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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 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 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

NEWS July 3, 2018

Propel Capital IV raises 8 MSEK from Saminvest and opens for matching of business angel investments

From left: Pär Hedberg (Sting), Peder Hasslev (Saminvest), Erik Wijnbladh (Saminvest), Jens Lundström (ABI) and Jeanette Andersson (Minc)

From left: Pär Hedberg (Sting), Peder Hasslev (Saminvest), Erik Wijnbladh (Saminvest), Jens Lundström (ABI) and Jeanette Andersson (Minc)

Propel Capital IV, founded by Sting, is one of three selected business angel companies that raises capital from Saminvest to improve the financing and growth opportunities for its incubator and accelerator companies. In addition to the 8 MSEK investment in Propel Capital IV, Saminvest undertakes to invest together with selected business angels when they make follow-on investments in Propel Capitals portfolio companies.

Propel Capital I – IV are business angel companies linked to Sting, the leading ecosystem in the Nordics for startups with high growth potential. Propel Capital allows business angels to become indirect shareholders in a large number of promising startups with a relatively small capital investment. The angels also have the opportunity to make direct investments in their favorite Propel Capital companies.

“Since the start in 2002, Sting has contributed to the development of a large number of interesting companies and built a network of experienced business angels. It was therefore natural for Saminvest to have Sting and Propel Capital as part of this first investment round in incubator-based business angel companies. We are now building on this structure and we look forward to taking the concept to other parts of the country,” comments Peter Hasslev, CEO of Saminvest.

Including the investment from Saminvest, Propel Capital IV, has raised more than 20 MSEK to invest in up to 40 companies. As a complement to the investment in Propel Capital, Saminvest will also match selected business angels’ continued investments in Propel Capitals portfolio companies.

“Propel Capital has so far funded over 70 startups in Stockholm. It has made us one of Sweden’s most active private investors with great reach among entrepreneurs and investors in early stages. Through the investment from Saminvest, we now have additional resources to help entrepreneurs to realize business ideas and build more growth companies in Sweden,” says Niclas Lilja, Chairman of Propel Capital.

Saminvest’s investment initiative initially involves investments in business angel companies linked to three incubators from north to south – Sting, Minc (Malmö) and the Arctic Business Incubator (Luleå), all participants in Vinnova‘s excellence program. The aim is that these investments will soon be followed by similar investments in business angel companies linked to incubators in other parts of the country. The management of both Propel Capital and Saminvest’s additional investments in Propel Capital companies are handled by Sting.

“Business angels play a key role in funding young growth companies. In this context, today’s launch of the matching initiative, where Saminvest will match selected business angels’ follow-on investments, is extra pleasing. Sweden now get a business angel investment booster corresponding to similar initiatives in many other parts of the world,” says Erik Wijnbladh, Head of Fund Investments in Saminvest.

For more information contact:
Peder Hasslev, CEO Saminvest, 076-117 31 70
Pär Hedberg, CEO Sting, 070-855 03 18

About Saminvest
Saminvest is a venture capital company, formed by the state in 2016. Saminvest is actively working on the creation of new venture capital funds (“VC”) with sufficient qualities and long-term ability to develop the Swedish venture capital market. This is done by identifying new teams with experience in developing successful companies that manage funds that have the potential to attract private capital. Together with other investors, Saminvest will invest in these new venture capital funds, which in turn become active owners of portfolio companies in future industries.

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 June 25, 2018

CaCharge secures 2.1 MEUR in funding to create a mass-market for electric cars

Kurt Högnelid, Chairman and Louise Kierkegaard, CEO, CaCharge

Kurt Högnelid, Chairman  and Louise Kierkegaard, CEO, CaCharge

The e-mobility company CaCharge is pleased to announce the completion of a 2.1 MEUR investment round from experienced investors to expand in Europe. CaCharge’s business model makes it profitable to invest in charging points while drivers benefit from a reasonable mileage rate.

The investors include Stefan Bengtsson of CSB Capital; Mikael Ahlstrom founder of Procuritas; Lars Appelstal, co-founder of Readsoft; Per-Uno Sandberg, co-founder of Skistar; Michael Obermayer, senior partner of McKinsey and chairman of energy storage company Nilar and Carl Hirsch, from property developer Industricentralen.
Carl Hirsch explains that CaCharge’s core business is about pricing, packaging and AI-based software.

Following the announcement, he commented:
“You only need to Google electric cars to understand that the main challenge is the charging infrastructure. The business model and mindset of CaCharge is spot on for me as a property developer. By using CaCharge, I can keep my tenants happy and create a new revenue stream, while my properties become more sustainable”.

CaCharge was founded in 2016 by three entrepreneurs; Kurt Hognelid, Louise Kierkegaard and Tomas Oquist. Together they embarked on a journey to develop a business model that underpins the electric car mass-market.

CEO of CaCharge, Louise Kierkegaard, believes that to make sustainable development scalable you need to generate economic profit. She said:
“CaCharge understands both the point of view of business and the driving and parking patterns of car drivers. Our aim is to create a society where your car is charged as easily as your mobile.”

The CaCharge technology charges the car where it is parked – at home or at work. By using an AI-based solution that effectively distributes electricity between cars, CaCharge can charge 50 cars at the same rate as a fast charging station.

Kurt Hognelid, Chairman of CaCharge, said:
”Being able to charge as many cars as possible, at the lowest possible cost, with available electrical capacity, will be crucial in the future”
CaCharge’s customers in Sweden include Fabege, Stena Fastigheter and Upplands Vasby municipality.

Media enquiries:
Louise Kierkegaard, CEO, CaCharge, louise@cacharge.com
Carl Hirsch, CEO, Industricentralen hirsch@industricentralen.se
www.cacharge.com/

NEWS May 16, 2018

Positive opening message at Sting Day: the Sting companies’ revenues increased 40 % 2017

 

The Sting companies’ aggregated revenues increased by more than 40% in 2017 and the aggregated company valuation was doubled to now exceed 10 billion SEK. These positive figures are presented today when the the leading startup ecosystem in the Nordics, Sting, publishes its annual figures at Sting Day.

Sting Day today gathers 400 personally invited guests at Sweden’s most exclusive matchmaking event for startups and investors. 170 investors from 15 countries will be present to meet with a large number of carefully selected startups. The theme for this year’s event is sales and growth.

As a part Pär Hedberg’s introduction speech, a summary of the Sting companies’ performance during 2017 is presented.

“The figures we present here today speak their clear language, the Sting companies  contribute with jobs and export revenues to Sweden,” says Pär Hedberg. We are especially pleased that the companies’ sales growth is strong and we view the doubled company valuation as a receipt that external investors also appreciate the potential of these companies.”

Some key figures 2017 (2016 in parentheses) *:
Aggregated sales: 2.11 billion kronor (1.47 billion)
of which export revenues: 1.50 billion kronor (1.17 billion)
Number of employees: 1819 (1532)
Gender distribution in the companies: 26 % women / 74 % men
Private capital invested in the companies: 752 million kronor (649 million kronor)
Public financing attracted to the companies: 126 million kronor (209 million kronor)
Aggregated company valuation: 10.2 billion kronor (5.1 billion kronor)
* The figures are based on the 240 companies (of which 168 are active today) accepted to Sting from the start in 2002 until the end of 2017/2018.

“An area where we see improvement potential is the gender balance in our companies. The tech industry is still dominated by men, and we see that we have an important role to play in order for more women to choose work in startups. Our ambition is that at least 50% of the companies accepted to any of Sting’s programs should have at least one female founder. We also have good opportunities to contribute to the recruitment of more women through our own recruitment service,” says Pär Hedberg.

During Sting Day, the audience will listen to experienced entrepreneurs and investors who reflect on the subject of the day. About 55 of Sweden’s most promising startups present their solutions in an exhibition and entrepreneurs and investors can book “speed meetings” via a digital platform, with the aim of providing an opportunity to establish a first contact that can eventually lead to long-term relationships. Among the speakers are Niklas Adalberth, founder of Norrsken and co-founder of Klarna, Stina Ehrensvärd, founder of Yubico, Wendy Tan White, founder of Moonfruit and Hanna Meiton, Chief Growth Officer at Soundtrack your Brand.

For more information
Maria Ljungberg, Communications Manager at Sting, 0708-36 22 31, maria.ljungberg@sting.co

NEWS May 14, 2018

Elly Pistol starts US expansion – closes funding round

From left: Andreas Andersson, Emma Sund, Siah Javaheri, Cecilia de Champs and Peter Lenerius

From left: Andreas Andersson, Emma Sund, Siah Javaheri, Cecilia de Champs and Peter Lenerius

Elly Pistol, the online fashion company dedicated to the digital generation, raises 2.4 MSEK from existing and new owners and at the same time announces the recruitment of Peter Lenerius as new CEO. Peter will be taking on the challenge of commencing Elly Pistol’s establishment in North America.

Elly Pistol is a digital street wear brand launched in 2015. The company was founded by Cecilia de Champs with the goal of creating non-seasonal products. Since its inception, the brand has received a lot of attention in social media and already has customers in over 40 countries.

“Our biggest market is still Sweden, as it is the only country we have actively marketed us so far, but thanks to our e-commerce and communication with our customers through digital channels, we see that the interest for our products in the US is growing rapidly, says Cecilia de Champs, founder of Elly Pistol.

In order to meet demand from North America, Elly Pistol has during the Spring signed agreements with key distributors in both the US and Canada. The deal with the major US agent The Park Showroom will take the brand out in stores across the country.

“We see it as a strength to be able to partner with a major player as the Park Showroom. Through this partnership, we get a network of re-sellers, marketing and the possibility of physical presence in this gigantic market. We also see increased demand from home retailers and now we feel we have such a strong digital platform and online presence that it’s time for us to meet our customers in more places, she continues.

Elly Pistol has now closed a follow-on financing round of 2.4 million kronor to be used for production to meet increased demand and marketing in the United States. Investors in the financing round include JNE Invest, as well as the entrepreneur and investor Fredrik Adolfsson.

As part of the company’s expansion, the company has also hired Peter Lenerius as new CEO.

“We are delighted that Peter joins us. His experience from fast-growing companies and internationalization will be a very important addition now when we are taking the next step in our journey, says Cecilia.

“Cecilia and the team have done a fantastic job of building Elly Pistol into a strong digital brand in Sweden. There is now a great opportunity to take the company to the next level with new sales channels and markets, where we see the highest potential for rapid growth in the USA,” said Peter Lenerius.

Peter comes from a position as Nordic CEO of the California surf and lifestyle brand Hang Ten and has previously been responsible for the internationalization of the Rehband sports brand, where he worked as a global CEO.

Elly Pistol participated in the Sting Accelerate program during Spring 2017.

About Elly Pistol
Elly Pistol is primarily known for its bomber jackets jackets in different colors seen frequently seen in social media and on influencers. The company has nearly 40,000 followers in its own Instagram account.

More info
Cecilia de Champs, cecilia@ellypistol.com
www.ellypistol.com

NEWS May 7, 2018

Friendship app GoFrendly raises 3 MSEK

Julia Sporre, CTO, Claudia Gård, CEO and Ulrika Lilja, COO. Photo Simon Hellsten

GoFrendly, an app that offers women of all ages an opportunity to create new friendships through accurate and secure matching, has closed an investment round of 3 MSEK. Among the investors are the founder of Apotea, Pär Svärdson, and the former Klarna Manager, Louise Samet. The company will now expand and develop the product further.

The founder team behind GoFrendly, Claudia Gård and Ulrika Lilja, got the idea of ​​the company through their own need to meet new friends. The friendship app targeted exclusively towards women was launched in October 2016. The timing for a social platform where women can meet new friends has proven to be perfect.

“We see a huge need in a market with few players. Now it’s all about running fast and that’s exactly what we’re going to do with the capital injection. We will develop the platform to create more physical meetings and a premium service is also close in time, explains CEO and co-founder Claudia Gård.

The interest in investing in GoFrendly has been great and the team has had to say no to investors. Among the investors are the founder of Apotea, Pär Svärdson, JNE Invest, angel investors like former Klarna Group Product Manager, Louise Samet, and many others. In addition to capital, the investors also contribute with skills and networks, which is invaluable to the team.

“It’s wonderful to see that so many believes in the potential of GoFrendly and are ready to invest,” says founder Ulrika Lilja.

GoFrendly has users between 18 and 82 years and is used extensively around Sweden. GoFrendly has also launched in Oslo with successful results. Today, the app is free and that has been important in order to attract early users. Revenues so far come from ads and partnerships.

“Our goal of the app is to create physical meetings. Being able to offer our users events with partners has proved to be a winning concept. Many brands want to reach a large female audience, both digitally and physically, and we can offer a comprehensive solution,” Ulrika continues.

“We are proud to address the problem of finding new friends and we already know that our service has changed people’s lives – our goal is to make the world a less lonely place,” concludes Claudia.

More info
Claudia Gård, CEO and co-founder, claudia@gofrendly.com, 070-710 45 56
www.gofrendly.se