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NEWS December 21, 2018

Happy Holidays from Sting

The Sting team wishes you, all our friends, happy holidays and a great start of the new year 2019! We also thank you for fruitful and inspiring co-operations during 2018.

NEWS December 20, 2018

Cyber security company Defentry raises 3.6 MSEK

The Defentry team

The Defentry team

Defentry  helps companies control their data and coach people to become cyber security experts using AI. During the fall, the company has closed a funding round of around 3.6 MSEK from, among others, the private investor John Fällström, to further expand the business.

Defentry has had strong growth in the last quarter and signed agreements with market-leading partners. The company has also joined forces with two of the world’s foremost white hackers, Dan Egerstad and Adam Ljungrell, and bought one of the world’s largest databases of leaked information.

“Both private individuals and companies are increasingly aware of the importance of cyber security. That companies should do everything in their power to protect their data is a no brainer, companies that do not prioritize this issue will die quickly,” says Christer Hernestig, founder of Defentry.

In addition to John Fällström, the investors Malin Sjöstrand (Scriin), Per Vasilis, Jonas Brunius and Gerhard Dal also participate in the 3.6 MSEK funding round. The capital will be used to build the organization for Defentry’s growth journey. In the coming days, the company moves to new premises and several key people are joining the company.

“Cybersecurity is a hot topic and a matter for everyone, both companies and individuals. Defentry is the most exciting company in the market right now, that’s why I chose to invest in them,” says John Fällström, CEO, NV Capital.

About Defentry
Defentry helps companies control their data and coach people to become cyber security experts using AI. Using our technology, users can control their own data. We make sure your personal information remains yours. #BeYourOwnHero
www.defentry.com

More information
Gabriella Kepinski, PR, Defentry, gabriella@defentry.com

NEWS December 18, 2018

Care to Translate launches medical interpretation app to break language barriers globally

Care to Translate co-founders (from left): Martin Schalling, Annie Backman and Linus Kullänger

Care to Translate co-founders (from left): Martin Schalling, Annie Backman and Linus Kullänger

Care to Translate was launched one year ago and is already one of the most used translation tools in Swedish healthcare. The company has grown organically, and the app has over 22,000 users. Care to Translate is now launching its service to the European market. The goal is to help healthcare personnel and patients communicate across language barriers.

Care to Translate was founded in 2018 by a team of physicians and medical students who left the clinic to wholeheartedly devote their time and efforts to solve problems caused by the lack of interpreters in healthcare.

“The problem with language barriers in healthcare is serious and overlooked. Inability to communicate leads to additional costs for healthcare providers and a significant reduction in quality of care and patient safety. Additionally, insufficient translation makes patients feel insecure. These issues are what we seek to change,” says Linus Kullänger, CEO and co-founder.

Compared to other translation tools, such as Google Translate, Care to Translate delivers medically correct translations, providing secure communications between healthcare personnel and patients.

“In Sweden the need and demand for correct translations is huge. The fact that our service, in such a short period, has attracted so many users only through word of mouth is a clear sign that Care to Translate meets an important need. The need is in fact global. Therefore, it is a natural step to expand outside Sweden,” says Annie Backman, COO and co-founder. The first focus in Europe is the German and English speaking markets.

The new release of Care to Translate was improved via user feedback. It now has an increased capacity and can translate 500 medical phrases in over 20 languages. The interface has been developed with field specific categories and a search function, making it a lot more useful.

“We will be able to help many different healthcare professionals, including personnel in ambulances, emergency rooms, delivery and general wards to communicate. Soon, clinics will be able to distribute the service amongst all of their employees,” says Linus Kullänger.

“Today, a large group is exposed to poor care due to language barriers. It is common that children and other family members have to act as translators. Our goal is to make healthcare more equal and safe, both in Sweden and globally,” Linus Kullänger further states.

Contact
Linus Kullänger, co-founder and CEO, linus.kullanger@caretotranslate.com, +46 73-322 55 45

Care to Translate, is a company driven by medical students and physicians. Their app translates 500 different healthcare phrases in 20 different languages. The company’s vision is for healthcare personnel and patients to be able to communicate with each other regardless of language. It was founded by Linus Kullänger, CEO, and Professor Martin Schalling from Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital with co-founder Annie Backman, MD and COO. The new service launched in December 2018 in EU. The plan is to launch in 10 additional language markets next year. www.caretotranslate.com

NEWS December 13, 2018

23 million in extra investment capacity when Saminvest matches Propel Capital investors

Övre raden från vänster: Peder Hasslev (Saminvest), Erik Wijnbladh (Saminvest), Maria Ljungberg (Propel Capital). Nedre raden från vänster: Anna Ljungbergh, Lars Lindgren, Mattias Weinhandl, Anders Göransson och Boel Swartling.

Six business angels in Sting’s business angel company Propel Capital IV are the first in Sweden to get a co-investment agreement with Saminvest in an initiative where Saminvest undertakes to invest up to 23 MSEK together with the selected business angels when they make direct investments in Propel Capitals portfolio companies, as a complement to the business angels’ own investments for the same amount.

Propel Capital IV is a business angel company linked to Sting, the leading ecosystem for startups with high growth potential in the Nordic region. Propel Capital allows business angels to become indirect shareholders in a large number of promising startups. The angels also have the opportunity to make direct investments in their favourite Propel Capital companies. Saminvest has invested 8 MSEK in Propel Capital IV and, as a complement to this direct investment, Saminvest will now match the continued investments of selected business angels in Propel Capital IV’s portfolio companies.

“Our goal is to improve the growth opportunities for promising innovation companies until they become investment ready for major venture capital players,” says Peder Hasslev, CEO of Saminvest.

The selection criteria for getting a co-investment agreement include previous experience of making investments in startups, willingness and capacity to make investments going forward and that the business angel is judged to be an active and serious investor in companies she or he has backed. The six business angels who are the first to get a co-investment agreement are Lars Appelstål, Anders Göransson (via Soläng Invest), Lars Lindgren, Anna Ljungbergh, Boel Rydenå Swartling and Mattias Weinhandl.

“We are very happy that we are now live with the co-investment agreement and that our companies get even better financing opportunities. It is a highly qualified group of investors who are the pioneers in this important initiative and we hope that additional Propel Capital investors will eventually join the co-investment structure,” says Maria Ljungberg, Head of Investor Relations at Sting and Propel Capital.

Lars Lindgren is one of Sweden’s most seasoned business angels, with experience of more than 60 investments in unlisted companies. “With a co-investment agreement, a business angel can effectively double its investment volume, which will make the financing rounds less time-consuming for the entrepreneurs, thus providing for more time to what really builds value, that is, doing business,” says Lars.

Boel Rydenå Swartling, Investor and Entrepreneur, comments “It is very positive that Saminvest chooses to back business angels with the aim of contributing to the growth of young companies. With this agreement, I will be able to contribute my capital and expertise to more companies in the areas that I am passionate about, i.e. companies that have a positive impact on, for example, the environment, equality and integration,” says Boel.

“The business angels play a key role in the financial ecosystem. With this initiative, we strengthen the financing capacity of the angel investors and will in this way contribute to the growth of a number of startups,” says Erik Wijnbladh, Head of Fund Investments at Saminvest.

The management of both the investment in Propel Capital IV and Saminvest’s additional investments in Propel Capital IV companies is managed by Sting.

More information
Maria Ljungberg, Head of Investor Relations at Sting: maria.ljungberg@sting.co, 0708-36 22 31
Peder Hasslev, CEO Saminvest, peder.hasslev@saminvest.se
Erik Wijnbladh, Head of Fund Investments Saminvest: erik.wijnbladh@saminvest.se

About Saminvest
Saminvest is an investment company with the mission is to stimulate the innovation economy in Sweden by indirect investments. This implies that innovative and fast-growing companies will get improved access to both capital and active ownership. Saminvest invest together with national and international private investors on a pari passu basis and thereby increasing funding availability, risk-taking capability, investment expertise and network access. We primarily focus on emerging teams managing the venture capital and growth funds of tomorrow. Saminvest also holds two fully owned subsidiaries Fouriertransform AB and Inlandsinnovation AB.

About Sting and Propel Capital
Since 2002, Sting has helped entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas into successful growth companies. We offer startups financing, business development support and world-class networks. Sting has supported over 240 startups, of which 70 percent continue to grow and grow today. Together, all Sting companies have a turnover of over SEK 2.1 billion. In addition, they have created over 1800 jobs. Linked to Sting is Propel Capital, which since its inception in 2014 through Propel Capital I, II III and IV has invested nearly SEK 25 million in over 70 STING companies. The portfolio includes companies such as Sellpy, Signal Signal, DP Organizer, Elly Pistol, Sniph, Airinum and Sudio.

NEWS December 3, 2018

APPRL raises 2.2 MEUR and launches AI tool for content creators

APPRL is the leading Nordic platform for driving sales from premium content creators, i.e. to brands in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle sectors. Today is the launch of its new technology platform, which is focused on helping its partners using data. APPRL also announces having raised another 2.2 MEUR from some of its current investors.

The new platform enables brands to improve the ROI of their influencer marketing efforts and helps content creators to understand which type of products are best suited for their audience. Another key feature of the new platform is an AI-based tool for influencers & publishers providing personalized product recommendations from the millions of items on APPRL. The vision of APPRL is to build a global, data-driven platform for influencer-driven commerce.

“Today many companies only look at engagement rates when selecting which influencers to work with. However, this says very little about actual ROI as it can be manipulated and doesn’t indicate the followers’ purchasing power. We can help advertisers select influencers based on how good they are at generating sales, which can’t be faked”, says Gustav Gisseldahl, Cofounder & CMO

“We’re not a traditional influencer campaign platform, we are building infrastructure for influencers to drive sales and relevant awareness for brands, in real time and at global scale”, says Martin Landén, Cofounder & CEO

During the past year, APPRL has raised 2.2 MEUR from its current investors Spintop Ventures, Backstage Invest, and its angel investors Jonas Meerits (Happy Socks, Eleven/Nordic Feel), Magnus Sandberg (Google), Ludvig Linge (TAT), Jonas Dromberg (Inventure, Bloomberg) who provide deep experience from e-commerce, media and tech. In the past two years, the team has grown from 4 to 25 people and revenue by 500%. The new capital will be used for international expansion as well as continued investments in data science, to strengthen APPRL’s position as the data-driven solution in a world of influencer marketing that is more focused on engagement and awareness than creating sales and real ROI for brands.

For its international expansion, APPRL has strengthened the team with Rami Nihlawi as CCO and Cornelia Brantås as Director of Sales, both coming from Soundtrack Your Brand (Spotify for businesses) where they’ve built the global sales unit from start (as Managing Director Global Markets and Director of Sales respectively). Moreover, Fredrik Isaksson has joined as CFO (previously CFO at CMORE), and a number of data scientists have joined from companies like Klarna and iZettle.

“The vision of creating a unique, new form of marketing is what makes it exciting to join APPRL”, says Rami Nihlawi who has just joined the APPRL team as Chief Commercial Officer.

“It feels fantastic to have people like Rami, Cornelia and Fredrik joining us, they all bring experience from scaling tech companies within retail and media internationally, says Martin Landén”, Cofounder & CEO.

More information
Martin Landén, martin@apprl.com, Cofounder & CEO
Images → ​http://bit.ly/APPRL-Press 

About APPRL
APPRL, headquartered in Stockholm, is a data and technology platform for influencer-driven commerce, that connects brands like H&M, Net-a-Porter & Gucci with inspirational content from influencers such as Sofi Fahrman, Ebba von Sydow & Camilla Pihl and publishers such as Elle and Vogue. APPRL started with a focus on fashion, but today APPRL works with brands within beauty, home, design, sports, health and more verticals to come.

More about APPRL → http://apprl.comhttp://apprl.com/about

NEWS October 23, 2018

Skillbreak launches a platform to democratize creativity

Skillbreak founding team. From left Lina Johansson and Matilda Hannäs (CEO).

Skillbreak founding team. From left Lina Johansson and Matilda Hannäs (CEO).

Swedish impact-tech company Skillbreak has created a new social learning platform aiming to spread creativity and allow people to meet in a time when we live increasingly isolated and screen-dependent. The idea is to make expert knowledge in arts, crafts and design available to the public.

Stockholm-based Skillbreak was founded in 2016 by Matilda Hannäs and Lina Johansson with the vision of becoming Europe’s leading platform for unique learning experiences. Skillbreak offers hundreds of unique, short and social learning experiences with the leading creative experts in Sweden. Through the platform, creators in design, arts and crafts are matched with people who want to learn new things. Experts share their skills in their own homes, studios and workshops and through the Skillbreak platform they get the tools to earn money on their expertise.

“We want to enable hundreds of thousands of craftsmen, creators and artists around the world to make a living on their creativity,” says Matilda Hannäs, CEO and one of the founders of Skillbreak. “In this way, it is also a sustainability strategy that contributes to new jobs, professional skill training and preserves culture and traditions. The workshops we offer make it easier to lead a sustainable lifestyle and we focus on categories such as green cooking, farming, minimalism, textile recycling and ceramics.”

The vision is to become Europe’s leading platform for unique learning experiences. In the long term, Skillbreak will offer a new way of traveling and learning new things locally.

“Our big idea is about democratizing creativity. There’s something mysterious and unattainable with creativity and we want to make it more available to each and every one. In the long term, anyone should be able to learn anything anywhere in the world,” Matilda continues.

The Skillbreak concept has since inception been about spreading creativity and allowing people to meet in a time when we live increasingly isolated.

“The social part is extremely important, we long for good reasons to meet in depth and make meaningful things with family and friends. A lot of people I know are tired of going out to have a beer to socialize. Also, when you work in an office, like I do, we also yearn for getting away from the computer screens and to do something with our hands,” says Matilda.

Matilda Hannäs comes from a craftsman family but has worked her whole career in the tech industry, most recently at Spotify. She has been featured on  DI’s list of hottest tech entrepreneurs under 40. The Skillbreak team is expanding and has now signed a Marketing Manager and Development Manager in September to advance faster. Skillbreak’s product range is growing rapidly (currently including more than 150 different workshops) and all courses are booked online at skillbreak.com. The courses are physical and packaged in a bite-sized format of approximately 2-5 hours per course. Some examples of Skillbreaks are “create a chic wall hanging in macrame“, “sprout seeds“, “design and create in ceramics“, “ink painting with a focus on flowers” as well as “sensory techniques and bubbles“.

More information
Matilda Hannäs, CEO / Founder Skillbreak, matilda@skillbreak.com, + 4670-776 60 06, Visiting address: Norrsken House, Birger Jarlsgatan 57c, Stockholm.

Platform: www.skillbreak.com
Blog: https://blog.skillbreak.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goskillbreak/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goskillbreak/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMlFWBxIoD8
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.se/goskillbreak/boards/

NEWS October 19, 2018

120 speed meetings and inspiring insights at Sting Night Digital Health

A beautiful afternoon in October, Sting gathered around 100 guests at H2 Health Hub for an event focussing on Digital Health and introducing startups and investors from across Europe to each other.

Sting Night is a yearly boutique event aiming to put the spotlight on one specific industry vertical, this year’s theme being Digital Health. 13 healthtech startups pitched their businesses to an audience of venture capital investors coming from across Europe, business angels and other guests all interested in the health space.

Once the pitching session was finalised, the startups and venture capital investors moved into the matchmaking part of the program. Over 130 speed meetings took place and many new contacts were established.

Later in the afternoon, experienced health entrepreneurs entered the stage and shared their reflections with the audience. First on stage was Josefin Landgård, co-founder of KRY, who inspired the audience with stories from her journey with the leading online doctor service. Josefin was followed by a panel discussion that, under the guidance of moderator Johanna Wollert Melin, discussed the hot topic “retail health” and how small companies should relate to giants like Google, Uber and Amazon all entering the health space. The panel was composed by Josefin Landgård; Vishal Gulati, of Draper Esprit; Sanna Westman, of Creandum and Philip Siberg, CEO & Co-founder of Coala Life. The panel agreed that, despite challenges with large corporations ”hijacking” the ideas of startups, healthcare is still in its early days of digitalisation and there will be opportunities for everyone, small as well as large companies.

The event was co-organised by Sting, H2 and Invest Stockholm.

 

NEWS October 8, 2018

Sting is the Best Accelerator/Incubator in Sweden according to the Nordic Startup Awards

🏆 The winner of Best Accelerator or Incubator in Sweden is… the leading accelerator and incubator in the Nordics. Since 2002 they have worked with over 240 companies and 70 % are still active………Sting – Stockholm Innovation & GrowthCongrats! 🎉

Gepostet von Nordic Startup Awards am Samstag, 6. Oktober 2018

Yesterday, we received the great news that Sting won the prestigious price “Best Accelerator or Incubator in Sweden” in the Nordic Startup Awards challenge 2018, following several months of public voting and jury screening. 

The Nordic Startup Awards is a challenge to recognize, celebrate and connect the Nordic startup ecosystem.

“We’re super happy to have won the price “Best Accelerator/Incubator in Sweden” and see it as a recognition of our work with all the fantastic startups, comments Pär Hedberg, founder and CEO of Sting.

 

 

NEWS October 8, 2018

Strong line-up when Sting Test Drive Edtech kicks off

Programledarna för Test Drive Edtech: Jannie Jeppesen och Karin Ruiz

Programledarna för Test Drive Edtech: Jannie Jeppesen och Karin Ruiz

In tough competition with a large number of applicants,12 projects have been selected for the first Sting Test Drive Edtech program. The aim of the program is to bring more innovative companies into the global growth industry Edtech. The program is targeted to aspiring entrepreneurs with an innovative business concept with great international growth potential in education and learning.

Sting Test Drive Edtech is led by Karin Ruiz, business coach at Sting, and Jannie Jeppesen, CEO of the Swedish Edtech Industry Association. During four evening workshops they will help entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas. Guest speakers from established edtech companies, investors and the educational system will also visit the workshops and contribute with market knowledge as well as investor perspectives. The participating projects will also be given the opportunity to network with potential customers and exhibit at the Edtech Sweden conference.

“We are overwhelmed by the interest in the program and it has been a challenging selection process with many qualified applicants. As a result, we now have a very strong lineup of participants. It will be exciting to help the entrepreneurs forward and give them knowledge, inspiration and tools to reach their goals faster,” says Karin Ruiz, business coach at Sting and one of the program leaders.

The program, which is free of charge, will be held in Sting’s new premises at A house and at the Edtech Hub Vercity in Nacka. During the final session, “the Best Edtech Idea” will be awarded in a pitch-final with an external jury. During the program, participants will meet experienced entrepreneurs such as Karin Bjerde (Kognity), Fredrik Wetterhall (Lexplore) and Oliver Lundgren (Skolon), and Vinnova as well as RISE will also contribute knowledge and experience.

The Swedish edtech industry is experiencing strong growth according to the latest report by Swedish Edtech Industry, with a more than 50% increase in new companies. Globally, Edtech is one of the fastest growing industries and exceeds Fintech in size.

“The great interest in Sting Test Drive Edtech confirms the innovation pace in the industry,” commentsJannie Jeppesen, CEO of Swedish Edtech Industry, who also participates as a leader in the program. “The accepted projects represent a wide variety of solutions ranging from smart digital services for pre-school and scheduling tools to e: sports solutions for schools, technologies to enhance programming skills, exam practicing tools and digital solutions for education in developing countries. We look forward to a rewarding and inspiring exchange in the group.

Test Drive Edtech is a collaboration between Sting and Swedish Edtech Industry. Other partners in the program are Vercity / Nacka Kommun, Invest Stockholm, KTH, RISE and EdTech Sweden.

The participating projects in Sting Test Drive Edtech (one project is in “stealth mode” and not listed below):

Asqill wants to be a reliable bridge between universities and companies while helping students find their “why”. Asqill train engineering students in industry-leading data analysis tools and engage them in working life.  asqill.se

Colearn is a platform for educators to connect, learn together and promote 21st century skills through new pedagogy and technology. colearn.education

EdChild provides pre-school education in digital format for the world’s toddlers parents and educators focusing on joy and fellowship in the years when the children’s rate of development is highest.

ImagiLabs develops a tool to inspire young girls to develop their programming skills. www.imagilabs.se

Lana Learning creates digital and personal language learning content using the student’s previous language skills to increase the learning speed.

The Lara Project develops technology to empower learning for children in developing countries.

Learn2Esport is a comprehensive solution for schools that want to start an e-sports profile. We offer a platform filled with materials, interactive tests, tasks and tools for both students and teachers. learn2esport.com

Prion is a digital platform for documentation and communication in preschools. Through the app, preschool teachers can document the children’s learning through images, video and text, and parents can learn about the daily activities and the development of their own children. prionapp.com

Royal Scheduler is an automated scheduling service that creates complete and optimized schedules in no time. royalschedule.com

Tntor’s digital solution helps college students to excel in a more efficient and fun way and with the opportunity for students to follow up their success through self-assessment. www.tntor.se

Zifro is a complete teaching tool for programming. We provide a nice and playful code environment where students train text programming as well as all the necessary material that teachers need to plan, implement and evaluate lessons in programming. www.zifro.se

Contact
Karin Ruiz, Business Coach Sustainability, Edtech and Health, Sting
+46 70 645 78 04 karin.ruiz@sting.co

Jannie Jeppesen, CEO, Swedish Edtech Industry
+46 702 244 865 jannie@swedishedtechindustry.se

NEWS September 26, 2018

Healthtech company Learning to Sleep raises 3.3 MSEK

Learning to Sleep, a company that develops a digital CBT-based tool to help people with sleep problems, has raised 3.3 MSEK from Almi Invest, Alltrum, Proos Consulting and Malte Rohlin. The capital will be used to continue the company’s expansion, both in Sweden and internationally.

Learning to Sleep has developed the clinically validated digital treatment program Sov bättre, which treats people with persistent sleep problems. With Sov bättre, the patient receives an individualized 5-week treatment based on CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy and a personal sleep coach.

“More than half a million individuals seek care for sleep problems every year, only in Sweden. At the same time, waiting times for assistance through therapy are often long and the cost for society high. With Learning to Sleep’s evidence-based digital tools, more people can get help faster, at lower cost,” says Per Antonsson, Investment Manager at Almi Invest.

The fact that the tool is digital, proving its users with reminders to perform their tasks, gives greater compliance than other non-digital aids programs. So far, Learning to Sleep has treated over 1,000 patients in Sweden and 94 percent of them now have better sleep.

“We are very pleased to welcome Almi Invest as an investor in the company, now when we are preparing to take the next step in our journey. Almi Invest provides us not only with capital, but also a large network of investors and expertise in financing. Now we are looking forward to an exciting autumn and to contribute to a better health in Sweden and in the countries we are about to expand our business,” says Micael Gustafsson, CEO of Learning at Sleep.

The capital will be used to continue the establishment of the service on the Swedish market, primarily in primary care, and to start the preparations for the international launch.
Learning to Sleep is a Sting Incubate company.

For further information contact
Micael Gustafsson, CEO Learning at Sleep, tel +46 736 993 601, mail micael@learningtosleep.se

Per Antonsson, Investment Manager Almi Invest, tel +46 708 728 717, mail per.antonsson@almi.se