Sweden

Stockholm

"I am truly impressed by the level of skill and execution among up-and-coming entrepreneurs in Sweden. There is no doubt that entrepreneurs will find solutions to address the most pressing challenges of our time and I'm sure that Stockholm will be a key factor in us succeeding."

Omid Ekhlasi
CEO and founder, Techarenan
#4 European Ecosystem in Talent & Experience
#3 European Ecosystem in Funding
#4 European Ecosystem in Knowledge

Highlights

The success of Swedish startups such as Spotify and Skype has made Stockholm a globally renowned startup hub and attracted the attention of international investors. Klarna has raised $3.7 billion in funding over 33 rounds, including a secondary market round in December 2021. Open banking platform Tink was acquired by Visa for €1.8 billion ($1.96 billion) in January 2021. Cloud communications company Sinch raised $1.1 billion in May 2021.


Stockholm produces the most unicorns per capita after Silicon Valley and is home to more than 1,000 diverse startups with an average valuation of $3.6 million. Government and startup support organizations are not resting on their laurels, however, and continue to nurture the ecosystem with a range of initiatives.


In September 2021, UNICEF established a global center for innovation in Stockholm. The Stockholm Innovation Scholarship is awarded to five innovators in different categories: simplify everyday life, creative industries, life sciences and health, travel and tourism, and social impact and sustainability. Vinnova is the Swedish Government's innovation agency and expert authority in innovation policy. The Knowledge Foundation (KK-stiftelsen) funds research and competence development at Sweden’s colleges and universities. Sthlm Fintech Week is an annual event for the Swedish Fintech ecosystem. Kista Science City is the leading ICT cluster in Europe, hosting companies including Ericsson and IBM, as well as a range of startups and universities. Kista is also home to the Urban ICT Arena, where smart technology is created, tested, and displayed in a real urban environment.

Ecosystem by the Numbers

EARLY-STAGE FUNDING
(2019H2-2021)
$1.3 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$687 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(2019H2-2021)
$63 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$28.6 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$950 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$671 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$2.7 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2021)
$58 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$46 k
43 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
11.3 bn
356
GLOBAL AVG.
101
Amount ($)
Count (#)

Exits

(2017-2021)
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH TIER (2018/19 VS. 2020/21)
6
Calculated on a scale of
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2017-2021)
$5.7 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.5 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2017-2021)
9.4 years
GLOBAL AVG.
9.4 years

Sub-Sector Strengths

Cleantech

Sweden has become a leader in renewable energy thanks in part to the country’s ambitious goal of reaching net-zero emission by 2045. Stockholm in particular has benefited from holistic city planning, close public-private ties, and the region’s target to go CO2 free by 2040. The city’s growing demand for new fuels has pushed it to become a leader in biogas, ocean power, and smart grids. Eco-city Stockholm Royal Seaport is due to be completed in 2030.Lithium-ion battery maker Northvolt raised $2.75 billion in June 2021 to expand capacity to meet increasing demand for electric cars.

Life Sciences

Sweden’s Life Sciences companies benefit from the country’s high innovation capacity, world-leading universities, and public-private collaboration. Business Sweden accelerates the growth and innovation of Swedish Life Sciences companies. The government has created an office of Life Sciences to develop a national strategy for the Life Sciences. SISP is a national platform supporting both incubators and Life Sciences startups. Investment syndicate Sciety provides capital market services with a focus on Swedish Life Sciences.

Reasons to Move Your Startup to Stockholm

Global Outlook

Stockholm’s ecosystem is notably international, with large numbers of foreign players hailing from diverse backgrounds. English is the language of business in the ecosystem, and multiculturalism is viewed as a business strength. Sweden’s open economy fosters innovation and competition. The government proactively invests to promote the growth of promising sectors and trade with growing markets such as the Baltic region, India, and Brazil.

Selected Startup Organizations

Startup Genome
Partners

Epicenter
Impacthub
Northzone
SUP46
Venturecup

Get connected

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