The FT has a story this week profiling Stockholm as Europe’s new tech hub to rival Berlin, Paris and London. The Swedish capital does not have the kind of money flowing that London does, but US venture capital firms have invested nearly USD 200m in Swedish tech companies in the last year and USD 308m in 2010, more than twice the average amount invested between 2002 and 2008, and more than rival hubs in France and Germany, according to data from Thomson Reuters, says the FT.
Talent is Stockholm’s key commodity, like Berlin (your Dealmarket Digest editor recently wrote an article for Informilo on Berlin as a tech hub). The article lists several highly valued startups, citing a billion dollar valuation for Spotify, the music challenger to iTune, also Klarna, with an USD 800 million valuation for its online payments service. Klarna is backed by General Atlantic of the US and DST Global, the Russian backer of Facebook, Twitter and Groupon, and has a valuation of close to USD 800 million. The recent exits include Qliktech, which listed on Nasdaq with a 30 per cent rise in share price since IPO and Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype for USD 8.5bn last year. (photo source: istockphoto)