the leading mobile industry awards Mobilgalan. It closed a $5M Series A funding round, led by Bonnier Growth Media, in May 2015. The service has 1 million users and 12 million streams per month. Acast has now offices in Stockholm, London and from the July this year also in New York. Acast is about to launch in the USA during this fall.
Beddit is a sleep tracker that helps to discover the quality of sleep. The Beddit sensor connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth, tracking sleep information such as heart rate, movements, environment, sleep cycles and so on. The app shows the stats and provides personalized tips for better sleep. The Finnish company has offices in Finland and Silicon Valley and it is a global leader in consumer focused sleep tracking. This month, Beddit announced the launch of Apple Watch sleep tracking app as Smart Sleep Tracker came to Apple Stores.
Enevo is a waste management sensor company that has a waste monitoring service ONe that promises to bring up to 50 percent savings in waste collection costs by analysing data from wireless sensors inside waste containers and recycling sites. With the information, waste containers can always be emptied exactly when needed – not half empty or overfull. In June this year, the company announced it raised $15.8M in Series B funding, which makes the total funding raised up to $26.75M. The Finnish company’s technology is already in use by 145 customers in 35 different countries. With the new funding they are planning to expand their global footprint.
The social media management software platform Falcon Social was founded in 2010 for tackling the social media marketing needs for businesses. The company has a diverse client portfolio including companies such as Coca-Cola, Jaguar, Toyota and Warner music helping them to explore the full potential of social media marketing through its platform. This year, the company impressively closed a $16M Series B funding round that brought its total financing to date to $25.33M, closed out the first quarter of 2015 with revenue growth of 25 percent and increase in staff of 20 percent. Copenhagen-founded company opened its North American headquarters in 2014 but in less than a year outgrew the space in New York office and announced to relocate its headquarters to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Recently, Falcon Social has partnered with a data collection company DataSift, which allows Falcon to give clients access to Facebook topic data.
FishBrain, also called ‘Facebook for fishing’, is an app for anglers that was the winner of Slush 100 in 2012. The service allows users to log their fishing trips and catches and browse crowdsourced information about weather, sightings and fishing hot-spots. Sport fishing is the world’s most popular hobby. In the US, FishBrain’s biggest market, 60M people spend their spare time fishing and collectively spend more than $48B annually on the sport, which makes the market huge. FishBrain was launched in Sweden in 2013, and it currently operates in the US, Sweden, Canada, Australia and the UK. It has recently raised $8M in a funding round and is planning international expansion.
Kahoot! is a global game-based learning platform that aims to make learning more meaningful, playful and powerful to help learners realise their deepest potential. Kahoot! was launched in 2013 in Norway and it is nowadays operational in more than 180 countries and has more than 20 million monthly users. In June this year, Kahoot! raised $6.5M in a funding. It was also one of this year’s winners of the EdTech 20, which awards annually the most innovative education technology companies in Europe. Read more about Kahoot! from the blog post focusing on edutech startups on Slush News.
Finnish mobile entertainment startup Seriously with offices in California and Finland, announced in August this year a closing of $18M in Series A funding. A round was led by Northzone along with Korea Investment Partners, Upfront Ventures, Sunstone Capital and Daher Capital, bringing its total capital raised to $28M. Seriously launched their first mobile game, Best Fiends, a year ago and since that, it has already had over 15M downloads and 1.35M daily players. They are planning to release the second game in the trilogy later this year and to expand from being a mobile game maker into ‘a global entertainment franchise’.
Sinch is a cloud-based, mobile communications platform that has in less than a year passed the $60M revenue run rate mark. Their mission is to enrich the modern app experience by making it easy for mobile developers to add communication such as voice, messaging, and verification into their apps. They promise the industry’s easiest implementation, integrating the service features into an app in 15 minutes or less. Sinch was launched with 12$M in funding from Index Ventures and Balderton Capital. The company is based in Stockholm and San Francisco, and already have big clients such as Tango, Truecaller and Swedbank.
Swedish-based Soundtrack Your Brand is a Spotify joint venture and the exclusive provider of Spotify Business and Spotify Enterprise. These two services let retailers and others control and stream Spotify music in stores and other venues. The company was co-founded by former Spotify head of business development Andreas Liffgarden and co-founder of Beats Ola Sars, and it closed a $10.9M Series B funding round in June this year. The round was led by Telia Sonera (which put $115M into Spotify’s last round) with participation from Spotify, PlayNetwork, Creandum, Northzone and Wellington Partners. The company operates currently in Sweden, and with its new fund it is about to win new business in the Nordics before expanding to Europe, the U.S. and beyond.
The Norwegian company Xeneta is rethinking global logistics by providing global sea freight market information, which gives companies access to actionable data on shipping rates and actual transit times with thousands of shipping routes worldwide. It also allows companies to track the prices they are given and compare these to the market, helping them to do better decisions. Xeneta was launched in 2012 and it raised a $5,3M Series A funding earlier this year from its previous backers Creandum, Point Nine Capital, and Alden, alongside new investor Alliance Venture, which brings the total raised to $8.5M. Xeneta says it uses the capital to accelerate its product innovation and growth.
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