Home TECHNOLOGY 8 traders focus on Stockholm’s maturing startup ecosystem

8 traders focus on Stockholm’s maturing startup ecosystem

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Within the realm of European startup ecosystems, Sweden — largely Stockholm — ranks very near the behemoths of London, Paris and Berlin. And with 10 million individuals, the nation definitely punches above its weight, having produced unicorns equivalent to Spotify and Klarna, to call solely two.

In consequence, the eight traders we surveyed are characteristically bullish concerning the future, regardless of a pandemic technique that grew to become extra restrictive within the second half of final yr.

Sweden’s initially laissez-faire method to controlling COVID-19 may need helped its tech ecosystem journey out the uncertainty. “Sweden is extra open and is forward of the pandemic curve, so extra individuals are coming right here than the opposite manner round,” mentioned Jacob Key, founding accomplice with Luminar Ventures.

A number of individuals we spoke to mentioned they noticed inexperienced shoots concerning income development and retention of their portfolio firms as founders tailored to the pandemic. Areas which might be benefitting embrace digital well being and distant work for apparent causes, however given Sweden’s power in fintech and gaming, these sectors are each properly positioned to thrive.

As shoppers develop into extra desirous of sustainability, accountable purchasing, inexperienced journey and plant-based meals alternate options “will possible contribute to a surge in firms on this house,” mentioned Sofia Dolfe of Index Ventures.

Oversaturated areas are media/adtech and wellness/health apps.

A number of the developments these traders are enthusiastic about embrace deep tech, AI, machine studying, healthcare/medtech, industrial IoT, vitality storage and energy-efficient energy era, robotics, clever manufacturing and additive manufacturing.

“I feel there’s quite a lot of attention-grabbing stuff popping out of Stockholm and accelerating with all current success tales,” mentioned VNV World’s Bjorn von Sivers.

Right here’s who we spoke to:


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Jacob Key, founding accomplice, Luminar Ventures

What developments are you most enthusiastic about investing in, typically?
AI automation, democratization, SMB SaaS.

What’s your newest, most fun funding?
Hiberworld.

Are there startups that you just want you’ll see within the business however don’t? What are some ignored alternatives proper now?
Actual-time sustainability well being trackers for each shoppers and companies.

What are you on the lookout for in your subsequent funding, normally?
Tremendous devoted and proficient staff going after main issues.

Which areas are both oversaturated or can be too arduous to compete in at this level for a brand new startup? What different forms of merchandise/providers are you cautious or involved about?
Adtech firms, shopper lending firms, e-commerce retail, area of interest issues.

How a lot are you centered on investing in your native ecosystem versus different startup hubs (or all over the place) normally? Greater than 50%? Much less?
100% within the broader Swedish ecosystem.

Which industries in your metropolis and area appear properly positioned to thrive, or not, long run? What are firms you’re enthusiastic about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
Gaming, fintech, utilized AI, safety, e-health. Mindler, Insurello, Hiberworld, Greenely, Normative, Marcus Janback, Tanmoy Bari.

How ought to traders in different cities take into consideration the general funding local weather and alternatives in your metropolis?
Sturdy momentum, increasingly serial founders and skilled founders, sturdy broader ecosystem, product and tech-led founders with a worldwide view.

Do you anticipate to see a surge in additional founders coming from geographies exterior main cities within the years to come back, with startup hubs dropping individuals as a result of pandemic and lingering issues, plus the attraction of distant work?
Sweden is extra open and is forward of the pandemic curve so extra individuals coming right here than the opposite manner round.

Which business segments that you just spend money on look weaker or extra uncovered to potential shifts in shopper and enterprise conduct due to COVID-19? What are the alternatives startups could possibly faucet into throughout these unprecedented instances?
Journey, mobility, nice-to-have SaaS, recruiting. They need to give attention to work, occasion, journey 2.0 safety, sustainability, e-health and leisure.

How has COVID-19 impacted your funding technique? What are the largest worries of the founders in your portfolio? What’s your recommendation to startups in your portfolio proper now?
Probably not. Deal with resourceful execution, digital-first gross sales, lengthen runway. Largest fear is a a lot cooler funding local weather.

Are you seeing “inexperienced shoots” concerning income development, retention or different momentum in your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
E-health, gaming, distant work, fintech.

What’s a second that has given you hope within the final month or so? This may be skilled, private or a mixture of the 2.
Founders appear much more devoted, digital transformation occurs a lot quicker.

Bjorn von Sivers, accomplice, VNV World

What developments are you most enthusiastic about investing in, typically?
Enterprise fashions with sturdy community results. Mobility and micromobility providers, Digital well being, on-line marketplaces.

What’s your newest, most fun funding?
SWVL, Babylon Well being, Voi Expertise.

Are there startups that you just want you’ll see within the business however don’t? What are some ignored alternatives proper now?
Startups addressing local weather change, both oblique or direct. I feel it would develop immensely over the approaching years.

What are you on the lookout for in your subsequent funding, normally?
Enterprise fashions with sturdy community results.

How a lot are you centered on investing in your native ecosystem versus different startup hubs (or all over the place) normally? Greater than 50%? Much less?
VNV World has a worldwide mandate. Roughly 10% of the portfolio is Sweden/Stockholm primarily based.

Which industries in your metropolis and area appear properly positioned to thrive, or not, long run? What are firms you’re enthusiastic about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
Any shopper service popping out of Stockholm eco system. Within the portfolio I’d spotlight Voi Expertise and Fredrik Hjelm (micromobility) and Grace Well being based by Estelle Westling and Thérèse Mannheimer that’s constructing a digital well being clinic for ladies in rising markets.

How ought to traders in different cities take into consideration the general funding local weather and alternatives in your metropolis?
I feel there’s quite a lot of attention-grabbing stuff popping out of Stockholm and accelerating with all current success tales. Spotify, iZettle, and many others.

Do you anticipate to see a surge in additional founders coming from geographies exterior main cities within the years to come back, with startup hubs dropping individuals as a result of pandemic and lingering issues, plus the attraction of distant work?
It would most likely enhance a bit, however not considerably.

Which business segments that you just spend money on look weaker or extra uncovered to potential shifts in shopper and enterprise conduct due to COVID-19? What are the alternatives startups could possibly faucet into throughout these unprecedented instances?
Worldwide journey nonetheless has quite a lot of uncertainty and low visibility. Digital well being and micromobility is defiantly seeing unprecedented demand.

How has COVID-19 impacted your funding technique? What are the largest worries of the founders in your portfolio? What’s your recommendation to startups in your portfolio proper now?
Probably not impacted our technique. I’d say founders assume quite a bit concerning the funding local weather and find out how to finest plan on this decrease visibility setting.

Are you seeing “inexperienced shoots” concerning income development, retention or different momentum in your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
Sure, all throughout the portfolio.

What’s a second that has given you hope within the final month or so? This may be skilled, private or a mixture of the 2.
The quick restoration in our mobility companies, which primarily noticed exercise drop considerably in late March/early April and has rebounded strongly since Could

Ashley Lundström, accomplice, EQT Ventures

What developments are you most enthusiastic about investing in, typically?
I’m personally enthusiastic about investing in groups fixing essential issues — those that have an effect on deprived populations, society at giant, the setting, and many others. And the thrilling half is that we’re seeing increasingly of this — particularly from serial entrepreneurs who’ve constructed firms, perhaps even had good exits and now wish to dedicate their expertise to significant journeys.

What’s your newest, most fun funding?
It truly hasn’t been introduced but as we actually closed a number of days in the past and it’s one which our AI platform Motherbrain pointed us to. It’s a kind of firms that whenever you hear about what they’re constructing you simply say, “Oh after all, that’s a no brainer.” It’s an incredible instance of a product-led firm seeing sturdy natural development from a worldwide person base and we’re chomping on the bit to begin working collectively. Previous to this, my newest most fun funding is Anyfin. Anyfin is a chief instance of the potential of Stockholm’s second era groups, popping out of the Swedish unicorns iZettle, Klarna and Spotify. They’re a fintech constructing monetary wellness merchandise for customers who want it probably the most. They’ve began with concentrating on rates of interest head-on through a refinancing product and are launching extra merchandise and markets with the Collection B funding elevating they secured this spring.

Are there startups that you just want you’ll see within the business however don’t? What are some ignored alternatives proper now? What are you on the lookout for in your subsequent funding, normally?
I’m eager to see groups who mix market expertise with startup expertise. All too usually groups are both one or the opposite and I’d like to see a staff come collectively the place one co-founder says, “I do know this downside inside-out as a result of I’ve lived it” and one other co-founder who says, “I understand how to construct and convey concepts to life.” This combo can be actually highly effective. Over and above that, I’m typically centered on investing in groups fixing issues which might be shared by enormous bases — both shoppers or the lengthy tail of B2B. One should in my ebook is that the product must be shopper grade. That is apparent for shopper (though not all the time a given), but it surely’s one thing that we’ve develop into spiritual about in B2B too.

Which areas are both oversaturated or can be too arduous to compete in at this level for a brand new startup? What different forms of merchandise/providers are you cautious or involved about?
We’re within the enterprise of exceptions so I discover it arduous to rule out a class altogether as a consequence of competitors. That being mentioned, there are all the time sectors the place it’s tough to check a winner-takes-all or winner-takes-most, for structural causes, equivalent to some forms of recruiting or staffing, D2Cs or digital well being providers.

How a lot are you centered on investing in your native ecosystem versus different startup hubs (or all over the place) normally? Greater than 50%? Much less?
Our technique is to be native with locals and we make investments broadly throughout Europe and, in particular instances, within the U.S. So, whereas personally my time’s spent considerably weighted towards the Nordics, greater than 50% of the businesses I work with are exterior the Nordic international locations. Motherbrain has helped us flatten geographies additional, discovering nice startups no matter the place they’re situated, and we commonly spend money on nice groups exterior our native ecosystems.

Which industries in your metropolis and area appear properly positioned to thrive, or not, long run? What are firms you’re enthusiastic about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
There’s quite a lot of expertise for shopper merchandise popping out of the Nordics — notably fintech in Stockholm (Tink, Anyfin, Brite), gaming in Finland (Small Large Video games, Reworks, Traplight), and a spread of merchandise out of Copenhagen together with edtech and well being tech (Eduflow, Corti). The good engineering expertise now we have on this area can be producing extremely sturdy tech groups — notably in Finland, equivalent to Varjo, Speechly and Robocorp. We’re even beginning to see some attention-grabbing exercise in quantum computing (e.g., IQM) within the area. There are additionally some moonshot firms popping out of the Nordics that we’re enthusiastic about long run, equivalent to Solein, Einride, Coronary heart Aerospace and Northvolt.

How ought to traders in different cities take into consideration the general funding local weather and alternatives in your metropolis?
The Nordic international locations proceed to punch above their weight and I’m assured that this pattern will proceed — which means the funding alternatives might be many. Because the ecosystems mature, the standard will proceed to enhance, which additionally speaks to this pattern over time. Traditionally, downturns have produced sturdy tech firms, so I wouldn’t be shocked if traders are protecting an in depth eye on the area to verify they get the possibility to again among the most seasoned entrepreneurs who will most definitely be on the lookout for methods to take advantage of the present local weather.

Do you anticipate to see a surge in additional founders coming from geographies exterior main cities within the years to come back, with startup hubs dropping individuals as a result of pandemic and lingering issues, plus the attraction of distant work?
I consider we’ll see extra distant groups, completely. Nonetheless, I nonetheless assume the hubs might be sturdy and essential items of the ecosystem and I don’t assume we’ll see these cities shrinking by materials numbers. Although if individuals depart the costliest cities, who may blame them? I do, nevertheless, assume we’ll see a extra sharp pattern of groups that had been pretty native prior to now, increasing to new geographies. And what could occur is that in itself will reveal new expertise swimming pools, which over the long run may create extra hubs.

Which business segments that you just spend money on look weaker or extra uncovered to potential shifts in shopper and enterprise conduct due to COVID-19? What are the alternatives startups could possibly faucet into throughout these unprecedented instances?
Tech is in an incredible place general as a result of companies are typically both engaged on digitization, which is seeing acceleration out of COVID-19 … so tech falls clearly on the fitting facet of that line, or inexperienced discipline fashionable and even futuristic concepts. Of the latter, after all, a few of these concepts are nice-to-haves, which battle when shoppers are going through robust monetary conditions, however a lot are providers that we consider we’ll see figuring out long run. After all something bodily, the place the staff isn’t in a position to adapt the product shortly, like occasions or train providers, will face non permanent dips, but when these firms had been initially betting on long-term developments, we consider that they’ll nonetheless be in good positions going ahead.

How has COVID-19 impacted your funding technique? What are the largest worries of the founders in your portfolio? What’s your recommendation to startups in your portfolio proper now?
COVID-19 hasn’t affected our technique, but it surely has helped us preserve our eye on the ball when it comes to ensuring we keep on with our technique and keep aware of our personal runway — funds have that too! The recommendation to our founders has been the next: (1) Prolong the runway so you retain your choices open, after which (2) be as aggressive as you probably can. We’re encouraging groups to behave shortly — each when it comes to making inside selections and in getting merchandise to market to check them out. Our founders’ largest worries are uncertainties round how lengthy “this” will all final — and our recommendation right here is that they need to function as they all the time do and never anticipate issues to alter, relatively be ultrarelevant out there you’re in.

Are you seeing “inexperienced shoots” concerning income development, retention or different momentum in your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
Sure! We’ve obtained a pair firms who’re rather well positioned — notably Wolt (meals supply) and the cell video games firms we’ve backed (Popcore, Reworks, Traplight, and many others.). The present local weather is very favorable for some of these firms, and we’ve obtained nice founders on the wheels who’ve been in a position to benefit from the alternatives introduced and who’ve seen large development consequently.

What’s a second that has given you hope within the final month or so? This may be skilled, private or a mixture of the 2.
The efforts by the general public sector, together with healthcare suppliers, to speed up digitization has been refreshing. Sectors who’ve all too usually had loads of excuses for being sluggish and conservative have abruptly made large leaps — they usually’re pleased with themselves for having performed so! This offers me hope that there might be new or renewed appetites whilst issues return to regular.

Another ideas you wish to share with TechCrunch readers?
The Nordic international locations have many nice examples of digital instruments utilized by most people to conduct their on a regular basis lives digitally. I’d encourage founders and enterprise leaders to look to those examples and see if there are alternatives to construct for different geographies. Scandinavian trendsetting isn’t only for style and inside design!

Ted Persson, accomplice, EQT Ventures

What developments are you most enthusiastic about investing in, typically?
My most important ardour lies in backing bold groups fixing actual issues with actual know-how. So, fairly deep tech typically — the anti-thesis of “one more B2B SaaS firm fixing nearly the identical downside in nearly the identical manner.” I’m additionally interested by product and design-centric groups utilizing superior UX to democratize one thing that beforehand was restricted to a privileged few. At present, I’ve been spending quite a lot of time fascinated with and doing analysis into the way forward for the artistic industries, advertising and marketing, product design, and many others.

What’s your newest, most fun funding?
This spring, I’ve led or been concerned in 4 investments throughout quantum computing, group collaboration and two within the design and growth tooling house. None of those have been introduced but although. The final introduced investments had been Sonantic and Frontify — each very cool firms.

Are there startups that you just want you’ll see within the business however don’t? What are some ignored alternatives proper now?
Edtech is definitely one.

What are you on the lookout for in your subsequent funding, normally?
As we’re on the lookout for outliers, it’s arduous to generalize. However I get extra enthusiastic about firms tying to unravel arduous issues relatively than simply piecing collectively a number of APIs (which anybody can do).

How a lot are you centered on investing in your native ecosystem versus different startup hubs (or all over the place) normally? Greater than 50%? Much less?
I personally don’t have a geographical focus and revel in working with our groups throughout Europe and the world, however since I dwell in Sweden, my community is barely stronger right here. Our proprietary AI platform Motherbrain additionally ensures we discover quickly rising or under-the-radar startups exterior of our native ecosystems and networks.

Which industries in your metropolis and area appear properly positioned to thrive, or not, long run? What are firms you’re enthusiastic about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
We’re fairly good at gaming, leisure, music and fintech within the Nordics. It’s additionally simpler to search out actually nice designers right here than in different components of Europe.

Do you anticipate to see a surge in additional founders coming from geographies exterior main cities within the years to come back, with startup hubs dropping individuals as a result of pandemic and lingering issues, plus the attraction of distant work?
Sure, for certain. It’s too early to inform, however a few portfolio firms have given up on their bodily places of work and quite a lot of startup individuals I do know are working from throughout the nation. I for certain assume this can result in a extra worldwide local weather.

Which business segments that you just spend money on look weaker or extra uncovered to potential shifts in shopper and enterprise conduct due to COVID-19? What are the alternatives startups could possibly faucet into throughout these unprecedented instances?
So much has been written about this already and, identical to each different investor, we’ve spent a justifiable share of the spring mapping this out. All in all, tech is in a superb place.

How has COVID-19 impacted your funding technique? What are the largest worries of the founders in your portfolio? What’s your recommendation to startups in your portfolio proper now?
There’s been no change in our technique. There was some preliminary confusion for apparent causes and we took a brief break to verify our portfolio was in a superb place to endure. Now, we’re again to regular and have made our first investments the place we haven’t met the groups bodily.

Are you seeing “inexperienced shoots” concerning income development, retention or different momentum in your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
Sure, definitely in a few areas, equivalent to meals supply, gaming, distant working and collaboration.

What’s a second that has given you hope within the final month or so? This may be skilled, private or a mixture of the 2.
When individuals round myself, dad and mom, older kin, rapidly embrace digital instruments and methods of working absolutely.

Sofia Dolfe, principal, Index Ventures

What developments are you most enthusiastic about investing in, typically?
I really like merchandise that give individuals a robust feeling of neighborhood, of belonging to a bunch of like-minded individuals, and a way of being invested in its success. Customers are so passionate concerning the product that they will’t cease themselves from recommending it to their buddies, and their affinity with the model grows over time. Seek for some of these companies usually leads me to shopper companies and marketplaces which might be customer-centric and convey communities collectively.

Are there startups that you just want you’ll see within the business however don’t? What are some ignored alternatives proper now?
I’m to listen to about new takes on schooling in a post-COVID world by which individuals could also be extra open to problem the normal methods of studying.

What are you on the lookout for in your subsequent funding, normally?
I’m on the lookout for founders who’re inspiring storytellers. A lot of constructing a enterprise is about getting everybody to come back alongside for the journey, from the senior execs becoming a member of you, to the shoppers taking an opportunity on a younger but unproven enterprise, to traders taking a leap of religion and sharing in your ambition. Founders who’re nice storytellers, are hungry and dream large from the get-go, and have the humility to know what they don’t know, might be in my opinion those that have one of the best probability at making it large.

Which industries in your metropolis and area appear properly positioned to thrive, or not, long run? What are firms you’re enthusiastic about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
Stockholm has traditionally been on the forefront of each fintech and gaming, and I do assume these sectors are properly positioned to thrive. Monetary providers will proceed to be reworked, and the fashionable banking infrastructure within the Nordics makes this a sexy place to begin a fintech enterprise. As for gaming, the area has a robust observe file and a excessive focus of each studios and developer expertise, making it a very fertile floor for breakout successes. A more moderen, fast-growing theme within the area is acutely aware consumption. Stockholm has a protracted historical past of eco-friendliness, and the maturity of CSR, accountable purchasing, inexperienced journey and plant-based meals alternate options will possible contribute to a surge in firms on this house. I’m excited to satisfy with founders who care deeply about this endeavor.

How ought to traders in different cities take into consideration the general funding local weather and alternatives in your metropolis?
Stockholm has confirmed itself to be a robust tech hub, and it has most of the needed substances for continued successes. For one, founders assume large and international from the beginning. Sweden has a inhabitants of 10 million, and founders creating category-defining firms know that they have to enter different markets to dominate. The size of firms equivalent to King, Spotify and iZettle has additionally proven that success is inside attain and cultivated a way of braveness amongst aspiring entrepreneurs. Generally the world dangers underestimating the Swedes as a result of they are typically understated however because the observe file of Sweden exhibits, they overdeliver.

What’s a second that has given you hope within the final month or so? This may be skilled, private or a mixture of the 2.
Just a few weeks in the past I noticed a handwritten word within the entrance of an residence constructing in Stockholm. One of many residents was providing to buy groceries, treatment and different important objects to these unwell or in danger within the constructing. I’m hopeful that in instances of issue, we’re reminded of the significance of our native communities, of taking duty for others, and of how beneficial a easy act of kindness might be to constructing relationships.

Staffan Helgesson, accomplice, Creandum

What developments are you most enthusiastic about investing in, typically?
Transformation of outdated and huge industries equivalent to transportation, development, actual property, and many others. Digital well being — we might want to remodel present well being business.

What’s your newest, most fun funding?
Mavenoid. Automating tech help globally. Ex-Palantir founders.

Are there startups that you just want you’ll see within the business however don’t? What are some ignored alternatives proper now?
Insurance coverage markets haven’t but seen the wave of startups that the final fintech business has seen.

What are you on the lookout for in your subsequent funding, normally?
Loopy bold entrepreneurs with their eyes set on disrupting a worldwide market.

Which areas are both oversaturated or can be too arduous to compete in at this level for a brand new startup? What different forms of merchandise/providers are you cautious or involved about?
Many shopper verticals are robust to penetrate given large tech and associated oligopoly. However each time I say that new phenomenal firms emerge. Reminiscent of Creandum’s portfolio firm Kahoot that simply listed in Oslo for $1.5 billion.

How a lot are you centered on investing in your native ecosystem versus different startup hubs (or all over the place) normally? Greater than 50%? Much less?
Creandum invests all throughout EU. No set targets — we simply wish to discover one of the best entrepreneurs.

Which industries in your metropolis and area appear properly positioned to thrive, or not, long run? What are firms you’re enthusiastic about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
If selecting one business we’re very enthusiastic about digital well being with Stockholm-based Firstvet and Kry/Livi. (telemedicine for people and pet house owners).

How ought to traders in different cities take into consideration the general funding local weather and alternatives in your metropolis?
Stockholm/Nordics is a really subtle ecosystem that persistently preserve producing international winners frequently.

Do you anticipate to see a surge in additional founders coming from geographies exterior main cities within the years to come back, with startup hubs dropping individuals as a result of pandemic and lingering issues, plus the attraction of distant work?
Nice firms will more and more be constructed anyplace and we as an business must adapt. These enterprise corporations adapting finest and quickest would be the winners going ahead. I foresee a second inexperienced wave, like within the 70s, the place individuals will transfer out from cities and/or have a dual-home setup.

Which business segments that you just spend money on look weaker or extra uncovered to potential shifts in shopper and enterprise conduct due to COVID-19? What are the alternatives startups could possibly faucet into throughout these unprecedented instances?
Journey and leisure clearly. However even in these industries there might be winners going ahead if they will journey the wave of digitizing (for instance, tickets and occasions).

How has COVID-19 impacted your funding technique? What are the largest worries of the founders in your portfolio? What’s your recommendation to startups in your portfolio proper now?
It’s all about entry to long-term capital and observe file. Creandum’s technique has not modified in any respect.

Are you seeing “inexperienced shoots” concerning income development, retention or different momentum in your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
Sure, particularly in digital well being.

What’s a second that has given you hope within the final month or so? This may be skilled, private or a mixture of the 2.
Closing a completely distant funding. Firm referred to as Meditopia — in Turkey of all locations :-).

Tanya Horowitz, accomplice, Butterfly Ventures

What developments are you most enthusiastic about investing in, typically?
Deep tech, AI, machine studying, healthcare/medtech, industrial IoT and associated cloud providers and communication options, Power storage and energy-efficient energy era, robotics, clever manufacturing, and additive manufacturing.

What’s your newest, most fun funding?
Uute Scientific has created a pure product containing a selected combination of microbes, which might be utilized to numerous shopper merchandise. These merchandise lower the chance of getting immune-mediated ailments, like bronchial asthma or Sort 1 diabetes and consequently enhance high quality of life.

Are there startups that you just want you’ll see within the business however don’t? What are some ignored alternatives proper now?
Within the area (Nordics), wish to see extra in vitality storage, energy era and vitality/carbon discount applied sciences. Meals tech and agtech are an space to look towards given the world’s rising inhabitants. Edtech as a result of COVID disaster.

What are you on the lookout for in your subsequent funding, normally?
We’re on the lookout for a robust staff with distinctive tech aimed towards a worldwide market.

Which areas are both oversaturated or can be too arduous to compete in at this level for a brand new startup? What different forms of merchandise/providers are you cautious or involved about?
Media/adtech until actually distinctive appear to be oversaturated; additionally wellness/health apps, and many others.

How a lot are you centered on investing in your native ecosystem versus different startup hubs (or all over the place) normally? Greater than 50%? Much less?
Finland 40%-50%, Sweden 30%+, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Baltics remaining 20%.

Which industries in your metropolis and area appear properly positioned to thrive, or not, long run? What are firms you’re enthusiastic about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
Industries: Well being/medical.

How ought to traders in different cities take into consideration the general funding local weather and alternatives in your metropolis?
I feel in Finland and all the Nordics there’s ample alternatives to spend money on stellar groups and applied sciences which have a worldwide market. The expertise pool and help of the startup ecosystems are prime notch.

Do you anticipate to see a surge in additional founders coming from geographies exterior main cities within the years to come back, with startup hubs dropping individuals as a result of pandemic and lingering issues, plus the attraction of distant work?
I don’t see startup hubs dropping individuals within the Nordics. I do nevertheless see founders coming from geographies exterior main cities.

Which business segments that you just spend money on look weaker or extra uncovered to potential shifts in shopper and enterprise conduct due to COVID-19? What are the alternatives startups could possibly faucet into throughout these unprecedented instances?
Apparent is retail, eating places, service business. Additionally schooling (edtech) needs to be an space to actually look into. On-line leisure (OTT), logistics (meals, items supply), and many others.

How has COVID-19 impacted your funding technique? What are the largest worries of the founders in your portfolio? What’s your recommendation to startups in your portfolio proper now?
It has solely affected it barely, we had been fortunate that we had been nearly on the finish of our funding interval and our portfolio of firms are set for this present fund classic. We’re the main seed-stage deep tech investor within the Nordics and subsequently most of our firms have fared OK.

Are you seeing “inexperienced shoots” concerning income development, retention or different momentum in your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
Sure, a few of our portfolio has benefited from the pandemic, whereas others suffered with clients initially however appear to be recovered now.

What’s a second that has given you hope within the final month or so? This may be skilled, private or a mixture of the 2.
We’re elevating Butterfly Ventures Fund IV and began earlier than the pandemic hit. Whereas this has slowed us down barely, our anchor and different LPs are rock strong and we as a staff are dedicated to getting the primary shut performed ASAP to capitalize with that dry powder in early 2021. Whereas my coronary heart goes out to those that haven’t been so fortunate, personally now we have been blessed to not have had direct tragedies associated to the pandemic … and my son is joyful and wholesome and that alone provides me hope on a regular basis.

Another ideas you wish to share with TechCrunch readers?
World LPs ought to actually discover Europe extra, particularly the Nordics!

Sanna Westman, principal, Creandum

What developments are you most enthusiastic about investing in, typically?
Nicely, we usually say that if you happen to spend money on developments you’re late to the occasion … however after all there are some macro actions which might be thrilling and we monitor intently. For me personally digital well being is a kind of areas, it’s not new however consistently creating and has after all been additional accelerated the previous yr. One other space that’s actually attention-grabbing are merchandise that provide help to be a greater chief/supervisor/firm. I’m unsure find out how to productize this however there’s an enormous alternative in amplifying management. We’ve seen success with firms giving the person person superpowers (no-code instruments, productiveness instruments, and many others.) however how about serving to individuals scaling themselves and their groups? Distant work has quite a lot of advantages, however places new challenges on managers. I additionally consider we’ll see extra high quality firms battling local weather change in numerous methods.

What’s your newest, most fun funding?
SafetyWing — on the intersection of social safety and distant work.

Are there startups that you just want you’ll see within the business however don’t? What are some ignored alternatives proper now?
There’s a lot extra to do inside B2B commerce: marketplaces, e-commerce enablers, new methods of financing, and many others. Positive there are firms, however no manner close to as many (good) ones appropriately.

What are you on the lookout for in your subsequent funding, normally?
A short while to “Wow.” Options that can provide the person an instantaneous worth after which proceed so as to add to that worth they extra they use the product

Which areas are both oversaturated or can be too arduous to compete in at this level for a brand new startup? What different forms of merchandise/providers are you cautious or involved about?
Mobility and supply normally is kind of crowded. Additionally open-banking cost options has seen an enormous surge.

How a lot are you centered on investing in your native ecosystem versus different startup hubs (or all over the place) normally? Greater than 50%? Much less?
The Nordics is together with DACH one of many key focus markets for Creandum, although there’s no set allocation for any sure geography. We try to again one of the best firms no matter the place they’re situated.

Which industries in your metropolis and area appear properly positioned to thrive, or not, long run? What are firms you’re enthusiastic about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
In comparison with different hubs there’s a very excessive product focus normally, and provided that Sweden is a small market the mindset can be worldwide from day one. I feel that makes extra of a distinction than a sure vertical. When it comes to thrilling firms Kive and Depict are value protecting eyes on for the very early levels. For the extra mature startups Kry and Firstvet are doing nice as early enablers of digital well being.

How ought to traders in different cities take into consideration the general funding local weather and alternatives in your metropolis?
More and more aggressive but additionally quite a lot of sturdy expertise.

Do you anticipate to see a surge in additional founders coming from geographies exterior main cities within the years to come back, with startup hubs dropping individuals as a result of pandemic and lingering issues, plus the attraction of distant work?
Even earlier than the pandemic only a few startups in Stockholm had 100% of their workforce in a single location anyway, a hybrid setup was and proceed to be quite common.

Which business segments that you just spend money on look weaker or extra uncovered to potential shifts in shopper and enterprise conduct due to COVID-19? What are the alternatives startups could possibly faucet into throughout these unprecedented instances?
Because the fund invests with a really very long time horizon, +10 years, the short-term influence shouldn’t be a key concern however after all we take into consideration the long-term results on e.g., enterprise journey. We are inclined to search for the alternatives greater than the drawbacks although, and there might be alternatives for brand new firms in industries which have been closely impacted. It’d truly show to be good timing to disrupt.

How has COVID-19 impacted your funding technique? What are the largest worries of the founders in your portfolio? What’s your recommendation to startups in your portfolio proper now?
Initially we had been cautious round runway and labored intently with the portfolio to verify they may survive for an extended time ought to revenues decline and funding not be obtainable. Summing up 2020 although, we had been lucky to look again on a yr the place many firms had overperformed and had been in a position to elevate important up rounds. Nice firms are created in all instances and had been dedicated to search out one of the best seed and Collection A firms.

Are you seeing “inexperienced shoots” concerning income development, retention or different momentum in your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
Undoubtedly. We’ve seen a number of examples of V-shaped restoration, with revenues bumping again above pre-COVID ranges and persevering with on that trajectory.

What’s a second that has given you hope within the final month or so? This may be skilled, private or a mixture of the 2.
The hustle and optimism amongst entrepreneurs we meet. The “unimaginable is nothing” perspective is absolutely inspiring.

Who’re key startup individuals you see creating success domestically?
I’d say among the lively “keep within the background” angels/mentors which might be supporting a brand new era equivalent to Joachim Hedenius (Kry, CTO) or Johan Crona. And Susanna Campbell/Cristina Stenbeck who’ve been very lively of their joint investments, usually discovering alternatives the VCs miss.

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