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2013 sees highest rate of investment for Nordic startups

EntrepreneurCountry Global Tuesday, 08 July 2014.

The Nordic regions may be associated with cold and dark winters, but they're fast becoming a hotbed for startup communities - and investors are helping to stoke the fire.

shutterstock 24039937179 investments totalling just over €500m were made in 2013, making it the best year on record, according to figures compiled by Swedish VC firm Creandum. Swedish startups accounted for €335 million, 67 percent of the total investment figure, and their biggest tech export, Spotify, alone secured €183m in a funding round late last year.

The music streaming company is now inspiring a whole new generation of Davids across the region, with innovative businesses including online payments firm Klarna, eye-tracking business Tobii​, card payments startup iZettle and VoiP company Rebtel all emerging as standouts.

What's more, despite still being in its infancy, Norway's startup scene managed to soak up €32m, while Finland and Denmark received €79m and €55m respectively.

Interestingly, the majority of funding came in the form of seed investments for brand new businesses - perhaps hinting that follow-up investment is still challenging to come by. However, with a developing network of accelerator programmes and improved access to local and international VC funding, the outlook is certainly optimistic for the new generation of Nordic startups.

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