The 10 'other' Nordic cities attracting the most capital

Much has been made of Stockholm's record amount of investment, Helsinki's strong history as a tech hub and Copenhagen's recent rise both in terms of successes and investment, but what is going on in the other cities in the Nordics? We counted up all of the investment that has gone into startups in cities outside of these three between January 1st 2014 up until last week, in order to get an idea of where the other main hubs are in the Nordics.

*Refer to the end for methodology and disclaimers.

1. Oslo (Norway) $117.61 million

By Helge Høifødt - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20042041

By Helge Høifødt - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20042041

Oslo is often the forgotten place when it comes to talking about the Nordics main hubs, but if you strip down the numbers, then you can see that although it might be under the mainstream radar, they are certainly attracting investors intention, and increasingly so, as Norway is technically the fastest growing Nordic country in terms of the number of investments. Now it doesn't look so crazy that 500 Startups decided to set up there.

Notable investments: Unacast $1.6 million, Xeneta $5.3 million, Gelato Group $9 million

Notable VC's investing there: Northzone, Passion Capital, Alliance Ventures, Point Nine Capital, Creandum, Target Partners, 500 Startups.

2. Malmö (Sweden) $112.24 million

The talent and potential in Malmö is probably the best-kept secret in the Nordics. They have an incredible tech heritage, with a history of local startups selling to Apple, on multiple occasions, as well as being able to boast of a vibrant, although small, local tech community. The community is coming together even more recently with the launch of Malmö Live and the first batch of the Fast Track accelerator. 

Notable investments: Mapillary $1.5 million, InRiver $10 million, Neo Technology $20 million

Notable VC's investing there: Sequoia Capital, Wellington, Playfair Capital, Sunstone, Creandum, Industrifonden

3. Reykjavik (Iceland) $110.73 million

By Andreas Tille - Own work - see http://fam-tille.de/sparetime.htmlImage with Information in EnglishBild mit Informationen auf Deutsch, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20886

By Andreas Tille - Own work - see http://fam-tille.de/sparetime.htmlImage with Information in EnglishBild mit Informationen auf Deutsch, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20886

The other, other capital city that often gets left out of conversations when it comes to what's happening in the Nordics. Although that might not the case for much longer, as the city is gaining an increasingly strong reputation in VR and gaming, and those with the money can seemingly see why, as capital continues to increase into Iceland's capital.

Notable investments: Solfar Studios $2.1 million, Plain Vanilla $7.5 million, CCP $30 million

Notable VC's investing there: Brunnur, Frumtak, Inventure, NSA, Seed Capital

4. Espoo (Finland) $95.49 million

By JIP at English Wikipedia, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9444479

By JIP at English Wikipedia, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9444479

Espoo is extremely close to Helsinki, and there was some internal debate as to whether it should be included as a standalone hub. However, we asked the masses on Twitter to decide for us and the majority said it was, so here it is. Despite its close proximity, it does have a community of its own, with the Startup Sauna accelerator playing a vital role in this.

Notable investments: Yoogaia $3 millionMariaDB $9 million, Enevo $15.8 million

Notable VC's investing there: Lifeline Ventures, Reaktor Ventures, Inventure, Point Nine Capital, HTGF, Earlybird, Conor VC

5. Gothenburg (Sweden) $84.74 million

By Amjad Sheikh - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17827484

By Amjad Sheikh - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17827484

Out on the West coast of Sweden, Gothenburg is ever-increasingly becoming a strong hub in its own right. In fact, so far in 2016, it has already been home to 6 investments, second only to Stockholm in Sweden for this year. Not only does it feature highly on our list, interest and investment seems to be growing particularly stronger here, pointing to even more capital to be expected in the next couple of years.

Notable investments: Football Addicts undisclosed, Fishbrain $8 million, Saltside $40 million

Notable VC's investing there: Chalmers Ventures, Northzone, Creandum, Almi Invest

6. Oulu (Finland) $26.25 million

By Estormiz 21:18, 12 February 2006 (UTC) - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=574267

By Estormiz 21:18, 12 February 2006 (UTC) - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=574267

The 2nd Finnish city on the list, demonstrating that Finland has at least three hubs to be aware of, including Helsinki. Despite only being the 5th most populous city in the country, Oulu is certainly punching above its weight, with a increasing number of promising startups based there, with Valossa and Ouraring two of the most interesting.

Notable investments: Valossa $650,000, Ouraring $2.3 million, Indoor Atlas $10 million

Notable VC's investing there: Butterfly Ventures, Inventure, Finnvera Venture Capital

7. Lund (Sweden) $23.57 million

By Anton Holmquist & Pauline GyllengahmSoasta - Own work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3065673

By Anton Holmquist & Pauline GyllengahmSoasta - Own work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3065673

Located very close to Malmö, there must be something in the water in Southern Sweden, as Lund is also home to a fair number of thriving tech startups. Lund's startup scene also benefits from the talent emanating from the prestigious local university. 

Notable investments: Modcam $1.6 million, Trialbee $5 million, Flatfrog $10 million

Notable VC's investing there: Sunstone Capital, Industrifonden

8. Uppsala (Sweden) $22.69 million

Next time you visit Stockholm, you might want to take a little trip just outside the city to Uppsala. Although fairly close to the capital, Uppsala has its own startup scene, including regular meet-ups with International journalists and investors, and is home to promising startups such as Cloapp and Hansoft.

Notable investments: Cloapp $600,000, Hansoft $10 million 

Notable VC's investing there: Creandum

9. Linköping (Sweden) $11.1 million

By Thuresson - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=233250

By Thuresson - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=233250

East of Gothenburg and south of Stockholm, Linköping is another Swedish city to keep on your radar, with 6 startups raising investment in the last year or so. Their place on this list is largely due to Narrative's $8 million investment in 2014. 

Notable investments: Spotscale $1 million, Narrative $8 million

Notable VC's investing there: MOOR Capital, Almi Invest, Passion Capital

10. Aarhus (Denmark) $8.34 million

By Anosmoman - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37207231

By Anosmoman - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37207231

Denmark's 2nd city is a little unlucky to be so low down on this list, and is only down so low due to a high number of undisclosed investments. If the list was done on number of investments, then Aarhus would be as high as 6th on this list, offering a real alternative for those who are interested in discovering promising Danish startups outside of Copenhagen.

Notable investments: AutoUncle undisclosed, Sekoia $3 million, Clearhaus $3.3 million

Notable VC's investing there: Northcap, Nupark Accelerace


Methodology and disclaimers

  • Undisclosed investments were not included in the totals.

  • Only tech investments were included in the totals.

  • The investment totals are for the period January 1st 2014- February 19th 2016

  • Locations were determined using a combination of the companies websites, social media accounts and Crunchbase.


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