Swedish startups, by all accounts, had a strong 2021, having collectively raised €7.8 billion, according to a new report from Dealroom.
This is a 2.4 times increase over the previous year. According to the February report, much of the impetus came from late-stage funding rounds, which contributed about 70% of all funding.
Sweden also led Europe in 2021 in terms of impact-focused startups, with impact startups mobilizing more than half of domestic venture capital funding, allowing Sweden to take the lead thanks to the capital risk.
The report noted Sweden’s thriving startup landscape, which includes Klarna company Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) — Europe’s largest private startup overall — with its $41 billion valuation.
The value of the startup ecosystem has doubled in the past year and is now valued at €239 billion, up from €122 billion in 2020. Some of the notable companies formed there over the of the past decade include Spotify, Northvolk and Polestar, according to the report.
The report also says that one of the reasons Sweden is doing so well is its welfare system, including free education and a government that has been generous in pushing for early access to new technologies. This included the “home PC reform” in the 1990s, when one million Swedes got their first computer or internet access.
However, a sticking point for the Swedish tech world is the lack of diversity. The presentation notes the shortage of women in tech, with less than 1% of equity going to all-female founding teams. A whopping 88.2% went to all-male teams, while around 10% went to mixed founding teams.
According to Nora Bavey, general partner at Unconventional Ventures, the problem comes down to a need for more accountability.
“We need accountability,” she said in the report. “Governments and institutional investors should lead the way and not wait for private capital to follow suit. The numbers tell us that not only are female founders raising longer for less funding, but also at lower valuations. However, when we look at earnings, female founders are 45% more profitable than all male founding teams. »
According to some scene leaders, the focus on sustainability and the environment is a big plus for the entrepreneur scene.
“We are excited to see many of the new startups focusing on impact and sustainability,” said Tove Larsson, general partner at Norrsken. “We, like humanity and our planet, face enormous challenges. And to meet these challenges, we need new and scalable solutions. We truly believe that startups are in many ways the perfect foundation for new such solutions Startups can start from scratch, be truly innovative, agile and courageous.
PYMNTS wrote that Klarna released year-end results for 2021 that showed “scorching success” in the United States. It recorded a 71% increase in users and a 42% increase in trading volume.
See also: US Klarna Volumes, Members and Revenue
The United States was Klarna’s second largest revenue center, and Klarna works with many top retail brands like PetCo, Lululemon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Macy’s and others.
According to CEO and co-founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski, 99% of the company’s BNPL loans have been repaid globally.
He cited the low credit loss rates and said it was a great achievement because “behind this numerical reduction is the lives of tens of thousands of consumers for whom we have avoided adding a burden unhealthy debt”.