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NEWS January 20, 2021

Demo Day: Boksnok wins Best Pitch, investors optimistic about 2021

On Thursday, 15 of Sweden’s most promising startups pitched at Sting Demo Day, the final event for startup who have successfully completed their time at Sting. Boksnok, a subscription service for children’s books, won the “Best Pitch” award and a survey concluded that investors feel positive about the year ahead.

Sting Demo Day is an opportunity for the startup companies to build relationships with future investors, and on Thursday, more than 200 investors from all over Europe had registered to watch the 15 Sting companies pitch.

Watch the recording of Sting Demo Day

Hannah Meiton and Fredrik Rosengren, both business coaches at Sting, moderated the live event and presented 2020 highlights from Sting world, including that, despite an otherwise gloomy year with news mostly concerning the Corona pandemic, 2020 proved to be a record-breaking year when it comes to fundraising for the Sting companies – more than 1,2 billion SEK were invested.  

During the event, investors participated in a survey and answered questions about their plans and predictions for 2021. Among other things, the survey showed positive news for startups – 39 percent of the respondents plan to invest more than in 2020, and almost half of the respondents said they the same amount as in 2020 (49 percent). Only 12 percent of the investors said they predict to invest less.

See the full survey results and investor predictions for 2021

When the last company had presented, the audience voted on the Best Pitch. The award was won by Boksnok, a subscription service for children’s books.

– We are very proud to have won the best pitch! And we are really happy that we got to be part of Sting. Having access to coaches and experts in so many areas has been very rewarding for us. In addition, the great exposure to investors gives us a good foundation for the future. Now the plan is to increase the focus on marketing, expand the team and continue to grow, says Monica Fagreaus Lundström, cofounder and CEO of Boksnok.

Boksnok received 19 percent of the votes, closely followed by Acty, yayloh and Tilly, which came in shared second place with 17 percent.

Sting Demo Day concluded with investors and entrepreneurs connecting in 98 video speed meetings. There was also an opportunity for investors to book individual meetings with the teams in the days following Demo Day.

The following startups presented at Sting Demo Day:

Acty – A project management tool for active ownership

Allihoop – Flexible urban co-living

Atlas – Streamlining and simplifying property managers’ work

bizzcoo – A SaaS platform for all your consultant needs

Boksnok – A subscription service for interactive children’s books

edChild – Empowers preschool teachers and enables great teaching worldwide

Klimato – Helps restaurants reduce climate impact from food

Monocular – Visualization tools for feature film productions and other visual media

ReOrbit – Offering next-generation sustainable and affordable space solutions

Sencept – Intelligent RADARs for autonomous mining

Snaptive – On-demand digital counsellors for schools

The Third Act – A better financial future for everyone

Tilly – Revolutionizing fertility care through data and personalization

V3VO – Democratizing leadership development

yayloh – The next-generation post-purchase and returns management SaaS platform for online retailers

Watch the companies’ pitches

NEWS December 17, 2020

Panprices raises nearly SEK 6 million in new financing round

The marketplace Panprices offers consumers safe and secure e-commerce from over 8,000 European retailers. The new capital injection now makes it possible for Panprices to roll out the service in more countries, where the goal is to launch the marketplace in another Nordic market by 2021.

The team behind Panprices

Furthermore, the company will scale up its operations by investing in further product development and hiring more people to the team.

– Digital commerce has increased explosively during the year, which has both raised and updated our offering. In October alone, we tripled our already high sales target and we see strong continued demand for a marketplace that offers friction-free trade in Europe.

Tom Dickson, CEO and one of four founders of Panprices

Panprices currently sells products for just over half a million a month and has had a three-digit growth rate since August this year. Now the goal is to increase the growth rate and turn to profitability in Sweden next year.

The marketplace provides over 10 million products and today it is mainly more expensive product categories, such as mobile phones, headphones and camera equipment that are sold via Panprices. An average purchase via the site today is over SEK 10,000 per product.

– Cross-border e-commerce in Europe is expected to increase by as much as 50 percent by 2022 and we have a unique position to facilitate increased European e-commerce. Today, our customers mainly buy products that are not available in Sweden, such as the new Google Pixel phone or products where there are thousands to save.

Tom Dickson

The investment round of SEK 5.7 million was led by Johan Hernmarck via his investment company Provider Investment, former investors in Tradera, Payson, Yubico and DoubleClick, David Brudö, co-founders of Fyndiq, Fredrik Cardelius and Propel Capital. Johan Hernmark sees great potential for the company going forward.

– Panprices has been on my radar for a while thanks to their value-creating offering to both consumers and e-retailers. As we move towards an increasingly digitalized world, I see great potential in a marketplace that makes e-commerce across national borders both smooth and secure. Panprices has in a short time attracted a strong customer segment and I am very much looking forward to following the company in their next growth phase.

Johan Hernmarck, founder of Provider Investment

The Panprices marketplace was founded with a vision to make it easier for people to shop smoothly and safely across national borders. Today, consumers can compare prices and shop securely from over 8,000 certified European e-retailers through the marketplace.

Panprice offers a price guarantee, a smooth shopping experience, shipping and secure payment via direct cash on its own site. Well-known retailers such as eBay, German Otto, French fnac and Amazon are all available through the service. Panprices was founded in 2018 in Sweden by Tom Dickson, Nathalie Minder, Don Truong and Magnus Agervald.

Read more at (SE)

NEWS December 16, 2020

Children’s book app Boksnok backed by well-known tech names, raises SEK 3 million

Boksnok, winner of Framtidens Entreprenör 2020, has completed a first round of financing. Investors include key figures behind Kry, iZettle and Yubico. Now the company will increase the pace of both product development and expansion.

The team behind Boksnok

Boksnok is a subscription service for interactive children’s books that lets children, among other things, read and listen to the books at the same time. The company currently has over 1000 book titles and agreements with the majority of children’s book publishers in Sweden.

The company is now raising close to SEK 3 million in a first financing round in order to be able to further increase the pace of both product development and expansion. Among the investors are iZettle’s first employees Johan Bendz and Peder Stahle and Kry’s co-founders Joachim Hedenius, who themselves use Boksnok.

– When children increasingly consume screen time, it becomes important that screen time is positive and developing. Listening to and flipping through a digital children’s book stimulates both the imagination and develops reading skills. That my children directly liked and wanted to continue using Boksnok’s app gave me proof that the concept works well in practice as well. Digital children’s books have enormous potential and I look forward to following how Boksnok will give many children great reading experiences in the future.

Joachim Hedenius, investor and former co-founder of Kry

In the Boksnok app, you will find more than 1000 quality children’s books from established publishers. Boksnok has had thousands of downloads and grown about 30 percent per month in recent months.

– We have carefully chosen investors to bring in the right combination of skills to be able to support our journey forward and we are convinced that these partners will be able to do so. Our focus now is to continue to develop the service and five times the number of users.

Monica Fagraeus Lundström, co-founder and CEO of Boksnok

Behind Boksnok are four friends from KTH who, after leading positions in the business world, chose to invest wholeheartedly in the children’s book app Boksnok at the beginning of 2020. Just recently, Boksnok won the Future Entrepreneur 2020 award, arranged by Carnegie and Svenska Dagbladet.

Boksnok’s subscription service offers a secure service free from advertising, developed through the latest technology and experts in children’s reading and learning.

Learn more:

NEWS December 3, 2020

Light Flex wins Stockholm Acceleration Award

Light Flex, whose printed active light sets a new world standard for safety garments, has won the Stockholm Acceleration Scholarship, awarded with the aim of stimulating and encouraging people to further develop or scale their innovations.

Victoria Bäcksin, founder of Light Flex. Photo: Di Digital

Light Flex won the Stockholm Accelerator Award 2020 with the motivation:

“We have seldom seen such an excellent meeting between design and technology. Light Flex has in a short period of time established both business and patents almost all over the world.  With a global market and a product suitable for consumers as well as the industry we believe that the company has perhaps the largest acceleration potential of all contestants.”

The founder Victoria Bäcksin received the prize and a SEK 250 000 scholarship.

– This prize really emphasizes the momentum the company has right now. It feels great to represent Light Flex and I’m very proud of what we have achieved this year, even with the obstacles and delays the Coronavirus has challenged both us and our customers with.

Victoria Bäcksin, founder of Light Flex

The award was presented by the Mayor of Stockholm Anna König Jerlmyr and the Chairman of the jury group Donnie Lygonis, Innovation Strategist at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).

After the ceremony, the Light Flex team joined Victoria, the rest of the jury board and representatives from Stockholm City in a well-attended digital mingle.

The acceleration scholarship was established in 2015 and has since been awarded annually thanks to the scholarship’s external financier, the Agne Johansson Memorial Fund.

Read more about the award (SE)

NEWS November 30, 2020

3 Sting alumni on list of 20 important women in tech

These three founders of Sting alumni companies are on Di Digital’s list of 20 important women in the tech industry. Stina Ehrensvärd, co-founder of Yubico; Elsa Bernadotte, co-founder of Karma, and Caroline Walerud, co-founder of Volumental. Now it’s time to select Sweden’s most important founder 2020 – who gets your vote?

Sting alumni Elsa Bernadotte, co-founder of Karma, Caroline Walerud, co-founder of Volumental, and Stina Ehrensvärd, co-founder of Yubico, are included on Di Digital’s list of 20 important women in the tech industry. Now it’s time to select Sweden’s most important founder 2020 – who gets your vote?

Make your selection

Also, Viktoryia Khromchanka, co-founder of Sting alumni company Gigital, is one of six finalists in Di Digital’s pitch competition Female Founders taking place online on December 10.

Over the years, Sting has worked with 100+ female founders who also have made an impact and are paving the way for new female stars.

Some of them include Dora Palfi, co-founder of imagiLabs, who yesterday won the Women in Tech Start-Up Award, Sara Wallén, co-founder of Mindmore, who recently won Di Digitals competition Health Tech Pitch Day 2020, Monica Fagraeus, co-founder of Boksnok, who just last week won SvD’s future entrepreneur award, and Victoria Bäcksin, co-founder of Light Flex and the winner of the Stockholm Acceleration Scholarship 2020, just to name a few.

Read more about how we work to attract female entrepreneurs to Sting.

NEWS November 27, 2020

Grand slam for Sting in the Nordic Startup Awards

During this year’s virtual Nordic Startup Awards gala on Thursday night, Sting won the prestigious categories “Best Accelerator/Incubator” and “People’s Choice”, and Sting’s Henna Keränen won the award for “Ecosystem Hero of the Year”.

Nordic Startup Awards is a qualifying competition in the Global Startup Awards, which was founded in Denmark in 2012. The purpose of the competition is to inspire, stimulate and draw attention to entrepreneurship throughout the Nordic region, and at the same time create a community among startup enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and mentors.

Last night, Sting won the award for Best Accelerator/Incubator Program and “People’s Choice”, which is awarded to the individual or company that received the most votes overall during the entire national and regional round.

– We are so grateful for the jury that have seen our ability and for everyone who voted for us. Winning People’s Choice means the most in a way because it shows that many people think we are making a real difference by helping accelerate new promising startups. We are very happy about the great support and proud of all the companies we have the honour to work with. Tonight, we have received a real boost for our team to continue to contribute to the Sting companies’ successes.

Pär Hedberg, founder and CEO of Sting

Henna Keränen, head of partnership and community at Sting, received the award for “Ecosystem Hero of the Year”. The award is given to a person who is known for her passion for entrepreneurship and ability as well as willingness to help startups and entrepreneurs grow.

– The startup ecosystem in the Nordics is the best imaginable in the world. It combines our tech-savvy entrepreneurs, our global mindset and the Nordic values ​​- well-being, equality and supportive networks. I, and we at Sting, will do our best to support Nordic startups also in the future.

Henna Keränen, head of partnership and community at Sting

Sting is Europe’s most comprehensive support system for startups. With a solid track record for 19 years, the accelerator has been an important part of Stockholm’s and Sweden’s startup community. Sting has supported hundreds of promising tech startups and played an active role in creating several important components in Stockholm’s startup ecosystem: an accelerator, an incubator, several co-working spaces, Sweden’s largest recruitment service for startups and the investment companies Luminar Ventures and Propel Capital.

Sting has supported over 300 startups, of which 69 percent continue to develop and grow today. Combined, the Sting companies have a turnover of more than € 283 million, of which 64 percent comes from international sales. They have created 2,750 jobs and raised about € 603 million in private capital. Nine are listed on the stock exchange and the total value of the companies in December 2019 was approximately € 2 billion.

Now the next step is the Global Startup Awards, which annually selects and pays tribute to the people and organizations in their respective regions who have shown outstanding achievements in business and service to society. The final of the Global Startup Awards will be held on January 27, 2021.

NEWS November 18, 2020

We’re finalists!

We are proud and happy to be finalists in the Nordic Startup Awards in the category “Best Accelerator or Incubator Program”. If you like what we do at Sting and think we should win, please vote for us!

Vote for us in the Nordic Startup Awards!

Here are a few reasons to support us:

  • With a solid track record for 19 years, Sting has played an active part in creating several key components in the startup community. 
    Watch this short video to learn more.
  • Our startup support is more comprehensive than any other accelerator’s in Europe (that we know).
  • The commitment from our coaches is unmatched (4 hrs/week of coaching, always available; even long after companies graduate).
  • Several of our alumni have become household names in Sweden: Karma, Sellpy, Airmee… and we may soon have a new unicorn, the first with a female founder – Yubico!
  • We believe we make a real difference, but you don’t have to take our word for it – we are very proud that our most recent batch of startups gave us a net promoter score of 100!

Please cast your vote here.

Our colleague Henna Keränen is also a finalist in the category Ecosystem hero of the Year – please support her with your vote here.

And three Sting companies are in the finals as well:

Healh Integrator – Startup of the Year – Vote
RenBloc – Best Climate Impact Startup – Vote
Care to Translate – Best Newcomer – Vote

Thank you so much for your support and hope to see you all again soon!

Stay safe.

/ The Sting team

NEWS July 8, 2020

Paradiset is resurrected and becomes Sting’s latest startup addition

Paradiset, Sweden’s healthiest food chain, starts over with the initiative “Paradiset2.0” and creates a membership club for sustainable and healthy food online at Sweden’s best prices.

Paradiset was established in 2015 with the goal of improving the way we shop for food in Sweden and increase knowledge and respect for raw ingredient, producer and planet. The concept has attracted considerable attention and has won several awards such as Retail Concept of the Year and Sustainable Priority of the Year.

At the end of March, the Corona pandemic led to a planned financing being canceled at short notice and the business went bankrupt. However, founder Johannes Cullberg managed to buy back the Paradiset brand from the bankruptcy estate.

− I have used the time after the bankruptcy to learn from my mistakes but also see what was really good and that we can use in the future. Due to Corona, the conditions in the grocery market have changed drastically and consumers have learned to buy food online. At the same time, the importance of taking care of one’s health and our planet has been recognized. It creates exciting opportunities for Paradiset, says Johannes Cullberg, founder and CEO.

The business model is based on a member-based online store for healthy and sustainable products that are purchased directly from local and international producers and sold directly to end customers. By removing all intermediaries, one can offer Sweden’s best prices, the single most important factor in getting more people to choose sustainable foods.

− We did a survey via social media and in 24 hours received answers from over 1500 people where 87% said they would like to become members and be able to buy from Paradiset’s online store. It was an absolutely fantastic response that really strengthened us to invest further, says Johannes Cullberg.

In June, Paradise was accepted by the accelerator Sting, which enables a startup investment of SEK 400,000 from Propel Capital, the investment company linked to Sting, and direct access to the approximately 40 business angels behind Propel. In addition, the entrepreneurs receive individual and tailor-made coaching in business development, financing and recruitment, and access to Sting’s broad international network of investors. Each year, about 500 startups apply and the 25-30 most promising companies are selected.

− Paradiset’s business model feels very right at the time and have a strong brand and a strong team in place, which is why we chose to admit the company, says Peo Nilsson, business coach at Sting.

Work has begun on building the future food market and the ambition is to launch at the turn of the year. Anyone who wants to become a member can register on Paradiset’s website

About Paradiset
Paradiset was established in 2015 and with four stores became Sweden’s most healthy food chain with only natural and organic products.

NEWS July 7, 2020

They will revolutionize the construction industry’s way of working

Freightbag’s patented products for good working environments and efficient waste management will make the construction industry less hard on construction workers, and reduce the problem of building sacks blocking pedestrian walkways.

Mikael Gustafsson and Pär Engebretzen, founders of Freightbag

Every year, 50 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste are generated at construction sites in Sweden, according to Avfall Sverige‘s latest report. Approximately one quarter is estimated to be handled with building sacks.

− The problem today is that there is no possibility of gently handling material bags indoors and in confined spaces, which are the main areas from which waste is transported. Regardless of the technology and method of disposal, the waste must first come out of the building, and today that is really hard work, says Mikael Gustafsson, founder and CEO of Freightbag.

Freightbag has developed new, unique tools for efficient and environmentally friendly handling of construction bags. So far, the company has launched two patented products; a trolley that makes it easy to handle and move construction sacks and a stair climber that simplifies the movement of filled bags up and down stairs.

In addition to making the work easier for construction workers, Freightbag can also remedy the well-known problem of sacks that occupying space outside entrances, on pedestrian walkways or sidewalks and that have long caused the public both irritation and risks. The Freightbag concept makes it possible to pick up sacks directly from inside the workplace. Many people have already approved of the idea.

− Some of the country’s largest property owners and industry organizations that are currently working actively on sustainability and omproving the working environment have already shown great interest. They see our products as a catalyst in the process of getting subcontractors to live up to set sustainability and work environment goals and policies, says Mikael Gustafsson.

Mikael Gustafsson has worked in the waste sector for over ten years and has seen a great improvement potential for material handling and a clear need to create concrete, work-friendly management techniques.

− In many workplaces today, we see huge shortcomings in compliance with work environment rules and working conditions for construction personnel. Here Freightbag can really make a difference through our products, which are both far gentler than today’s alternatives, but also provide a greatly increased efficiency in the handling of the waste, says Mikael Gustafsson.

The company launched its products in Sweden in the spring of 2020 and has, among others, Statens Fastighetsverk on its customer list. Freighbag has a global expansion plan and they are currently preparing for launch in the Baltic region this autumn while also planning a launch in the US.

So far, the business has been financed by own capital and sales of products and services, but in connection with the expansion plan, various financing options are now being looked at.

− The reason for Freightbag’s existence is our willingness to contribute to sustainable development and a more modern working environment in the construction industry, but also in other industries where materials must be moved from one place to another. There is a need for change and great potential for improvement, in Sweden as well as globally, says Mikael Gustafsson.

Read more about Freightbag

NEWS June 25, 2020

The Fit revolutionizes e-commerce with new body scanner technology − Stylein first out

Industry leaders have said the size system will disappear within 10 years and be replaced by body scanning, a reality that is already here. The Fit, together with fashion company Stylein, is first out with the mobile technology.

As e-commerce has grown in the last decade, the number of returns has also increased. Size and fit are the main reasons why almost every third garment is sent back today. This is pushing e-retailers’ already small profit margins and contributing to increased carbon dioxide emissions and wastage in the fashion industry.

The Fit’s recommendation service will reduce returns and make e-commerce less stressful for the climate.

− There is no standard, uniform size scale for clothing. Size guides are often generic and do not reflect the dimensions of the actual garments. Nor do they explain how fabrics fit on the body when different materials may require different sizes, says Lisa Lindvall, founder and CEO of The Fit.

The Fit has developed an app for mobile body scanning. With only two images, users create a personal and digital “body ID” containing their body measurements. This ID can then be used by all affiliated e-retailers to provide personalized size recommendations. The need for this is clear since bodies often look very different and everyone has different preferences regarding fit.

− With the help of our app, new data is also made available that gives fashion brands valuable insights on what their customers actually look. This data can be used for product development and product range planning. Correct data is a prerequisite for product adaptations and reduced overproduction, says Lisa Lindvall.

The innovative Swedish fashion brand Stylein, which has invested heavily in digitalization and e-commerce in recent years, is first to integrate the app in its e-commerce for mobile users.

− We have long been missing and looking for a partner who can realize this particular function and in this way bring our customer closer and create a better experience of shopping at It will be so exciting to be able to join and launch this project now and personally I really believe in this new way to digitally test your size, says Elin Alemdar, founder and designer at Stylein.

With The Fit, Lisa Lindvall also wants to democratize body data. She wants clothes to be adapted to our unique bodies, not the other way around.

− We are still in beta and have a lot of work left to do. Our focus is to help consumers make smarter purchasing decisions and make them feel that with us they can be confident that their personal data will remain personal. Therefore, we have a modern AI policy where consumers own their data. No images are saved and only anonymized statistics are shared with our affiliated e-retailers. There is a lack of personal service for digital consumers, where we see that we can take the role of a virtual shopping assistant and offer data driven guidance for the right purchase, says Lisa Lindvall.

> More about The Fit