Denmark

Denmark

MEMBERS:
Digital Hub Denmark

"Denmark is one of the most digitalized countries in the world, making it an attractive market to foster innovation and adopt disruptive technologies. With growing international interest, we will continue to adopt new measures to facilitate entry into the Danish ecosystem."

Simon Kollerup
Minister for Industry, Business, and Financial Affairs
Top 10 European Ecosystem in Performance
Top 10 European Ecosystem in Talent & Experience
Top 15 European Ecosystem in Funding

Highlights

Internationally, Denmark’s startup scene may be best known for Copenhagen-founded unicorns including Zendesk, Trustpilot, and Pleo, but there are several other flourishing clusters of specialized tech knowledge. Aarhus is Denmark’s youngest city by population, Odense is a hub for robotics, and Jutland offers both urban life and nature. Collectively, Denmark’s cities form a vibrant and nurturing startup ecosystem that in 2021 was home to more than 4,300 startups and scaleups and 30 active VC investors. The nation has produced 10 unicorns to date.


The robust ecosystem, educated talent pool, and relatively low tax rate of 22% for foreign investors have attracted the interest of international corporations. IBM has a software development center in Copenhagen, Apple built a sustainably-powered data center in Viborg, and in December 2021, Meta/Facebook announced plans to expand its Odense data center campus.


Denmark has a formal governance model across its strongest digital tech ecosystems (Fintech, Healthtech, Robotics, Createch, Proptech, Agtech, and Edtech) that is governed by a steering committee for the Danish Digital Ecosphere, with leaders from the strongest ecosystems and Digital Hub Denmark. Together they work to attract talent, investors, and customers to the 1,100 tech startups and scaleups in the ecosphere.


In July 2021, Copenhagen-based Dixa, which creates customer engagement software, raised $105 million in a Series C round. Aarhus-founded ViaBill has raised $177.3 million over four rounds, including $120 million at an unknown series round in February 2022.

Ecosystem by the Numbers

EARLY-STAGE FUNDING
(2019H2-2021)
$1.1 bn
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
$687 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(2019H2-2021)
$38 bn
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
$28.6 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$1.2 m
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
$671 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$4.7 m
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
$4.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2021)
$74 k
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
$46 k
21 bn
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
11.3 bn
258
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
101
Amount ($)
Count (#)

Exits

(2017-2021)
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH TIER (2018/19 VS. 2020/21)
5
Calculated on a scale of
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2017-2021)
$5.9 bn
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
$4.5 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2017-2021)
10.6 years
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
9.4 years

Sub-Sector Strengths

Life Sciences

Denmark is one of the fastest-growing European nations for biotech investment, second only to the Netherlands for pace of growth in 2021. Health Tech Hub Copenhagen is a community and coworking space for leading Healthtech startups. BioInnovation Institute, an initiative of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, operates an incubator and supports early-stage Life Sciences projects and startups. Cancer therapy developer IO Biotech raised $100.1 million in its November 2021 IPO, and Bioproduction startup 21st.Bio raised $97.1 million in December 2021.

Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics

Odense, Denmark, is one of the top robotics hubs in Europe, hosting ​175 startups and scaleups, 40 higher education programs, and 10 research institutes. Robotics cluster Odense Robotics achieved the EU-certified Gold Label for Cluster Management Excellence. DTU Skylab is the Technical University of Denmark’s living lab for innovation and entrepreneurship where students, researchers, and corporate partners can collaborate on innovative solutions for real-world challenges. Blue Ocean Robotics raised DKK 335 million ($51 million) in January 2022.

Fintech

In 2015, Denmark was home to 70 Fintech companies. By the end of 2021, it was home to more than 250. Copenhagen Fintech is one of the leading Fintech hubs in the Nordics, with more than 200 members, strong connections to the corporate sector, and a lively coworking space. Expense management tools developer Pleo raised a $350 million Series C in December 2021, putting the company's pre-money valuation at $4.35 billion. Digital bank Lunar has raised $371.3 million in funding over nine rounds.

Reasons to Move Your Startup to Denmark

Ease of Doing Business

You can register a company In Denmark in 15 minutes with an electronic application and just DKK 1 ($0.15). Companies are tax exempt until their working capital exceeds DKK 50,000 ($7,300). The government’s Start-up Denmark initiative is a one-point-of-entry for both EU and non-EU entrepreneurs to relocate and grow high-impact startups in Denmark. If accepted to the program, up to two founders receive a residence and work permanent for up to two years, with the possibility of a three-year extension.

Educated Talent

Copenhagen is home to the Technical University of Denmark, one of the leading engineering institutions in Europe; Copenhagen Business School, one of Europe’s largest business schools; the IT University; and Aalborg University, which has been ranked as Europe’s best engineering university for five years in a row. Thanks to these institutions and more, there is an abundance of highly qualified talent to hire in Denmark.

Supportive Community

Denmark has a tight-knit startup ecosystem that is easy to tap into. There are numerous platforms that assist startups looking to enter the Danish market and soften the transition. Copenhagen Fintech, Copenhagen Health Tech Hub, Odense Robotics, Vision Denmark, Proptech Denmark, Edtech Denmark, Agro Food Park, and the national industry association for startups are some examples.

Selected Startup Organizations

Startup Genome Members

"We are excited to see Denmark's rapid progress in developing a united and well-coordinated startup ecosystem. In each of Denmark's core areas of innovation, be it Proptech or Robotics, you will find truly inspiring and highly innovative companies that are scaling globally."
Marc Penzel, Founder & President of Startup Genome

Key Ecosystem Players

Startup Genome
Partners

AAU Incubator (SEA), Aalborg University
AI Innovation House
AalborgSyndikatet
Agro Food Park Inkubator/Agro Business Park
Arsenalet
BrainsBusiness
Business Factory
Center for Industrial Production
Danske Commodities (DC) Business Accelerator
Ecopark
Filmby Aarhus incl. Ideas Lab
Food ehub
Green Tech Center
Growing Investors
IT Forum
Ideas Lab
Incuba Science Parks incl. Incuba Startup Lab
LYNfabrikken
Novi
Odense Robotics
Odense Robotics Startup Hub
Office Lab
Robo Cluster
Startup Factory - Navitas
StartupWorks
TechBBQ
The Danish Growth Fund
The city of Aarhus, Business Development
UAS Denmark
VIA studentervæksthus Aarhus C
WeLoveStartups

Get connected

Are you interested in diving deeper into this ecosystem? Drop us a message. Our Ambassadors and Partners can plug you in.