Sweden’s VC scene has become a European powerhouse. With one of the highest densities of startups per capita in Europe, Sweden’s robust ecosystem ranks 5th globally

Sweden Venture Capital Scene Overview

Labelled as the “Unicorn Factory,” Sweden boasts an impressive number of startup valuations exceeding $1 billion, with a growing focus on cleantech, life sciences, and IT sectors. Among them are Spotify — the world’s leading music streaming platform, Klarna — the revolutionary fintech giant, and iZettle — a now-square-acquired mobile payments innovator currently owned by PayPal. 

Sweden boasts one of the highest English proficiency rates globally (nearly 90% of its population speaks English). It​​ attracts international talent, fosters seamless collaboration with foreign partners, and empowers them to scale their businesses globally.

Robust Swedes’ government support de-risks early-stage ventures, making them more attractive to VC firms. Vinnova — the national innovation agency, injects millions annually in grants for early-stage startup research and development. STING — a well-funded government-backed incubation program, provides €500K-€1.5M seed funding, mentorship, and network access.

Sweden fosters startups with its tax system. A competitive 20.6% corporate tax rate allows startups to keep more profits for reinvestment. Generous R&D tax credits fuel innovation, making Sweden a magnet for VCs seeking high-growth investments. The standard VAT rate in Sweden is 25%, with reduced rates of 12% and 6% for specific goods and services (such as food, hotels, and cultural events). Notably, F-tax registration minimizes tax burdens for relevant startups and offers opportunities to get the best investment in Sweden.

VC Stockholm ecosystem

Stockholm is nestled within the Nordic region and has a high-quality global startup scene in sectors like Climate Tech, Green Tech, and Fintech. 

Stockholm is a magnet for leading VC firms, both domestic powerhouses like Northzone and international heavyweights like Sequoia Capital. This concentration of expertise and capital creates a competitive yet collaborative environment for startups seeking funding. With investment checks of $250K-$6M, covering Seed through to Series D rounds, Stockholm ranked Sweden’s first-best startup ecosystem and fourth in Western Europe. 

Why is Stockholm a startup hub?

  • Stockholm is renowned for its business-friendly regulatory environment. Straightforward regulations and a transparent legal system make it easier for startups to navigate the complexities of launching and scaling a business. This minimizes legal hurdles and allows startups to focus their energy on innovation and growth. 
  • Stockholm has a world-class talent pool fueled by prestigious universities like KTH and Stockholm University. This pool gives access to a deep well of qualified individuals across various disciplines, which is crucial for building and scaling successful ventures.
  • Stockholm has a robust infrastructure for startups, from state-of-the-art co-working spaces SUP46 to well-established incubators and accelerators like THINGS. So, startups have all the resources to comfortably grow at every stage of their journey.
  • Stockholm fosters a global outlook within its startup community. Many startups in Stockholm are born with international ambitions, aiming to disrupt markets beyond Sweden’s borders. Stravito is one such example. Founded in 2017, it has a user-friendly platform that gathers data to help businesses collaborate and better understand their customers, market research data, and more. Stravito once worked with Waveup to streamline scalability. Now, companies worldwide feel its impact.

Ready to pitch in Stockholm? First, ensure you have an effective investor outreach strategy. We’ve compiled a list of top Stockholm VC funds to simplify your fundraising journey. Check it out!

Most active venture capital funds in Stockholm

Stockholm is a hub for 347 VC funds, with a combined portfolio of 4.01K companies. EQT VC, Creandum, and Norrsken are among the most active in the region. EQT VC — is a major player with €210B in AUM, 153 companies funded, and 13 successful exits. Creandum focuses on early-stage investing and has a strong track record with 208 investments and 38 exits. Norrsken, another early-stage VC firm, prioritizes investments with a positive social or environmental impact.

Angel investors in Sweden

Besides VC accelerators and incubators, a great share of investment flows from angel investors in Sverige. They bridge the funding gap and share their expertise with early-stage startups, with approximately 144 angel investors active in Sweden — 50% of all investors active in the country during only 2020. Among the most notable angel investors are the general partner at Pale Blue Dot, Hampus Jakobsson, ex-deputy CEO of Klarna, Niklas Adalberth, and founding partner at EQT Ventures, Hjalmar Winbladh.

Most notable startups in Stockholm

While established giants like Spotify and Klarna remain prominent, new ventures are making waves. Here’s a glimpse at some of Stockholm’s most notable startups:

  • Fintech remains a hotbed, with Zaver offering a peer-to-peer payment platform and Telness providing cloud-based telecom solutions. Anyfin helps people save money by refinancing existing loans at lower interest rates, while Mynt provides expense management solutions to small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Sustainability is the main focus. Material Exchange provides fashion apparel and footwear brands with a centralized B2B platform to work more efficiently with manufacturers and material suppliers. Meanwhile, Northvolt, a lithium-ion battery manufacturer specializing in environmentally friendly batteries, aligns perfectly with Stockholm’s emphasis on building a greener future.
  • Tech innovation is on display with Gleechi, which leverages robotics research to create a VR training platform with natural hand interaction. This platform enables easy setup of high-quality, scalable learning experiences.

More insights to streamline your journey

Swedish VCs are eager to invest but prioritize capital efficiency. If you are keen to join the fundraising track in Sweden first, check out how to craft a business plan with sustainable growth and a pitch deck with a compelling story about your solution/product. If you need help, contact our Waveup team for expert guidance.

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Anastasiia

CONTENT WRITER

Hey there! I'm Anastasiia, a Content Writer at Waveup. With my marketing expertise and storytelling magic, I turn complex data and industry insights into your startup playbook, making the business world a breeze for you! At Waveup, I work with brilliant folks who make insights a never-ending flow. So, join, read, and enjoy!