Sweden: Europe’s Hottest Spot for Tech Startups Today


Stockholm: where tech startups thrive

The successes of Spotify  , Mojang and Wrapp have brought more investors to Sweden.  Based on the data from  European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, almost 20% of the venture capital investments went to Sweden  in the first 3 quarters of 2012 (

In addition to its 3 strong suits mentioned earlier, Sweden’s long gloomy winters has become an advantage for its tech industry. The tendency to stay indoors more often has enhanced the developers’ productivity and creativity.

Swedes are a highly digitalized population and a good set of customers. Paired with excellent internet connectivity, these makes the country a good testing ground. Start-ups use the country as a test market and later move out to other European regions then finally to the US where there is a bigger market base.

Another reason that makes Sweden attractive to its investors is that the country gives back high returns.  As reported on, Northzone, a technology investment group, said that of the European Market’s returns, more than 30% came from Sweden in the past 10 years.

It is not surprising then why investors flock to this Nordic Region seeking for companies to invest in.

The Bjorn Borg effect

In his interview with Reuters, Hjalmar Winblad, Wrapp’s Chief Exec has called the tech startup successes the Bjorn Borg effect. Borg dominated the world of tennis later on inspiring other tennis pros such as Mats Wilander.

Sweden’s first generation tech successes were QlikTech,TradeDoubler, MySQL  and Skype (though the last 2 companies have also been claimed by others). Another set of players- KlarnaRebtel , and Spotify  followed.  Today, Sweden’s successful tech startups   include Mojang, Wrapp iZettleMagine and Virtusize.


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