A recent report that sought to rank the world’s tech centers put Silicon Valley top and Tel Aviv second. What was more surprising was that Berlin came only 15th behind London—and what was perhaps stranger still was that Stockholm was not even on the list.
Given the success of Sweden’s technology sector, Stockholm’s absence from the Startup Ecosystem Index—which was pulled together by Startup Genome in association with Telefonica—may prompt some head scratching. You can rattle off a list of truly leading Swedish companies: music streaming service Spotify (now based in London), which is valued at around $3 billion; Klarna, valued at close to $1 billion; and of course Skype (which Estonia also has a claim to), which was sold to Microsoft MSFT -0.02% for $8.5 billion.
Then there is a whole raft of companies bubbling just below the surface, such as social-gifting company Wrapp, voice-over IP provider Rebtel, card-payment service iZettle, content management system maker Episerver, Mojang makers of Minecraft, mobile-casino company LeoVegas, and many more.
Scandinavian venture-capital firm Creandum reported last year that between 1992-2010 of the €24.3 billion ($31.82 billion) created in exits—the valuations achieved when companies are sold or floated—€10.5 billion ($13.7 billion) came from Sweden.