Sweden

Stockholm #17

Stockholm has a mature value driven and true international startup ecosystem built on Swedish innovation excellence, equality values and pay-it-forward culture.

Marie Wall
Startup director, Deputy director at Ministry of Enterprise, Division for Research, Innovation and Access to Finance

Highlights

The success of Swedish startups like Spotify, Skype, and Klarna has made Stockholm a globally renowned startup hub and attracted the attention of international investors. The city now 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. Local government and startup organizations are working to further improve the ecosystem and make the city even more attractive to talent. The City of Stockholm launched ‘Starta eget Stockholm’ in July 2020. The unique new service pairs entrepreneurs with a personalized advisor who can offer early-stage business coaching. The city covers the full cost of the program. The Stockholm Innovation Scholarship promotes innovation in the Stockholm region. Stockholm, which is home to 22 global multinational corporations, offers founders impressive opportunities for collaboration and connection as well. Kista Science City is the leading ICT cluster in Europe, housing world-leading ICT companies such as Ericsson and IBM, a range of startups, the leading universities of Stockholm, and Urban ICT Arena, a testbed for 5G and IoT technologies. New digital culture center Space will open in the heart of Stockholm in November 2021. Sthlm Fintech Week is an annual initiative focusing on building a stronger Swedish FinTech ecosystem. Notable funding news out of Stockholm includes cloud communications company Sinch’s announcement in May 2021 that it had raised another $1.1 billion in funding from Temasek and SoftBank.

Ecosystem by the numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
$1 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$548 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
$46 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$13.68 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND
$640 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$480 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND
$1.7 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$3 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY
$58 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$44 k

Sub-sector Strengths

Cleantech

Stockholm’s Climate Action Plan 2020–2023 sets out a plan to meet the city’s ambitious climate goals, including becoming fossil-free and climate-positive by 2040. Eco-city Stockholm Royal Seaport is one of the biggest urban development projects in Europe. The industrial district of Högdalen is another new center for CleanTech. It houses an advanced R&D center for innovations in recycling, waste management, and energy. Nordic Cleantech Open spotlights 25 innovative CleanTech startups annually. In June 2021 lithium-ion battery maker Northvolt raised $2.75 billion in funding.

Life Sciences

Stockholm’s Hagastaden district is a growing Life Sciences hub. The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation disburses an average of US$238 million yearly to finance research, primarily in the sub-sector. The Stockholm Life Science Conference hosts discussions of the future of Life Sciences. Investment syndicate Sciety focuses on Swedish Life Sciences. In January 2021 medtech company Capitainer raised US$3.7 million with Sciety. Pharmaceutical company Calliditas Therapeutics IPO’ed in June 2020 at a valuation of $935 million.

Reasons to move your startup to Stockholm

Tech Talent

Several prestigious colleges and universities, including the Royal Institute of Technology and the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship, are located in Stockholm and turn out startup-ready graduates every year. The government prioritizes STEM in its education system to create a strong pool of tech talent.

Shared Office Spaces

The introduction of new, more affordable shared office spaces has made it easier for founders to set up businesses in Stockholm, which is known for its red hot real estate market. Startups moving to Stockholm are now spoilt for choice when it comes to co-working spaces where they can launch and grow their businesses.

Startup Community

Startup Genome
Partners

Epicenter
Impacthub
Northzone
SUP46
Venturecup

Get connected

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