Top 5 Nordic start ups

There are many dynamic startups emanating from the region, and it is likely that you have heard of many of the most successful of them.

1. Spotify


There can be no doubt that Spotify is the sort of game-changer that comes along once in a while and revolutionises a particular industry. In the case of music Spotify has seemingly come out of nowhere, taken the role that was once dominated by iTunes and now holding a dominant position in the hearts of many young people.

How did it achieve this impressive feat? Well it offers an unlimited choice of singles and albums that you can listen to and download, in return for a monthly fee. There is also a free service that offers the above but in return you have to put with ads and can’t choose individual tracks in a playlist.

The company was launched in 2008 by Swedish entrepreneur Daniel Ek together with co-founder Martin Lorentzon, Spotify has gone on to become a billion-dollar company, most recently valued at an impressive $5.7 billion. Having revolutionised the music industry the next challenge for Spotify is to grow further in the USA, building on its impressive domination in the Western European market.

2. Skype


Skype is another piece of technology that has revolutionised the way many of us live, in the case of Skype transforming international calling by offering a way to contact relatives across the world for hours at a time at no cost if they are also signed up to Skype.

The group was started by a mixed team that included a Dane by the name of Janus Friis together with Swede Niklas Zennstrom and a team of three Estonians.

Founded in 2003, two years later eBay paid an incredible $2.6 billion for the company, with a consortium that included the Canadian Pension Plan paying $1.9 billion for a 65 per cent stake. That was not the end for the business as in 2011 technology giant Microsoft acquired the group for $8.5 billion.

Skype has effectively killed off the use of calling cards for most of the developed world, as it offers the chance to call family, friends and business colleagues for free while also offering the opportunity to use its video functionality to see who you are speaking to in real-time. It is said to have over 100 million users worldwide.

3. Supercell

Clash of Clans

As mentioned in our previous feature on the Finnish mobile gaming sector, Supercell is one of the superstars of the space, with games that generate it millions of dollars a day.

The biggest daddy under the Supercell umbrella is the legendary Clash of Clans, a mobile real-time strategy game that enables you to build up an army of warriors and send them off to battle. The company profits from in-store purchases, with some gamers spending thousands of pounds on the mobile game.

While Clash of Clans is the best-known title under the Supercell brand, other smash-hit titles include fellow war strategy game Boom Beach and farming title Hay Day.

4. Rovio

Angry Birds face

Rovio has had a bumpy time of late, having to cut staff numbers after its former CEO left the company amidst falling sales and profits.

Rovio is entirely built around the Angry Birds franchise, a mobile game based on shooting a bird using a slingshot at a variety of potential targets.

Now employing hundreds of people and a range of spin-off games such as Angry Birds Star Wars and Angry Birds Transformers, Rovio has become one of the best-known brands to emerge from Finland.

Despite a valuation that has fallen considerably from the $9 billion mentioned in 2012, it remains a billion-dollar company.

5. Just Eat


Just Eat is a solely Danish effort. Founded by a team that included Henrik Oestergaard, Per Meldgaard, Christian Frismodt and Jesper Buch, the company offers a relatively simple service, allowing customers to choose from a range of local takeaway outlets in one place before making their order for the evening.

The group boasts of over 20,000 restaurants in the UK using its services, having raised an impressive £100 million upon its admission to the London Stock Exchange last April. A FTSE 250 constituent, it is valued at just under £2 billion at the time of writing.

Though it was launched in 2000 in Denmark since 2006 it has been headquartered in the UK, with the company currently based in Borehamwood in North London.

Just Eat has made the march towards international expansion, currently active in Brazil, India and Belgium amongst other countries.

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