Tech Scaleup Sweden
2018 has been the year of Spotify.
Its gargantuan IPO has been a critical milestone both for Europe and Sweden. It has been the largest IPO for a tech scaleup in Europe up to date (second globally only to Facebook), proving that Unicorns can bear and grow in Europe (and in Sweden).
It has also confirmed the ability of the Nordics (and Sweden) in particular to produce tech giants. This year Northvolt and Klarna just joined Spotify in the exclusive “super-scalers” club i.e., of tech companies able to raise over one billion dollars.
Then Sweden is, in fact, one of the innovation cornerstones in Europe, along with the UK, Germany, and France. And as Silicon Valley shows, having Big Tech can foster further growth.
On the contrary, after years of robust growth, Sweden has shown a slower ramp in 2018. With only 53 new scaleups and a net of Spotify IPO proceedings, it only raised one billion as a new capital.
That is not enough to keep pace with Germany and France that are adding over 100 scaleups per year and investing about $4B annually.
And the Netherlands scaleup engine has begun to run faster despite the existing immense gap.
Moreover, the Swedish super scalers (King.com first, and now Spotify) chose the US for going public conversely from Germany and the Netherlands (though Adyen, Delivery Hero, and Zalando got listed domestically).
It indicates that some European ecosystems still lack the upper part of the value chain i.e., late-stage financing and the exits.
This gap still needs to be bridged if we want to have a higher breed of EUnicorns.
by Alberto Onetti, Chairman, Mind the Bridge