After a couple of relatively quiet months for what we've become accustomed to recently in the Nordics, May was back with a bang, as we saw a record amount of investments and several impressive exits.
In this article, we've decided to focus on an investment for one of Norway's most promising startups, an exit for one of Sweden's most impressive gaming companies and a success that may just save the future of one of the regions most loved companies.
Norwegian Unacast raises a $5 million Series A aiming to index the physical world
Unacast are one of the brightest hopes amongst Norway's growing startup scene. With an experienced founding team (ex-Tidal), Unacast have been going from strength to strength, particularly in terms of securing strategic partnerships. Now they've raised a further $5 million to pursue their ambition of indexing the physical world. As early movers in this market and with money in the bank, they have a real opportunity to establish themselves as a market leader in this space as well as providing Norway with a tech startup that's established on the global stage (other than Kahoot! of course).
Swedish gaming company Paradox went public at a valuation of $418 million
Paradox Interactive have long been one of the biggest (and largely unheralded) successes of the Swedish gaming scene, and a successful exit in May ensured that a lot more people know who they are now. Not only did they float at a valuation of $418 million, with an immediate 35% pop, it was also revealed that Tencent had acquired 5% of the company through the IPO, with plans to help Paradox further develop their presence in China. Paradox's exit is not just encouraging for tech companies considering going public, but also is further proof that investment and interest from the East in the region is becoming more and more prevalent.
Rovio’s Angry Birds flick is off to a solid start, grossing $43 million in its opening weekend
Over the last 12 months, the general consensus has been that the future of Rovio depends on either the failure or the success of its movie. While that may be a very granular view to take, my understanding is that it is not too far from the reality. Therefore, it came as a welcome relief to many at Rovio and in the region, to see the movie grossing $43 million in its opening weekend. Not only that, but it has continued to perform strongly. Rovio put all their eggs into one basket with this movie, and right now it seems that that bet may have paid off. It remains to be seen whether Rovio can build on this in terms of taking the Angry Birds brand further, but things are certainly looking brighter for them than they were six months ago and this could be a pivotal moment in their existence.