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Financing May 16, 2022

How to set and track finance KPIs that actually matters

As an early venture, how good are you at transforming investments in marketing and tech into revenue?

How can you truly understand your customers to be able to build better products for them?

And how do you explain your business to investors — both the journey this far and where it’s heading?

Key Performance Indicators or KPIs can answer all these questions by measuring how your company is doing overall. But first, you must know the metrics important to your business, how to keep track of them, and how they influence your profit margin. This will allow you to make informed, data-driven decisions every time and of course appeal to your stakeholders with confidence.  

Using my insights from working hand-in-hand with multiple companies to drive their growth potential — I’ve gathered the finance metrics below. They are a good starting point to start the journey for your startup’s key metrics.  

Basic metrics that can assess your company’s financial health

Remember it’s never too early to start tracking and projecting KPIs – which will help you to understand how financially healthy your company is from the start. In short: track your cash; know your runway; plan for your fundraising. The metrics below will help you get started. 

  • Runway – how many months do you have before you run out of cash 
  • Burn rate – how much money you’re spending per month 
  • Revenue – income from sales, do not confuse this with contract values or bookings 
  • MRR/ARR – recurring revenue & the key here is the word recurring, monthly or yearly 
  • GMV – gross merchandise value, total sales going through a marketplace (not the same as revenue) 
  • Monthly churn – how many customers you lost 
  • CLTV or LTV – long term value of a customer, how much a customer makes you net profit while they are your customer 
  • CAC – the cost of acquiring new users 
  • CAC payback – how quickly can you get back the money you used to get a new customer 
  • Gross margin – revenue minus cost of goods sold 
  • Month-on-month growth – your monthly growth rate 

Here’s a great resource to dive deeper into different metrics: https://a16z.com/2015/08/21/16-metrics/ 

Identifying the right KPIs for your business

What do you need to know about your business? You want to look for your growth drivers and track metrics as those help you identify your company’s opportunities and pain points – and of course track your month-on-month growth. 

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you can’t change or influence what you don’t know, no matter which area of the business we’re talking about  – be it finance, marketing, or DEI. So decide which key metrics you want to track and be open to modifying them to fit your need, which is likely to evolve. 

Keep your eyes on the progress

Key metrics are only as good as if and how you track them – without which yet again it’s impossible to know how the business is progressing and what needs changing. So set clear goals and don’t forget to also think long-term, like when you’d need to raise your next funding round. Then use the KPIs to keep tabs on how your business progresses – all while trusting the data and adapting the way you work to better reach your goals next time around. 

About the author:  

Josefiina Kotilainen is CFO at Maki.vc, a seed-stage VC firm partnering with brand-driven & deep tech companies obsessed with challenging category norms. Prior to joining Maki, she was CFO at Europe’s largest startup event Slush. 

Josefiina Kotilainen, Maki VC

Insights March 9, 2022

Celebrating Female Founders

This week we are celebrating our female founders at Sting. Gender equality has long been a focus for us. In 2017 we started to measure and set goals for what kind of companies we wanted to help build and the proportion of companies with female founders in our programs.  

The starting point 

This week we are celebrating our female founders at Sting. Gender equality has long been a focus for us. In 2017 we started to measure and set goals for what kind of companies we wanted to help build and the proportion of companies with female founders in our programs.  

Back then, 26% of the companies had at least one female founder. Today 2022 that figure stands at 75% which we are very proud of and shows that diversity and equality are going in the right direction.  

Today, the proportion of female founders is one of our most important KPIs and something that permeates the entire business.  

Putting numbers into perspective 

We went back and looked at our data from 2021 to see what the numbers could tell us. 61 Sting startups raised approximately 1 bn SEK last year of which 54% had at least one female founder. 

45% of the raised capital went to companies with at least one female founder. 

8% of the capital went to all female-founded companies and 37% of the capital was invested in companies with mixed founding teams with at least one female founder.  

How can we put these numbers into perspective? In comparison, according to a survey by Unconventional Venture, in 2020, all-women-founded startups raised just 0.7% of investment in the Nordics and 7.3% went to mixed-gender founding teams. That’s a massive gap and we believe women-founded startups deserve to have much higher numbers in the Nordics.  

How did female-founded Sting companies do in founding rounds?  

Major funding rounds in female-founded Sting companies include the 117 MSEK round in Volumental, 50MSEK in Evolar, and 48% MSEK raised in Surfcleaner. 

Propel Capital, the investment arm of Sting, made 59% of its investments into startups with at least one female founder.  

We are very proud of last year’s figures but remain dedicated to working for more female founders in Sting companies, helping to support our startups to build strong teams that take a long-term approach to funding, and view dialogues with investors as an ongoing process.  

To celebrate women and encourage more of them to become entrepreneurs, we are opening up our open coaching to make our expertise more accessible. From the 7th-11th of March, female founders or idea owners can book a free coaching session with one of our experienced coaches to get personal advice on how to move their ideas further on their journey.  

https://apply.sting.co/femalefounders/

NEWS February 24, 2022

The winner of Sting Test Drive Sustaintech 2022 is SaniSOLE

Changing the scene with sustainable sanitary products made from agro-food industry waste.

SaniSOLE Winner of Sting Test Drive Sustaintech

Changing the scene with sustainable sanitary products made from agro-food industry waste.  

Last evening marked the “grand finale” of this year’s Sting Test Drive Sustaintech where 13 early-stage startup teams within the energy and climate space pitched their ideas to a jury and “Best Sustaintech Pitch” was selected.  

The winner was SaniSOLE, with the jury’s motivation reading:  

“In addition to delivering a great pitch with a lot of passion, SaniSOLE impressed with their circular approach, turning industry waste into biopolymers, offering a much needed sustainable and bio-degradable alternative to today’s single-use disposable sanitary products.” 

SaniSOLE’s technology is the result of 5+ years of research at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, focusing on developing biopolymers with functionality towards sustainable solutions. Instead of using virgin and fossil-based raw materials, biopolymers made from agro-food waste are used, offering a natural biobased material that is biodegradable and harmless to the environment.  

The jury also selected two runner-ups, Cellfion and Cresponix, sharing second place. 

“The Sting Test Drive Sustaintech 2022 program has been the floor for many positive feelings and encouraging reflections. We were provided with the essential tools that every early business idea needs and served as a driving force to understand that the time to contribute to a better future is here and now. From our side, and I am surely speaking from all the great ideas presented this year, the program allowed us to answer several questions we had, and now as a team, we feel more prepared to take the next step.” says Antonio Capeza, CEO and Founder of SaniSOLE.   

“It is extremely rewarding to work with all these super-talented early-stage startup founders passionately and tirelessly working to bring new ideas and solutions to help solve the energy and climate challenges our world is facing. In this batch we see an impressive mix of innovations in key areas such as sustainable energy, food and agriculture, green transports, circularity and reduced waste.” says Karin Ruiz, program leader, business coach and Deputy CEO at Sting.  

Jury: 

Karin Edström: Investment Manager, Almi Invest Greentech 

Raoul Stubbe: Business Coach Deeptech, Sting 

Katarina Chowra: Business Development Coach Sustainability, KTH Innovation 

About Sting Test Drive Sustaintech 

Sting Test Drive Sustaintech is a practical training program created for teams with an early-stage startup idea based on a pioneering Sustaintech innovation or solution. Since the beginning of the year, 13 Sustaintech startups have tested and developed their ideas through a series of workshops with Sting’s coaches.  

Sting’s Test Drive program mixes theory with practice, helping the startups validate their ideas and working closely with the entrepreneurs with challenges startups often meet. The program ends with a Grand Finale where the participants pitch their ideas in front of a jury and a winner is selected. Many startups that later join Sting’s Incubate and Accelerate programs started off in the Test Drive program.  

This Sting Test Drive Sustaintech program is arranged as part of Sustainable Energy Action, a joint initiative by Sting, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, KTH Innovation, KTH Holding, THINGS and Ignite Sweden, with funding from the Swedish Energy Agency

Interested in the Sustainable Energy Action initiative? Follow us on our LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/sustainable-energy-action 

Do you want to know more about Sting’s offer for Sustaintech startups? Read more here https://sting.co/sustaintech 

What is Sustaintech?  

When we talk about Sustaintech, we mean innovations in areas like renewables, energy, climate tech, circular economy, cleantech, green transport, bioeconomy, food and agrotech, waste and water, sustainable materials, sustainable fashion, and more, with a clear positive environmental impact. 

2022 Sting Test Drive Sustaintech participants.

2022 Sting Test Drive Sustaintech participants  

Cellfion – Develops and manufactures bio-based materials for clean energy devices. 

Cresponix – A new proprietary technology, which enables sustainable farming of giant shrimp in Sweden. 

ElvfTech – Small-scale 3D printed heat exchanger for generating electricity from waster heat. 

EnergiNode – The blockchain way of real-time energy tracking and management. 

KOASTAL – Providing ready-to-use sea farms for locals to cultivate and share profit between two parties. 

Redare – Empowering food retailers with product sustainability data. 

Refillistic – Convenient and sustainable consumption by refilling FMCGs with unmanned refilling robots in common areas. 

SaniSOLE – We want to provide you with a choice of disposable and biodegradable sanitary pads designed from environmentally friendly biopolymers so that you can save the world with us, one pad at a time.  

SAVE | THE | DATE – Connected clothes to spread a challenge and reward sustainable action. 

Sovlinjen – Comfortable overnight commuting for the business traveler. 

Sprout – Support and learn from communities fighting for a sustainable future. 

TINT – Replacing single-use food and drink packaging to smart sustainable reusable packaging-as-a-service. Takeaway should be tasty and waste-free. 

Typographus – Early detection of bark beetle outbreaks in boreal forests, based on UAV air-monitoring platform.  

NEWS February 23, 2022

Flox Robotics to Deliver 1st Ever Fully Autonomous Drone System to Repel Wildlife from Cultivated Lands

Launches test phase in April with a dosen early adopters

The FLOX Team (from left to right): CTO Marco Moletta, CEO Sara Nozkova, Senior Technical Specialist Massimo Girondi, CPO Matteo Tadiello

STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Feb. 23, 2022FLOX Robotics (FLOX AB) – a startup that provides artificial intelligence equipped autonomous drones, and part of the Sting Incubate Deeptech – announced Wednesday that it is closing in on its first major milestone: the delivery of the first-ever fully autonomous drone system equipped to repel wildlife from cultivated lands in April 2022 to its first customer. This marks the kickoff of FLOX’s 12-month commercial test phase which will take its solution to over a dozen different customers enabling FLOX to apply and further fine-tune its technology across a multitude of different cultivated fields and young forest lands.

“Since our early adopters are clamoring for any kind of solution for their increasing wildlife predicament, they have been pushing for FLOX to already start rolling out our solution as soon as we think it should be able to work, fully understanding that we have yet to fully test our solution in critical areas such as durability, ruggedness and some of the technical real-world applications,” said FLOX CEO Sara Nozkova. “We are over the moon to already be able to sell our systems in the coming 12 months while test-driving the technology, monitor how the hardware holds up over extensive periods of usage, and provide our AI systems the ability to gain huge amounts of experience across a wide variety of different lands.”

The FLOX’s Mission – Coexistence with Wildlife. Reimagined.

FLOX is turning what was previously a human-wildlife conflict into a new way of protecting natural resources in shared landscapes. FLOX developed an autonomous, AI-equipped drone solution that helps landowners and farmers to successfully repel wildlife in order to maximize agricultural output and protects young forests, in turn preventing agricultural expansion into natural wildlife habitats.

An animation video demonstrating FLOX’s solution can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBUo0Eo7lyo.

FLOX’s technology is currently also being tested in some of the Nordic countries as a possible solution to prevent collisions between trains and wildlife.

FLOX’s Call to Action

FLOX plans to deliver its solution to over a dozen different customers in the 12 months following its first commercial delivery planned in April, 2022, bringing its solution one month at a time to each customer, enabling FLOX to apply its technology across a wide variety of cultivated fields and young forests, collect and learn from all the gathered data, rapidly iterate both the hardware as well as the software, all the while already delivering value to its early adopters.

There are still some slots open for interested farmers or landowners targeted by wildlife, to become part of FLOX’s 12-month commercial test phase – just send us an email to info@floxrobotics.com.

“We are super-psyched about our upcoming first-ever commercial delivery this April as we finally get to practice what we preach: turning what was previously a human-wildlife conflict to a new way of preservation of natural resources in shared landscapes so that we can coexist with local wildlife in a way that has not been possible ever before,” said Nozkova. “FLOX started at the end of 2020, and now over a year later we are closing in on our first commercial delivery – our first opportunity to show the world of landowners and farmers that our system, the first of its kind, can genuinely help them and live up to FLOX’s vision.”

FLOX’s Product Names

The founders of FLOX decided to embrace the company’s Nordic identity and look towards Norse Mythology as inspiration for establishing the names of FLOX’s first set of products. That culminated in the decision to call FLOX’s first fully autonomous drone Hugin, and FLOX’s base station from where Hugin will fly out and return, recharge and depart again, to name Oden. Similar to the mythological story of ravens and gods, we count on Hugin to venture across the world and upload its newfound knowledge to Oden.

Scaling FLOX

As FLOX is readying itself for its commercial phase, the company started to scale its team since the beginning of the year and aims to continue adding to its ranks in the coming months. In January FLOX already made two additions to its team, adding Animal Scientist Simone Vaianella, an expert in wildlife and biodiversity, as well as Chief Marketing Officer Joon Knapen.

“It’s amazing to join the Team at FLOX brimming with talent, energy, and will-power to fulfill our mission: Coexistence with Wildlife. Reimagined,” Knapen said. “I’ve worked at many companies where Purpose was almost an after-thought…It’s incredibly inspiring to join a startup like FLOX where its whole existence is premised on its Purpose.”

More info on Vaianella’s can be found in our Newsroom here and on Knapen’s appointment here.

FLOX’s OH-1 campaign: The Final Countdown!

As of the coming week FLOX will start providing weekly updates as it is counting down to its commercial launch of OH-1 (Oden 1 & Hugin 1) in April 2022 on its most prominent Social Media Channels so please watch that space if you want to stay abreast of the latest developments:


About FLOX

FLOX is a Stockholm-based startup with a vision to reimagine coexistence with wildlife. The company was founded in December 2020 with the aim to offer affordable tailor-made services provided by autonomous drones to protect crops and young plants from wildlife-related damages. Subscribe to FLOX’s newsletter by sending an email with <subscribe> in the subject line to: info@floxrobotics.com. FLOX started at the Royal Institute of Technology with support from KTH Innovation

Are you a landowner or farmer plagued by wildlife and have an interest in becoming part of FLOX’s 12-month commercial test phase? Just send us an email with <calltoaction> in the subject line and we will get in touch: info@floxrobotics.com.

If you have any questions or would like to engage with FLOX CEO Sara Nozkova, please contact FLOX’s press team at press@floxrobotics.com.

For general or customer inquiries, please contact FLOX at info@floxrobotics.com.

NEWS February 11, 2019

List: The 14 new companies selected by Sting

An automatic anti-money laundering process, sustainable modular houses, safer medical tubes, programmable accessories and new financing solutions for companies – these are some of the products and services that the 14 innovative companies in the spring’s round of Sting Incubate and Sting Accelerate represent. The list of companies is announced today when the entrepreneurs meet for the first time in Sting’s offices at A house.

– It is an exciting range of innovative solutions among this group of very strong companies in B2B and B2C this time. We see interesting trends in the fintech area, where several of the companies are active, says Fredrik Rosengren, program manager for Sting Accelerate.

The companies that are admitted to Sting can get an investment of SEK 300,000 from Propel Capital, Sweden’s most active private seed investor. In addition to the actual investment, the companies also get direct access to the 40 business angels behind Propel Capital, as well as their networks.

In addition, the companies receive individual coaching in business development and financing, support in recruitment, and access to Sting’s broad international network of industrial contacts and investors. They also get free office space for six months at A house, which provides a strong community with each other and the Sting team.

Since the start in 2002, Sting has coached over 240 startups. In 2017, the companies had sales of over SEK 2.1 billion and have attracted close to SEK 4.5 billion in private capital. Sting’s alumni include companies such as BarnebysBioservoDPOrganizerKarma, Videoplaza, Volumental and Yubico.

One of the companies in this spring batch is ImagiLabs. They build a community and tools to teach more young girls to program.

– Coming from technical backgrounds, we applied to Sting to get the support and expertise we need from the business side. It was a natural choice to choose Sting because of their long experience and great track record. We are very much looking forward to working with our coaches and bringing more girls into tech, says Alexa Edström, head of marketing and communications at ImagiLabs.

The team behind Prion has developed a platform for kindergartens that lets teachers easily document children’s activities using pictures, texts and videos.

– With Sting’s help, we look forward to being able to scale our company faster. Their large network can support us in attracting both talent and capital, which will be relevant for us. We are also looking forward to taking advantage of Sting’s experienced coaches as well as other companies’ knowledge, says Fredrika Bernadotte, CEO of Prion.

The companies chosen by Sting are:

Cardia is a mobile application that offers a safer way to privately buy and sell used cars. All cars are tested at impartial car inspection stations to remove the risk of hidden errors. Through the application, users gain access to finance, warranty and insurance companies in the private market. For increased security, payment and change of ownership take place in the application. www.cardia.eu

Casablnca is a CRM system (SAAS) invented and designed for companies working with influencer marketing. The system collects, stores and evaluates all data in one place, which automates a huge part of the manual work load, allowing companies to focus on the two most important components within influencer marketing – communication and growth. www.casablnca.com

Creditive provides automated lending services to better serve SMEs. Creditive’s lending software pulls from real-time data points making the credit process more efficient, secure and fair. Powered by Big Data and AI-underwriting technology, Creditive’s core aim is to increase loan approvals, equipping SMEs with the working capital they need to grow. www.creditive.se

The Fit develops mobile 3D body scanning technology providing users with digital Body-ID:s that can be used to shop for the right size, order customized products or virtually try on clothes. By combining 3D scanning and artificial intelligence, The Fit change the online experience of the future. Helping companies reduce returns by enabling personalized recommendations for consumers. www.thefit.se

At FLOAT, we are pioneers of Capital-as-a-Service (CaaS) – providing small SaaS businesses with fast, easy access to founder-friendly, non-dilutive growth capital. www.floatlending.com

Gimme Shelter aims to make architecture accessible to the masses. With unique, environmentally friendly and affordable housing solutions that can be combined, Gimme Shelter wants to help people to live and build according to their need and their wallet. Together with Sweden’s most acclaimed pioneers in environment and sustainability, Gimme Shelter is building Northern Europe’s first turnkey house that is run on fossil-free fuels. www.gimme-shelter.se

Harvest Moon develops a toilet that separates and converts the waste into plant nutrients. The volume is reduced by 90 percent, thereby making it easy to empty and transport the waste. The company’s first customers are Scandinavian vacation home owners who want aesthetic environmentally-friendly toilets that are hygienic and easy to handle. The next step is the global market where the need for waterless toilet solutions is enormous. www.harvestmoon.se

imagiLabs is building a community and tools to teach programming to girls between 12-16. They spark their interest with the ultimate accessories that can be customized through programming from their mobile phones – this way bringing self-expression, creativity, and mobile phones to the center of the experience. By enabling girls to take their first steps into the world of programming, they can be part of the first generation of a gender-equal tech workforce. www.imagilabs.se

Mendi is the world’s first brain enhancement device for home use. Mendi’s technology is successfully being used by NASA and in research to enhance the brain’s functions and capacity by over 50 percent. The company is now making it accessible for everyone to use. Mendi is for those who want to improve their mental well-being, performance and overall health. www.mendi.io

PCT is a user-friendly cloud solution designed to help organisations minimize time spent on keeping track of, following up and planning recurring tasks. The intuitive dashboard allows quick and easy setup while giving users access to audit trail functionality and powerful reporting otherwise only found in more complex systems. www.productivesolutions.se

Pliance helps companies automate their anti-money laundering processes through a powerful, flexible API that helps companies build customer screenings into their current tools and workflows. This allows companies to scale their businesses by saving them time and money that can be focused on their core product. Even smaller companies can save millions of Swedish crownes by eliminating the manual customer screenings and using Pliance’s API instead. https://pliance.io

Prion is a platform for kindergartens. Via the Prion app, teachers can easily document the children’s activities using pictures, texts and videos and make connections to the goals in the curriculum. Parents can follow their own child’s learning on a daily basis. Prion enables teachers to reduce the time spent on administration, parents to become more involved in their child’s development and further strengthen the relationship between teachers and parents. www.prionapp.com

Renbloc is a comprehensive and transparent solution for tracing and verifying sources of energy. Customers can easily keep track of when, where and how their energy is produced. Bringing purchasing power to the energy market, the conscious consumer will for the first time be able voice their energy opinion by directly and transparently choosing the origin of their energy. www.renbloc.com

TADA Medical solves the enormous, global need for safer medical tubes by eliminating negative consequences, such as patient injury, related to accidents where a tube is pulled during treatment. We are pioneering a new global standard for safer medical tubes. www.tadamedical.com

 

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 September 3, 2018

Here are the 14 new Sting companies

Democratization of artificial intelligence, micro lending on equal terms, speech synthesis, ID hijackings, crowd funding of music, leisure activities, language challenges in healthcare and interpretation of radiographs are some of the areas addressed by the 14 carefully selected companies that have been accepted to Sting this autumn. The list of companies is announced today when the entrepreneurs meet for the first time at Sting’s newly opened premises at A house.

“It has been a tough selection process leading up to the start of the autumn programs,” says Karin Ruiz, business coach at Sting. “It’s a strong line up of companies that represent a wide range of exciting business ideas. We see a clear trend in an increasing number of startups that utilize the power of artificial intelligence and deep learning to tackle major challenges related to for example safety, health and climate,” she continues.

In addition to office space at A house and the network with each other and the Sting team, the companies will get individual coaching in business development and financing, recruitment support and access to Sting’s wide network of industry contacts and investors. The companies also have the opportunity to get an investment of SEK 300,000 from Propel Capital, Sweden’s most active private seed investor.

“With our new premises at A house, we now have the opportunity to run the Incubate and Accelerate programs in one place, which we believe will contribute to an even stronger Sting Community and better opportunity for the startups to exchange experiences and networks with each other,” says Fredrik Rosengren, new Program Manager of the Sting Accelerate Program.

Poki Robotics is one of the new Sting Incubate companies. The company develops task-specific robots to help businesses become more efficient and sustainable.

“Our participation in the Sting Incubate program will give us a great opportunity to scale up Poki Robotics. We are looking forward to getting to know the network and being inspired by the other companies, as well as challenging ourselves. In the spring, the goal is to sell the first robots to customers in Sweden. A challenge for us will therefore be to further develop our product with limited time and resources,” says Fredrika Kringberg, co-founder at Poki Robotics.

Fairlo, one of the new Accelerate companies, challenges the micro loan market with its service that gives people the opportunity to solve an unexpected expense with a loan on equal terms.

“We launched Fairlo in April and got off for a good start. Now we want to use the momentum we have to accelerate into 2019, with the goal of making “Vardagslånet” the obvious choice for unexpected expenses. We hope that Sting, with its solid and proven models, will help us to identify the next-generation star developers, and that the network and experience in the organization will provide great support in the international expansion of our business,” says Jimmy Hanna, CEO and co-founder of Fairlo.

Sting has coached over 240 startups since the start in 2002. The companies had revenues of over 210 MEUR in 2017 and have attracted almost 450 MEUR in private capital. Stings alumni companies include companies like Barnebys, Bioservo, DPOrganizer, Karma, Videoplaza, Volumental and Yubico.

Companies selected to Sting Accelerate
Defentry is a cybersecurity company that combats ID hijackings and hacked accounts through the use of large data acquisition, AI and machine learning. Defentry supports its customers in anticipating risks and finding new solutions that prevent intrusion and fraud with the objective of making them less exposed on the internet. Defentry also offers a personal and secure platform for its customers to monitor its data, identity and integrity. www.defentry.com

Fairlo is a TechFin startup that launches a new era for small loans. With a system based on the latest technology, Fairlo offers people the opportunity to solve an unexpected expense with a small loan at equal terms. Whoever borrows from Fairlo owns the power and can at any time pay off the loan, change the amortization plan or change the due date, all in one click and free of charge. fairlo.se

Friendtivity provides leisure activities for school kids in a new way –at home, in small groups around an interest such as music, programming or something totally different and led by an employed friendtivity leader. Via the platform , parents can seamlessly find leaders, book and pay for the activity at a very competitive price.  friendtivity.se

Signe is a digital platform for crowdfunding of concerts. Organizers, artists and fans can easily create an event and start raising money for an upcoming concert. Signe allows fans to participate and influence who organizers should book, whilst minimizing risk for the organizer to lose money on the event. Signe.io

Språk i Vården develops a medical interpretation tool for healthcare providers that reduces healthcare costs and increases effectivity while it at the same time strengthens patient safety and integrity. Our tool is available as an application for smart devices and can be used by all healthcare professionals in a broad range of healthcare situations. www.sprakivarden.se

Ugglo is a multi-lingual audio book service for kids. We combine the picture book with the audio book to create a truly fun and captivating reading experience. Thousands of kids in Sweden improve their reading and language skills with Ugglo every day. www.ugglo.se

Zenia provides high converting E-Commerce marketing traffic to webstores, helping sellers to market their products organically and through paid posts by sharing – promoting – converting. www.zenia.ai

Companies selected to Sting Incubate
DeepMed’s
vision is to redefine how radiographs (x-ray images) are being used in orthopaedics by applying artificial intelligence for the use in x-ray interpretation. With our software, built on deep learning, we support radiologist and other healthcare-professionals in detecting and classifying orthopaedic radiographs in a more efficient and accurate way. deep-med.com

Greenlytics provides data science solutions for the power industry. Our vision is to harness the power of data to create a sustainable energy future. Our first product, WindMind, is a tool that, with the help of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence, creates ultra-accurate wind power forecasts, which enables wind power producers to lower imbalance costs, increase profitability of wind power and make wind power cheaper for the consumer. www.greenlytics.io

Kavalri Games emerged from the passion for creating qualitative equestrian games. We’re developing the mobile game Equestrian the Horse game – a game which lets the player build their equestrian career from the ground up. Our players are mostly girls with an equestrian interest, and they’re passionately supporting our development. equestrianthegame.com

PerceptiLabs is a Deep Learning company developing the software QuantumNet. With a vision of democratizing artificial intelligence, QuantumNet simplifies the creation and understanding of AI-models by removing the need of programming and deep mathematical knowledge. The programming is replaced with a simple drag & drop of building blocks where the user e.g. can go into each building block and see how the AI-model learns in real-time. www.perceptilabs.com

Poki Robotics develops task-specific autonomous robots to help companies become more efficient and sustainable. The products are based on a robotics platform that is adjustable to different needs and environments. Our first product is a smart, self-navigating robot that collects golf balls on golf ranges. We offer a technical solution that includes high accuracy local positioning together with intelligent software. www.pokirobotics.com

SciPro’s Thesis Management System is an online IT-support system for management and supervision of theses at bachelor, master and PhD education levels. It allows the entire thesis writing process to be managed in a clear and structured way.  It gives students a clear methodology, supervisors a channel to communicate with students and decrease their administrative workload and school administrators a total overview. www.sciproprojects.com

TorTalk creates text to speech applications for schools, universities and workplaces.
Our end users are people with dyslexia, ADHD and those who prefer to listen to their second language. TorTalk’s software removes barriers, help increase efficiency and reduce stress for users. tortalk.se