August's Tech Highlights from the Nordics by Fredy-Edwin Esse


One would assume that August is a quiet time, when most Nordic people usually go on vacation and thus there wouldn’t be much news on the startup scene. Yes, one would assume that, but the reality is exactly the opposite. It was a busy last summer month so let’s get right to it, shall we?

 

Sweden

 

One of the biggest news we heard from Sweden during August is how Swedish mobile sensor company Acconeer AB raised $7.2 million in an investment round. Acconeer will use to money to complete it’s 3D sensor and start commercializing their ultra-low power and millimeter precision sensor. The company’s sensor could revolutionize the way mobile devices interpret surroundings.

 

Sweden’s KRY, an app for connecting patients with doctors for video consultations, has raised a seed round of €6.1 million led by Index Ventures and Creandum. KRY is currently available in Sweden and plans to launch in more markets in Europe with the aid of this seed round.

 

Just last week we heard how Stockholm-based gesture technology startup ManoMotion raised $1.7 million in seed capital. The company’s technology makes it possible to let your hands touch-less talk to technology using a simple 2D camera on any smart device. The hand-tracking can be used for Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality or any technology that requires natural and intuitive interaction.

 

Denmark

 

Ever had to deal with airline customer service or had problems during your flights? Apparently this is a huge market (Europe alone the addressable market is around €6 billion) and AirHelp want a piece of that.

 

The company raised $12 million in Series A funding from a group of investors, including Khosla Ventures and Evan Williams. AirHelp promises to get you money from airlines when you deserve it and takes a 25% cut for it’s services.

 

Be ready to soon hop on a bus again, because that’s the goal of bookingabus.com, a Danish startup that makes finding bus tickets more convenient. The company raised around $1.1 million and added two new board members in Rasmus Busk, managing director at Veisure, and Eric Nilsson, CEO of STYLEPIT.

 

Estonia

 

One of the biggest investment rounds this August came from Estonia, where FirstFloor Capital led a Series C investment round to fund Europe’s leading ultracapacitor manufacturer Skeleton Technologies with €13 million. The company founded in 2009 has now raised nearly €27 million in total. The latest funding will help in its next phase of revenue ramp-up to bring graphene ultracapacitors from high-end sectors to the mass market.

 

Scoro – the work management software solution for professional and creative services – has closed a €1.7 million seed funding round from SmartCap, Inventure, and Alchemist Accelerator. The startup will use the funding to accelerate the development of its automation features and integrations with other business tools. It will also help Scoro to expand its sales and support team across its main offices in Tallinn and London as well as in its three other international offices.

 

Finland

 

Substantial news from Finland, where invoice service company Zervant raised $4.5 million from venture capital firm Northzone. Since it’s founding in 2010 Zervant has now raised nearly $9 million. The company will use the funds to mainly expand it’s business to new customers.

 

Finnish health startup Brainshake raised €3.5 million for validation and internationalization of its blood testing service. Brainshake promises to bring extensive biological data to routine healthcare, aiming to replace reactive healthcare and enable preventive medicine in chronic diseases.

 

Latvia

 

Be ready for a real influx on Latvian startups. The government is hatching up a plan to double the number of Latvian startups by the year 2020. Latvian Ministry of Economics has approved an €60 million to fund different stage startups. Half of it will dedicated to pre-seed and seed investments starting in the second quarter of 2017. Also there’s a plan for a lot more hackathons, workshops and different networking events.

 

Norway

 

Big news coming from Norway where poLight, makers of mobile phone autofocus lenses, raised $20 million. The company was valued at $74 million and aims to go public within one year. poLight is working on the world’s fastest, smallest and most cost-efficient autofocus lens for cellphone cameras.

 

Konsus, which provides on-demand freelancers for services like graphic design, data entry and web design, raised $1.5 million in seed funding from Sam Altman and the Slack Fund with participation from other investors as well. The company based in Palo Alto, California, and Oslo launched in 2015 and participated in the winter batch of Y Combinator.

 

Iceland

 

Greenqloud, the maker of cloud management software Qstack, announced a $4 million investment from investor Kelly Ireland, who will join the board of directors of the company. The company pivoted in 2015, when they moved from providing environmentally friendly cloud hosting solutions, to selling cloud management software.

 

The pharmaceutical startup Oculis Pharma announced a Series A financing led by investors Brunnur Ventures and Silfurberg, but unfortunately the raised amount is undisclosed. new capital will support continued development of the company’s patented solubilizing nanoparticle (SNP) drug delivery platform and the company’s drug candidates, including the first topical eye-drops for treatment of diabetic macular edema, which has been approved both in Europe and the United States.

Comment