The Top 50 Hottest Startups in the Nordics in 2021

We chose 50 unique startups to watch in the Nordics, one of the most interesting startup ecosystems in Europe where companies like Spotify, Skype, Just Eat and Zendesk were born.
The Top 50 Hottest Startups in the Nordics in 2021

The Nordics have been innovation factories for the past twenty years - producing the likes of Spotify, Skype, Just Eat, and Zendesk, to name a few global brands. 

Sweden and Finland are the major players, with the Swedish tech industry (worth $35.9 billion) second only to the UK in Europe. Finland comes in fourth at $14.2 billion. And while Norway and Denmark haven’t grown necessarily as fast, exciting new startups  suggest that won’t be the case for long. Overall, all four countries have garnered the interest of startup investors for years, thanks to their high levels of education, government investment in new technologies, and impressive wealth per capita.  

To get a better sense of where the Nordics market is going, we’ve compiled a list of some of the hottest startups to keep your eye on. 

How we compiled the list

While there were hundreds of worthy entrants to the list, we chose these fifty based on  their mix of funding valuation and innovation. A few of these startups, while still in the early stages of funding, had such unique potential that we’ve included them as ones to watch. 

The hottest startups in Norway 

Oda

Founded in 2013, Norwegian online grocery startup Oda (formerly Kolonial) saw its home delivery service become indispensable to Norwegian families in 2020. Oda made headlines this April when it raised €223m at a €750m post-money valuation – the largest funding round for a Norwegian startup ever. 

Location: Oslo, Norway

Founder & CEO: Karl Munthe-Kaas

Kahoot!

Kahoot! Is a learning platform that allows users to create and share games, like teacher quizzes or company trivia. While founded in 2012, the app’s recent expansion into North America has prompted a new wave of funding that led to a $215 million investment last October. 

Location: Oslo, Norway 

CEO: Eilert Giertsen Hanoa

Unloc

Founded in 2017, Unloc turns the keychain digital, making doors unlockable via their app. Promising a more secure system than physical keys, customers can also temporarily share keys with friends and family, as well as delivery people and cleaners, alleviating time and stress. They’ve raised over 10 Million NOK to date.

Founder: Kris Riise, CEO

Location: Oslo, Norway

ReMarkable

Founded in 2013, reMarkable promises to be the only electronic tablet that “still feels like paper.” Its clean design and user-friendly interface has won the acclaim of international press, including making TIME magazine’s “Best Inventions 2020” list. In 2019 ReMarkable raised $15 million in a Series A round of funding from Spark Capital.

Founder: Magnus Wanberg, CEO

Location: Oslo, Norway

Disruptive Technologies

Disruptive Technologies, founded in 2013, is the developer of the world’s smallest industrial-grade wireless sensors and a rapidly growing innovator in the IoT market. Its small, adaptable sensors help to track environmental data seamlessly, promising faster and more sustainable transition into IoT cloud systems. Disruptive Technologies has raised a total of $13.1M in funding over 5 rounds. 

Location: Bergen, Norway

Founder: Erik Fossum Færevaag

No Isolation

No Isolation aims to reduce loneliness and social isolation by developing communication tools "AV1" and "Komp", which are based on warm technology and tailored to people with specific needs, connecting them with loved ones. Since its founding in 2015, the company has raised $10.6 million in funding.

Locations: Oslo, Norway; London, UK; Munich, Germany

Signicat

As one of the leading providers of e-ID and e-signature solutions in Europe, Signicat promises heightened financial security to protect businesses from fraud and drive customer engagement. It’s raised a total of $8.8M in funding over 7 rounds. 

Location: Trondheim, Norway

CEO: Asger Hattel

Greenbird

Greenbird, founded in 2010, is an integration iPaaS catering to utilities. It helps companies make sense of energy data so that they can start to transform their business. In September last year, Greeenbird raised €5 million in Series B funding. 

Location: Oslo, Norway

CEO: Thorsten Heller

Dignio

Dignio, with its digital healthcare platform that disrupts the traditional way of delivering health services, saw significant growth during the pandemic. It had raised NOK 85 million by the end of 2020.

Location: Oslo, Norway

Founder: Lars Christian Dahle

Dele Health

Recently raising 65 million NOK with investors, Dele Health specialises in software for reporting on and predicting falls among seniors in assisted living facilities. Its unique technology has already seen significant take up in the US assisted living market.

Location: Oslo, Norway

Founder: Carine Zeier

Norwegian Block Exchange

This cryptocurrency Fintech company, founded in 2017, works with clients in over 190 countries thanks to its accessibility, transparency and security. The team acquired over £5 million in 2020 to expand its offerings into e-banking.

Location: Oslo, Norway

Founder: Bjørn Kjos

CHOOOSE

CHOOOSE delivers the definitive digital climate toolkit so that anyone, anywhere, can make climate action part of everyday life. Skyscanner, Lonely Planet, Breitling, Santander, Norwegian Air, Outdoor Voices, and Ticketmaster are already using the all-in-one kit.

Location: Oslo, Norway

CEO: Andreas Slettvoll

The hottest startups in Sweden

Tink

A fintech startup that started as a consumer banking app in 2012, Tink expanded its services to finance and banking. Now,  it’s one of Europe’s big fintech disruptors, partnering with Paypal last year. Its 85 million Euro funding round in December brought it up to a €680m valuation.

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Co-founders:  Daniel Kjellén and Fredrik Hedberg

Lendify

Lendify is an e-banking disruptor that offers lower interest rates and loans and better customer rewards.  Growing popularity since its 2014 founding has led to impressive funding totalling $553.4 Million.

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Founder: John-Christian de Champs

Kry

Kry’s digital health platform, which facilitates video calls between users with doctors, rode the wave of the pressing need for remote health apps in 2020. Having raised €140 million at the start of 2020, it has expanded rapidly into Germany, Norway, France and the UK. 

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

CEO and Co-founder: Johannes Schildt

Acast

This podcast hub lets podcast makers connect directly with their audiences, opening up new levels of engagement and crowd-funding opportunities. Acast has gained $162.2 million in funding since being founded in 2013. 

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Founders: Mans Ulvestam, Johan Billgren, Karl Rosander

Instabox

Instabox is a shipping service that advertises same-day delivery to smart lockers based around the city, promising increased speed and sustainability. Having seen consistent growth since its 2015 founding, it secured €75 million in Series B funding in February. 

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Co-founder: Johan Lundin

Funnel

Funnel is a marketing and analytics software which automates the collection of data across different platforms. It’s raised $68 million since being founded in 2013.

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Founders: Per Made and Fredrik Skantze

NA-KD

NA-KD is a rapidly-growing e-commerce fashion brand. Founded in 2015, it aims to promote new creative female talent. In late 2019, it saw €20 million in funding as part of its Series B, bringing its funding to €65 million in total. 

Location: Gothenburg, Sweden 

Founder and CEO: Jarno Vanhatapio

Doktor.se

As a medical SaaS company that helps members find, book and get access to the best healthcare, Doktor.se has positioned itself as one of Sweden’s most robust e-health companies. In May 2020, it secured €45 million in Series C funding. 

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

CEO: Martin Lindman

Fishbrain

Fishbrain is the world’s No.1 fishing app, providing a social platform to compare fishing spots, as well as videos on how to fish better. With over twelve million users, this March it raised $31 million for global expansion.

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Founders: Jens Persson and Johan Attby

Billogram

Aimed at SMBs, Billogram’s invoicing and payments platform automates customer management, prevents churn and increases revenue. Billogram has raised $11.2 million in the decade since it was founded.

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Co-founder and CEO: Jonas Suijkerbuijk

Anyfin

Anyfin is a fintech app designed to help users gain control of their debts, offering tools to help lower rates on existing loans, blocking the taking of new credits and getting spending overview. Founded in 2017, it has received $49.9 million in Series B funding.

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Founders: Filip Polhem, Mikael Hussain and Sven Perkmann.

Natural Cycles

Natural Cycles, the first “digital birth control,” is an app that uses daily temperature measurements and period cycle tracking to predict the days someone is least likely to get pregnant - letting users switch between ‘prevent’ and ‘plan’ options. At the end of 2017, it raised €30 million in Series B funding. 

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Founders: Elina Berglund and Raoul Scherwitzl 

Einride

The first fully electric, remote-controlled transport vehicle to operate on a public road in the world, Enride is shaking up the transport and logistics industry. In October 2020, it landed a $10m funding round in early VC. 

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Founders: Robert Falck, Linnéa Kornehed and Filip Lilja

The hottest startups in Denmark 

Vivino

Vivino is the largest wine marketplace app in the world, with over 1.5 billion wines bought since it launched in 2010. Seeing massive growth in the past year, the company acquired a further $155 million round of investment in February. 

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark 

Founder: Heini Zachariassen

Lunar

Lunar is an e-bank that, hoping to challenge Monzo, targets millennials by offering accounts and mortgages. Having grown very popular in Denmark since its 2015 founding, it saw €40m in its October 2020 Series C funding to bring total funds to €108 million. 

Location: Aarhus, Denmark

Founder and CEO: Ken Villum Klausen

Simple Feast

Simple Feast specialises in vegan, easy-to-make meals sent directly to the customer. This April, it raised $45 million in late-stage funding, bringing total funding to €92 million. 

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark 

Founders: Jakob Jønck and Thomas Ambus

Too Good to Go

Too Good to Go is an app that lets its users buy food at the end of the day set to be thrown away for 70% off. Saving close to 70 million meals since its 2015 founding, the app saw $31 million in Series A funding this January. 

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

CEO: Mette Lykke

Labster

Launched in 2013, Labster develops fully interactive and advanced lab simulations that allow students to perform experiments without physical risk. Used by top universities around the world, the company has raised $35 million to date.

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Co-founder and CEO: Michael Bodekaer Jensen

Podimo

Podimo is an open podcast platform that offers personally curated recommendations to users, giving users podcasts they both know and love and their next favourite series. While only founded in 2019, it’s already raised €21 million in total.

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Founders: Morten Strunge, Nikolaj Koppel, Sverre Dueholm, Andreas Sachse and Eva Lægdsgaard

Aiia

Until recently named Nordic API Getaway, Aiaa is a fintech company which consolidates all European banks on one open banking platform. Following its added €5 million in funding last April, it has raised €20 million since its launch in 2011. 

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Co-founder and CEO: Rune Mai 

Platypus

Platypus is an HR-targeted SaaS that makes company culture easy to understand, measurable and actionable, so that companies can make smarter decisions on hiring and team growth. Founded in 2019, it’s acquired accelerated funding at 2.3 million euros.

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Founders: Nico Blier-Silvestri and Daniel Bowen

Develop Diverse

Founded in 2017, Develop Diverse created a SaaS that analyses content for gender, age and culture in texts and proposes inclusive alternatives. The first software of its kind, it’s used by the likes of Amazon, Trustpilot and Danske Bank, ans has secured funding from the European Commission Horizon 2020 fund.  

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

CEO and Founder: Jenifer Clausell-Tormos

Good Monday

An office management software, Good Monday provides companies with tools to make office life easier, including automated invoicing, catering and cleaning services. Founded in 2018, it won the Hottest Startup prize at the Europa Tech Awards 2020 and raised €3.5 million seed funding in June 2020.

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Founder and CEO: Mik Strøyberg

Pento

Pento's cloud-based payroll automates everything for businesses (over a thousand so far) in minutes. Seeing increasing interest in both Denmark and the UK, its recent round of funding garnered $2.8 million.

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

CEO and Co-founder: Jonas Bøgh Larsen

The hottest startups in Finland 

Aiven

Aiven manages open source data infrastructure in the cloud to allow organizations to allow developers to create apps more easily. In March, the company raised an extra $100M in its Series C, bringing the company’s total investment to $150M. It is now valued at more than $800M. 

Location: Helsinki, Finland 

CEO: Oskari Saarenmaa

Wolt

Wolt is a food delivery platform offering both restaurants and groceries. Since starting in 2015, it has seen massive growth to 23 countries and 10 million customers. It raised $530 million from investors in January alone. 

Location: Helsinki, Finland

Founders: Miki Kuusi, Mika Matikainen, Oskari Pétas, Lauri Andler, Juhani Mykkänen and Elias Aalto

Iceye

Iceye develops micro-satellites, all less than 100kg, used to capture images from space of the Earth’s surface at any time of the day. Having raised €74 million in Series C funding, Iceye seeks to disrupt the European space industry. 

Location: Espoo, Finland 

Co-founder and CEO: Rafal Modrzewski

Varjo

Varjo offers high-performance virtual reality headsets catered to both individuals and companies for training purposes. The quality and promise of the equipment led, in August 2020, to the company raising $46million in Series C funding. 

Location: Helsingfors, Finland 

CEO:  Timo Toikkanen

IQM Quantum Computers

One of the leading startups working on quantum computing in Europe, IQM works to accelerate quantum processing and designing new infrastructure. Having only launched in 2018, it raised $39 million in Series A last November.

Location: Espoo, Finland

Founders: Dr. Jan Goetz, Prof. Mikko Möttönen, Dr. Kuan Yen Tan, and Dr. Juha Vartiainen.

Oura

Oura is an electronic health ring designed to measure the body's performance. Thanks to its design and applicability, the ring has won numerous awards and celebrity endorsements, raising $28 million Series B funding in March.

Location: Oulu, Finland

Founders: Petteri Lahtela, Kari Kivelä, and Markku Koskela

HappyorNot

HappyOrNot is the pioneer of instant feedback solutions and their world-famous Smileys are being used by organisations around the world to improve experiences. In 2019, it secured $25 million in Series B funding.

Location: Tampere, Finland

Founder and CEO: Heikki Väänänen 

Solar Foods

Solar Foods created a revolutionary way to produce a natural protein with just electricity and air. It promises to be 100 times more climate-friendly than any animal or plant based consumable. Its two funding rounds in 2020 netted close to €20 million. 

Location: Helsinki, Finland 

CEO: Pasi Vainikka

Sulapac

Sulapac produces biodegradable packaging material innovation made out of wood, and processed with existing plastic product machinery to be affordable as well. Its 2019 Series A funding round raised €15m. 

Location:Helsinki, Finland 

Founders: Suvi Haimi and Laura Tirkkonen-Rajasalo

happeo

A company intranet platform, happeo promises to help foster workplace collaboration through a task function integrated with content and sharing. Having seen a 300% YoY growth since its 2017 founding, happeo raised $12 million in Series A funding last May. 

Location: Helsingfors, Finland

Co-founder and CEO: Perttu Ojansuu

Spinnova

A sustainable fibre company developing textile fibre made of wood or waste without harmful chemical processes, Spinnova is changing the way textiles are made. In 2019, it raised €11M in Series A funding. 

Location: Jyväskylä, Finland

Co-founder and CEO: Janne Poranen


The hottest startups in Iceland 

GRID

GRID produces an app that enables users to leverage existing spreadsheet skills to build smart, interactive calculators, reports and scenario analyses. Last August, it closed on $12M in Series A funding.

Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Founder and CEO: Hjalmar Gislason

Lucinity

Lucinity is an Anti-Money-Laundering app that uses AI to ‘make money good,’ helping those fighting money laundering and other financial crimes. In April 2020, it secured $6.1 million in funding.

Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Founder and CEO: Gudmundur Kristjansson

Monerium

Monerium uses e-money on blockchains that, rather than replacing traditional money, modernise existing currencies. In June 2019, it received $2m in seed capital. 

Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Co-founder: Jon Helgi Egilsson

The next wave of startups

From sustainable solutions, to health and fintech disruptors, the Nordics are home to a relentlessly innovative portfolio of startups - many of which might just change the world. Keep an eye on this space for the next batch of household names!

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