The Swedish startup sector continues to grow – despite the corona

Investments in Swedish startup companies reached a new record level in 2020, according to a recent report. Sweden also has Europe’s most valued technology company: Klarna.

Every year, Skype founder Niklas Zennström’s venture capital company Atomico publishes a major report in which the European startup sector is examined in detail.

Sweden continues to excel

This year’s report, published today Tuesday, shows that despite the current corona pandemic, Europe is heading for a new record year in terms of the total amount invested in young tech companies.

Atomico’s investor forecast for 2020 lands at the equivalent of SEK 347 billion before the turn of the year. Interestingly, Sweden excels in the report. According to Atomico, Sweden is the country in Europe that attracts the most capital per capita. In 2020, Swedish technology companies attracted a total of SEK 28 billion, an increase compared with 2019 (SEK 25.3 billion).

Northvolt worth billions – after 32 months

Sweden now has Europe’s most valued tech companies. This concerns the payment company Klarna, which in the autumn raised SEK 5.7 billion, to a valuation of SEK 93 billion.

Battery manufacturer Northvolt ranks fifth among companies that have quickly reached a valuation of one billion dollars. Northvolt reached that point 32 months after the company was founded.

Northvolt Labs in Västerås Photo: Serneke

Atomico’s report also shows that it has become more difficult for new start-up companies to raise capital. The number of b-rounds, in which smaller companies bring in investments of between 20 and 50 billion dollars, has decreased during the pandemic.

15 Swedish unicorns so far

The number of rounds larger than 100 billion dollars, on the other hand, has increased in Europe in 2020. Two examples of this are Northvolt, which, among other things, raised SEK 5.4 billion in September this year, and Klarna.

The report also shows that Sweden has so far nurtured 15 so-called unicorns, which are companies valued at at least SEK 1 billion. Some examples are the previously mentioned Klarna and Northvolt, as well as Spotify, Mojang, King and Skype.


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