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NEWS June 20, 2018

Sting Demo Day released 13 new startup stars to the world


13 Sting companies graduated from Sting’s Accelerate and Incubate programs at Sting Demo Day at Bryggarsalen yesterday. An audience of over 130 investors and other guests listened when the companies presented their business ideas on stage.

Sting Demo Day is the final event for companies that have participated in the Sting Accelerate and Sting Incubate programs, giving them the opportunity to present their business ideas and plans for the future to a highly qualified audience of investors and potential business partners.

The lastest edition of Sting Demo Day treated the audience to pitches in as wide-ranging areas as innovative transport services, ethically-made leather accessories, access to specialist health care, and digital sales and marketing tools.

–Today, the tenth batch of Sting Accelerate completed their time with us, and with them 248 companies have now passe through Sting’s programs since we started in 2002, said Pär Hedberg, CEO of Sting.
–When I speak to companies that left our programs six months or a year ago, and have recently taken in an investment, it often turns out that it was here at Demo Day that they met their investors. It shows us that Demo Day actually works, and I think that’s a pretty cool thing, continued Pär Hedberg.
When the Demo Day audience was invited to vote for the day’s best pitch, the result was a tie betweenSuavoo and Airmee, who got to share the win.

Suavoo is a digital concierge that boosts customer experience at hotels. Through an on-demand platform, Suavoo offers hotel guests on-demand services in beauty, wellness and environmentally friendly transport.

“It felt great to win, especially because I’ve always felt it’s quite difficult to be stage. I’ve had a fantastic pitch coach here at Sting, Jenny Lindblad, who has helped me improve myself. We’ve also gotten a lot out of the business coaching during Sting Accelerate, especially as we have expanded our offer form beauty, where we began, to become a digital concierge. Being able to get feedback during that journey has been extremely valuable, said Linda Absberg, CEO and co-founder of Suvoo.

Airmee’s service changes how goods are transported in cities through revolutionary research-based technology that connects customers with messengers that can deliver good on-demand.

“It was especially fun to finish off our time in Sting Incubate with a win in the pitch competition. We have receieved great coaching from our business coach Ivar Strömberg, who has been a valuable sounding board both when things were going well, and when things were going not so well. Now it’s all about growing for us, said Julian CEO and co-founder at Airmee.

The companies that participated during Sting Demo Day were:

From Sting Accelerate
Baetes
Bukvy
ContentStudio
Cryptolens
Dockstr
Foodla
Konowlocker
Suavoo

From Sting Incubate
Airmee
LocalLife
MediCheck
Need Insights
Tölve

NEWS June 6, 2018

Inkonova secures first commercial order for their Batonomous system, from LKAB

On the 23rd of April 2018, Inkonova received the first commercial service purchase order for a scanning mission using their Batonomous system, from LKAB Malmberget. The order came after a demo of the system was conducted earlier this year in Gällivare in Northern Sweden. LKAB owns the biggest underground iron ore mine in the world, located in Kiruna. The service mission is scheduled for the first half of June 2018.

The mission aims to survey zones deemed difficult or impossible with the previous state of technology. The inclination, the terrain of the shaft, the danger of collapse and falling rocks, absence of light, GPS, vision and prior knowledge, all make it a challenge to survey and map these areas. Lack of data from such zones cause weeks of delay, and a multitude of errors, leading to millions in monetary loss.

Ikonova’s Batonomous technology, along with their other systems, specialize in enabling autonomous aerial robotics in spaces where no other survey platforms can be used, particularly in autonomous navigation where all infrastructure (such as GPS, light and beacons) is absent, no prior map exists, and the environment provides a challenge.

Inkonova’s aerial robotics solutions has been catering to the underground mining market in North America, South America, Africa and Europe, since 2016, with products such as the TILT Ranger, TILT Scout and most recently the Batonomous.

For further inquiries:
Ahmed AlNomany
Cofounder & CEO
ahmed@inkonova.se

NEWS May 29, 2018

Wehype – the innovative advertising platform that helps advertisers reach gamers – closes funding round

Wehype helps advertisers conduct influencer marketing campaigns targeted to the gaming world. Now the company is backed by John and Martin Wattin, of Inbox Capital, along with several other well-known investors.

Wehype makes it easy and painless for advertisers to reach the huge audiences that follow gaming and esports. In Wehype’s digital platform ad buyers are provided powerful tool allows them to launch scalable influencer marketing campaigns targeting millions of gamers around the world, in under ten minutes.

Watching other people play computer games is a trend that has exploded in recent years. In 2017 Superdata reported that more people watch gaming videos online than those who watch HBO, Netflix, ESPN and Hulu combined.

– We have a product that is unique on the market today. We cut out the unnecessary intermediaries and put ad buyer in direct contact with those influencers who have the most relevant audience. In addition, we use a number of technical elements to simplify time-consuming steps such as communications, payments and data collection, says Robin Åström, founder and CEO of Wehype.

Now the company has closed a successful funding round and Wehype’s shareholder list has grown to include a number of renowned and experienced entrepreneurs and investors, including John Wattin and Martin Wattin of Inbox Capital, Betsson founder Pontus Lindwall, and Christian Ehrhardt (e.g. Vitamin Well).

– We have worked a long time on finding the right investors who can support us in our continued growth and international expansion. We primarily chose to bring in people who see their ownership in the long term and that can contribute and add synergies to our operations, said Robin Åström.

Wehype’s network already consists of thousands of influencers, reaching an audience of tens of millions of people. Its customers include well-known brands such as ASUS, Warner Music, Hertz and SJ.

– Wehype is a very exciting company that is at the forefront in its field. I look forward to being on this journey with them and contributing with my experience, says John Wattin.

Wehype was part of the Sting Accelerate program in the spring of 2017.

 

Read more about Wehype here: wehype.it

More information: Robin Åström, CEO and founder, +46 73 382 17:12, robin@wehype.it

 

NEWS May 21, 2018

BlueCall secures millions in new funding – will help employers increase the wellbeing of employees


BlueCall, the app for anonymous therapeutic calls and chats, teams up with Soläng Invest, a former KING Studio Manager, and a stress researcher from Stockholm University in a new investment round. The money will be used to finance a new partnership strategy aimed at employers and health service providers.

–We are thrilled to bring even more skills into the company and now we can take the leap from being a start-up to becoming a more established company. Having research expertise in our core area, as well as experts in the field of digitization amongst the investors, we are convinced that we can strengthen our position as the service that prevents mental illness. With our anonymous solution, we lower the thresholds for individuals to dare to and want to address their situation, said Caroline Rödén, CEO of BlueCall.

The new funds will be used to finance a new strategy for partnerships with employers and health service providers. A new sales manager, head hunted by Wise Professionals and with a solid HR background, will lead the launch of the new strategy. The investment will also help BlueCall prepare to launch their service in new markets.

–As an investor, I am drawn to simple solutions to difficult societal problems and to driven founders who are determined to succeed. BlueCall has a business idea that addresses a huge and global societal problem, and a prominent issue for employers – mental health issues account for 46% of all sick leave. The company has launched an effective tool to prevent mental illness by getting the employee to act even before the situation has become serious. I am convinced that many employers will benefit greatly from this, says Anders Göransson from Soläng Invest, sometimes referred to as Sweden’s largest technology investor.

The new investors are

  • Soläng Invest, Anders Göransson
  • Fredrik Åhlberg, former studio manager at KING
  • Oddball Ventures, Ashkan Fardost
  • Helena Schiller, stress researcher at Stockholm University
  • Cecilia Storåkers Hjelmstedt

BlueCall was a part of Sting Accelerate in the fall of 2016.

About BlueCall

BlueCall was founded in 2016 by Caroline Rödén, Lisa Löfgren and Tamara Bernad. The service is an app for anonymous therapeutic conversations over phone and chat – a simple and scalable solution to the huge social problem of mental health. The vision is to help millions of people across the world to better wellbeing. BlueCall has 10,000 users and over 150 call therapists connected to the service. The company is based in Stockholm, and consists of a team of 8 people.

Press Contact

Lisa Löfgren
Lisa@bluecallapp.com
+4673 905 16 05
bluecallapp.com

Events May 18, 2018

An investor-packed Sting Day!

Sting Day 2018 took place on May 16th, gathering a record number of investors and offering inspiring speakers combined with energetic one-to-one matchmaking.

400 exclusively invited people were present at Hotel Birger Jarl when Sting gathered its network of promising startups and most of Europe’s leading investors for the annual Sting Day event. A total of 180 investors from 15 countries participated, along with 65 selected startups. The theme for this year’s event was sales and growth.

“The fact that this year’s event attracted a record number of investors is a receipt that Sting Day has established itself as one of the most important meeting spots for startups and international investors. Our goal is to offer opportunities for qualified meetings that can lead to long-term and valuable relationships over time, said Pär Hedberg, founder and CEO of Sting, about the high interest for Sting Day.

After an introduction, when Pär Hedberg was welcomed by the robots Marissa, played by Furhat, and Yumi from ABB, Niklas Adalberth, founder of Norrsken, took the stage. In a conversation with Sting’s Karin Ruiz, Niklas reflected on his ambitions for Norrsken and his view of how young tech companies can help make the world better with their technology. This session was followed by sales pitches from five startups, to a panel that took the role of the pitching companies’ dream customers.

In parallel with the important speed meeting session between investors and startups, two inspiring fireside chats took place on the main stage. The audience got to listen to Wendy Tan White, founder of British website building platform Moonfruit, and Hannah Meiton, Chief Growth Officer at Soundtrack Your Brand, who shared experiences on finding successful sales strategies as a startup and how to build successful teams.

During the final session on stage, a panel comprised of the seasoned investors Grant Allen, ABB Technology Ventures; Susana Quintana Plaza, next47; Sara Resvik, Industrfonden and Christian Nagel, Earlybird, weighed in on how investors can contribute to revenue growth in their portfolio companies. The panel was moderated by Miriam Grut Norrby, Partner at Alfvén & Didrikson, and ended with five investor pitches from capital-seeking companies.

The winners of the pitch competitions were announced during a prize ceremony that kicked-off the dinner. The award for “Best sales pitch” went to Patrik Nilsson of Ortrud Medical and the price for “Best investor pitch” went to Joakim Sjöblom of Minna Technologies. The day ended with an inspiring dinner speech by Stina Ehrensvärd, founder of Yubico. The company, that began its journey at Sting’s incubator at KTH, is now on track to become Sweden’s first “unicorn” with a female CEO. Stina finished her presentation by saying that one must dare to believe in her dreams. It was a perfect end to a wonderful day.

A warm thank you to our main partner ABB and other event partners Visa, Tillväxtverket, Verisure and Almi Företagspartner.

NEWS March 29, 2018

Newsvoice.com raises 2 million SEK and plans to change the way we consume news

Newsvoice.com, a news app that aims to change the way we read the news, raises 2 million SEK from private business angels and Almi Invest for further expansion of their service.

Newsvoice.com is a news app and a community that provides links to high quality articles with different perspectives, in one place. The app scans and analyzes news articles on hundreds of news sites and categorizes the content, but in the end it is up to the readers to decide how the content will look. The service acts as a mix of Google News, Reddit and Wikipedia and is intially targeted at the US market. The company was founded just over a year ago by Viktor Lidholt, who has a background from Google in Silicon Valley.

– The American news market is dominated by a few large media groups. We want to move the power to our readers, but in a way that allows us to guarantee high quality content. Moreover, we always display news from multiple perspectives. For example, if you want to read about the conflict in Syria, we can provide the reader perspectives on the news from the US, Russia, Europe and the Middle East, creating a better understanding of how the issue is perceived in various parts of the world, says Viktor Lidholt, founder and CEO of Newsvoice.com.

Newsvoice.com has raised 2 million SEK, to start promoting their app on a larger scale. The round was led by ReadSoft founder Lars Appelstål, who invested along with BLCBX Investment Group and a number of private business angels. Almi Invest also contributed 300,000 SEK. Propel Capital has previously invested in Newsvoice.com.

– I think Newsvoice.com has both the ability and the right product to make a real difference in the media landscape. They are creating a global platform that can solve many of the problems that are present today, from filter bubbles to fake news, says Lars Appelstål.

– We are at the beginning of our journey and our vision is to fundamentally change people consume news. The potential is enormous. Not only because we have a strong product, but also because there is a real need, says Viktor Lidholt.

For more information contact
Victor Lidholt, CEO and founder of Newsvoice.com viktor@newsvoice.com or 070-759 68 38.

About  Newsvoice.com
Newsvoice.com is developing a new kind of news app, initially targeting the US market. The app shows gives multiple perspectives on current news and lets the readers themselves help curate content. With its solution Newsvoice.com hope to stop false news being spread, and reduce the risk of filter bubbles.

www.newsvoice.com

NEWS March 26, 2018

Kinexit–the IT platform that takes training to a new level–raises millions in new funding


Kinexit is a digital platform that detects body movement restrictions, and automatically selects personalized and animated training solutions based on the chosen sport and the individual’s goals. The company has raised over two million SEK from private investors, including former NHL pro Mattias Weinhandl, to continue their expansion in the United States.

The team behind Kinexit has many years of experience in training, physiology and business development, and the company has contributed to thousands of users improvin their physique and health, since launching in since 2016. Kinexit offers personalized training for nine different sports.

“The range of intelligent and digital personalized solutions has not been keeping pace with the development in sports and training towards ever more personalized training. Many of us have consulted with a trainer or physical therapist and received a piece of pape with exercises drawn as stick figures” says Michael Dahl, former Nordic head of the golf giant Titleist and currently co-owner and COO of Kinexit.

Kinexit measures and detects body movement limitations, and based on the measurement data personalized and animated training films are automatically selected for the user and made available in their phone as a playlist for workouts.

“Our sights are initially set on the golf and rehabilitation markets. These areas have strong connections with each other, particularly in the US, and now we have the muscle to continue our expansion in this gigantic market” says Chris Månsson, CEO and co-founder.

Kinexit was one of the eight companies in the Sting Accelerate Program during the fall of 2017. Four of the six new investors are also part of Sting’s investor network Propel Capital, notably former NHL and KHL pro hockey player Mattias Weinhandl who immediately saw the potential in Kinexit’s platform.

“To me as an athlete, the need for personally designed and cost-effective training is  obvious and I can see that this is the perfect time for Kinexit’s solution, where the user gets all the training information easily and directly to their smartphone” says Mattias emphatically

For more information contact Kinexit CEO and co-founder Chris Mansson: 0709-901 699 or Chris@kinexit.com.

NEWS February 1, 2018

A competitive Test Drive Digital announces two winners: housing startup Ett tak, två generationer and mindfulness innovators MindfulHu

Sting in collaboration with EIT Digital has run the Test Drive Digital program, aimed at stimulating entrepreneurs to test their ideas. In the end there were two companies that were tied for the honor of Best Pitch, housing startup Ett tak, två generationer and mindfulness innovators MindfulHu.

Ett tak, två generationer aims to connect students looking for housing with empty-nesters who want to rent out a room in their home. The cross-generational team of recent KTH graduate Anna Söderberg and seasoned business professional Ann Edberg met while studing a master course in Design Thinking at Openlab in Stockholm.

“This has given us a proof of concept and shown us that we are on the right track. It has been so inspirational to meet all these other entrepreneurs,” co-founder Anna Söderberg said.

“The Test Drive has gives us a lot of food for thought, and how incredible that you can feel so inspired and invigorated, when we’ve been doing this in the evenings after long days in the office,” CEO Ann Edberg continued. “It feels surreal that we won and it’s been amazing to have done this together with Anna. It has really helped us grow as a team.”

The second winner was mindfulness startup mindfulHU. They are developing a device that can imitate human breath and guide breath meditation for mindfulness beginners.
“The Program has been super helpful and useful, especially at this stage. We develop a device that helps train people in breathing and meditation, and the course and the coachin has given me a lot advice for how to continue developing the startup. I’m excited that we won, it was very unexpected,” said mindfulHU founder Tina Zhu.

The Test Drive included a very diverse group of startups, ranging from carpool services to wedding planning as well as conflict de-escalation for law enforcement personnel. The program has consisted of three four-hour workshops based on the Lean Canvas and combined theory with practical applications and been led by Sting coach Raoul Stubbe.

NEWS December 11, 2017

Go Africa finale attracted a full house

On Thursday a final event themed “How to succeed with the business in sub-Saharan Africa” was held for the The Go Africa program, created by Sting and partners, at SUP46 in Stockholm. Go Africa has offered Swedish entrepreneurs seminars, experience-sharing, networking, individual coaching and visits to startup hubs, all focused on doing business in Africa, during the past two years.

Interest in the final event was considerable and the room was filled to the last seat. During an inspiring morning the 100 participants were treated to experiences and lessons learned from Go Africa and its participating companies, and talks by experienced “Africapreneurs” Iliana Björling Lindenberg, Gbenga Ayaji and Go Africa’s project manager Karin Ruiz.

Important success factors for doing business in Africa that were identified by the speakers included doing their homework properly in terms of understanding each market and what drives it, as well as having patience. Exploring funding opportunities available to them and having a clear plan on how to finance your market penetration, and the importance of finding a local partner also came up as “lessons learned”. Additionally the importance of the full value chain, and creativity in business models were emphasized. And last but not least, to exploit the potential carried by the explosive growth in mobile and broadband use in Africa.

“It’s been two intensive and very informative years with Go Africa. Around 100 companies have participated in various activities during this time, and we see that the program has created new networks and unexpected encounters that could ultimately lead to new investors having the courage to invest in business opportunities in Africa. We are impressed by the entrepreneurs’ drive and we look forward to following their future progress” said Karin Ruiz, business coach at Sting and project manager for Go Africa.

Go Africa was conducted in two phases. During the first phase, which was open to small and medium-sized enterprises interested in doing business in Africa, the program focused on the dissemination of knowledge and experience, and networking. During the second phase, in 2017, seven companies were selected to receive individual coaching and support with a focus on business development and marketing strategies. (Five companies completed the program.) Support has also been offered regarding funding. The program has arranged visits to Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kigali, Kampala and Lagos.  A whopping 26 startup hubs have been visited during these trips, aiming to open new doors for business as well as to establish so-called “soft landing collaborations”.

One of the participants of Go Africa, and one of the companies that received individual support, is drone tech startup GLOBHE. GLOBHE performes strategic tasks such as mapping areas affected by natural disasters, rapid data acquisition and transport of goods to otherwise inaccessible areas, using drones equipped with artificial intelligence performs. GLOBHE currently works with the UN in southern Africa.

“By participating in Go Africa, GLOBHE has been able to develop its business model to achieve scalability in the African continent and globally” said Helena Samsioe, CEO of GLOBHE, commenting on value of being a part of Go Africa.

The Go Africa program was initiated and managed by Sting in cooperation with Inclusive Business Sweden, Swecare, RISE, and with funding from The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth.

NEWS November 22, 2017

Sniph gears up with big name investors and begins European expansion

The innovative Swedish perfume service Sniph has raised 5 million SEK from new and existing owners in its latest investment round to fund the company’s international expansion. First up is a launch in the UK, to be followed by the rest of Europe.

There is potential in scents. In 2024 the global fragrance market is estimated to be worth 92 billion dollars*, and Swedish startup Sniph intends to be player in that market. The company offers a subscription service for perfume, where the customer gets to sample and discover a new scent from an exclusive perfume house every month. The company has raised capital in the amount of 5 million SEK in an investment round in order to expand the business.

Sniph’s existing owners – media entreprenur Peter Settman, sibling business angels Helena Herlogsson and Fredrik Månsson, and Sting – have choosen to reinvest in the company. New investors include previous Spotify investor Rosello and a number of business angels, among them Anna Ljungbergh, Fredrik Berglund and Tara Derakshan. Tara Derakshan will also be joining the company’s management team.

Challening the perfume industry: launching in the UK

Sniph wants to challenge the traditional perfume industry and allow consumers to easily discover new scents and niche perfumes. As a first step in their international expansion, Sniph launched their service in the UK market on November 21. Additional markets will be added soon.

The company is also bulking up their digital marketing muscle by bringing on Tara Derakshan as Chief Experience Officer (CXO). Tara joins the team of four founders, bringing with her experience from being Global Marketing Director for digital media company Kiosked in London and previously Marketing Manager at World Childhood Foundation in New York.

– With unique experience in global tech marketing and branding Tara is a dream addition to the team. She has a great ability to think big and act with a personal touch. With her passion for fragrance Tara will be extremely important to us as we take ‘perfume as a service’ to new levels, says Lisa Kjellqvist, CEO and co-founder.

– In the same way that the music industry was outdated before Spotify, the perfume industry is obsolete and ready for change and digitization. By combining our passion for fragrance with data driven customer insight, we will revolutionize the perfume industry and make perfume shopping a personal experience, says Tara Derakshan, CXO and co-founder.

*Source: Mintel

About Sniph

Sniph is a subscription service that makes it easy to discover new scents from exclusive perfume houses. Each month, subscribers get to try a new scent, which is sent to them in a 7 ml bottle. The service costs 99 SEK/month and subscriptions run month to month.

Sniph launched in Sweden in 2015 and in November 2017 in the UK. The company has since sent over 20 000 perfume bottles to their subscribers since the start, and has more than doubled its sales between 2016 and 2017.

Sniph want to challenge the traditional perfume industry by focusing on smaller niche players that previously stood in the shadow of the global perfume giants. Sniph has agreements with 30 exclusive niche perfume houses, including Swedish Agonist, French Heeley Parfums, Etat Libre d’Orange and Brittish Miller Harris.

The scents are divided into six collections, to help users easily find the scents they like. The six collections are:
Trending Now – for those who want the latest trends.
Clean – for those who want to smell light, clean and fresh.
Female Classics – for those who like safe bets and timeless fragrances.
Avant-garde – for those who want complex, experimental scents.
Work/Play – for men who want to smell right both on the job and in the club.
Aesthetic – for men who want to embrace the original and playful.
Read more at www.sniph.com

Contact

Lisa Kjellqvist: lisa@sniph.com, +46 709 31 25 27
Tara Derakshan: tara@sniph.com +46 708 76 24:22