The Nordic Zeitgeist

While keeping track of all of the investments in the region gives us a good indication as to which verticals are particularly hot in the region right now, they don't necessarily help us see what the hot trends are until after the fact.   

We took a quick look at what verticals are being searched for using Google Trends, to see if we can get a better idea of what the main hubs in the Nordics may be looking at next.


I have to admit to not really hearing too much about drones in Denmark, however Google tells us that there are some very interested Danes in knowing more at the minute, and even more so than in Finland and Sweden. However, in general, drones are a term that are increasingly being searched for across all three countries. 



eSports is a term that has gone from practically not being searched for to very popular in all three countries, with Finns seemingly particularly interested although Denmark has peaked a couple of times over the last year or so as well.



Perhaps surprisingly AI is not particularly that popular a search term in any of the countries currently, and in fact peaked in all in 2012, and has been pretty stable since with no significant increase since 2005, apart from that peak a few years ago, however in saying that, it is still the most searched for term from our five keywords, although that could be to do with the abbreviation.



A word that has literally come out of nowhere to becoming more and more popular each year is Blockchain. In comparison to the other four verticals we've highlighted, it is searched for the least, however of the five, it is also the one which is seeing the most consistent increase.


"Virtual Reality"

However, the steepest climb of all is reserved for virtual reality, with the search term seeing a significant increase in popularity across all three countries, with the rise particularly notable in Denmark.

Clearly this is all very ambiguous, and we are only presenting this as something which is interesting rather than anything we can read too much into. Just because people are searching these terms, doesn't mean they are going to start working in them.

However, it does gives us a quick insight into what topics are interesting the inhabitants of the Nordics main hubs which also gives us something to think about in terms of potential markets for innovations in these areas, rather than just thinking in terms of what countries may see a rise in startups in these verticals. Either way, these results should be taken with a pinch of salt, although it is certainly food for thought.

In the tech world, things move fast and companies are born anywhere in the world. I’m able to have an ear to the ground with The Nordic Web - the content is fresh, local, and of high quality, which is exactly what you need as a seed investor.

In fact, it’s through Neil Murray’s newsletter that I first heard about Mapillary. Several months later, I was fortunate to lead our firm’s investment in the Company to help drive the creation of a crowdsourced visual representation of our world
— Nathan Benaich, Playfair Capital