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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 April 23, 2018

List: the five new companies in Sting Incubate

Today, Sting welcomes this year’s second batch of startups to the Sting Incubate program. The five new companies represent a wide range of solutions ranging from deep PC strategy games, a digital treatment method for people with sleep problems, innovative tools for digital receipts and personal administration to an AI based food market recommendation engine.

The new Sting companies will receive coaching in business development and financing, recruitment support and get access to Sting’s wide network of industry contacts and investors, to increase the pace of development, rapidly enter the market, and increase the chance of success. The companies also have the opportunity to get an investment of SEK 300,000 from Propel Capital, Sweden’s most active private seed investor.

One of the newly accepted companies is YourPDi, founded by Patricia Ingemarsson and Jenny Wuori, both with long careers in technology, market, sales and management behind them. Within the coming days, the company launches the YourPDi app, which gives its users a tool for organizing private valuable documents and information in one place, safely in the cloud.

“Although we have many years of developing companies behind us, we can see that we lack experience in some areas that are crucial for scaling a startup to a company of size,” says Jenny. “We therefore see that Sting’s unique network and business coaches with significant experience of entrepreneurship will speed up our pace of development. Now we are aiming for a successful launch of our app and are focusing on user traction, Patricia continues.

The five new Sting Incubate companies:

IQ Chef is a foodtech company that develops innovative solutions for the digital food market. The company’s recommendation engine, based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, gives IQ Chef’s partners in the food industry completely new opportunities to tailor and individualize their customer offerings. iqchef.com

Learning to Sleep has developed a digital, clinically validated, treatment method to help people with chronic sleep problems. So far, the company has treated over 900 people and 94 percent of patients get a lasting improvement in their sleep. learningtosleep.se/

Treeno creates a new digital communication channel between consumers and businesses by building an innovative service for digital receipts. Using Treenos service, consumers can easily get their digital receipts collected in one place as well as a unique insight into their spending habits. At the same time, Treeno contributes to a significant reduction in tree devastation and waste management that paper receipts result in today. www.treeno.se/

Warpzone Studios is founded by three game industry veterans. Our goal is to make deeply engaging strategy games for mainly PC. We will aim to create games with superior replayability and high quality, while keeping close contact with our players and encouraging user modifications and extensions. warpzonestudios.com/

YourPDi, Your Personal Digitalization, is the app where you quickly and safely organize and keep important information and valuable documents. YouPDi gives you everything from receipt of your stolen bike, documents from the kitchen renovation, log-in details for Netflix, family vaccinations to colour codes in your home. Everything organized in one place and safely stored in the cloud. www.yourpdi.com/

NEWS March 29, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.newsvoice.com

NEWS February 5, 2018

Sting welcomes new companies

This week Sting kicks off the Sting Accelerate and Sting Incubate programs with 14 new, carefully selected, startups. Climate-smart food, neurocognitive tests, micro insurances, an on-demand beauty service and several innovative software services focused on B2B are among the products and services that the selected companies offer.

The new Sting companies will receive coaching in business development and financing, recruitment support and get access to Sting’s wide network of industry contacts and investors, to increase the pace of development, rapidly enter the market, and increase the chance of success. The companies also have the opportunity to get an investment of SEK 300,000 from Propel Capital, Sweden’s most active private seed investor.

“We’ve had a large number of applicants to the programs and we are very pleased to have several strong international teams among the companies accepted. The group represents a wide variety of business ideas ranging from e-commerce and digital marketplaces to a number of cloud-based services that target the business market. We are excited to get started with the entrepreneurs”, says Fredrik Rosengren, Business Coach at Sting.

Mindmore is one of the newly accepted Sting Incubate companies. The company develops digital neurocognitive tests, including The Minnemera service, a diagnostic tool initially aimed at primary and inpatient care. Sara Wallén, CEO and founder of Mindmore, has high expectations on Sting’s support:
“Sting’s long-term experience and broad competence will be valuable now that we prepare to take our service to the market. Targeting the care industry can be challenging, so we look forward to Sting’s coaching and concrete tools for establishing dialogues with our users for our future development.”

One of the new companies in the Sting Accelerate program is Bukvy, which creates smart bags and accessories for urban people in constant motion.
“We are very pleased to have been selected for Sting Accelerate and we look forward to an intense, eventful and challenging spring! Bukvy has been our inspiring hobby project over the last two years; we have satisfied customers all over the world and this is an important opportunity for us to become stronger on the online side of our business. We are looking forward to get to know the coaches and the other selected teams and to share their experience as well as the challenges ahead of us”, says Elena Ekström, co-founder of Bukvy.

Since the start of 2002, Sting has coached over 250 startups. Stings alumni include companies like Barnabys, Bioservo, DPOrganizer, Karma, Videoplaza, Volumental and Yubico.

The new companies in Sting Accelerate

Baetes develops the next-generation e-commerce platform for the fashion industry. Using the latest VR, AR and 3D scanning technologies, the company creates a brand new digital shopping experience through virtual showrooms. www.baetes.com

Bukvy creates smart bags and accessories for the urban people in constant motion. By combining multi-function and classic aesthetics Bukvy simplifies the carrying experience through items that transforms with the customers need. All items are made by hand, ethically in Europe by genuine leather of great quality and are sold through Bukvys webshop and a few carefully chosen retailers. bukvy.se/

ContentStudio is an AI-based and data-driven social media marketing suite for businesses to grow their social media presence by helping them discover, compose and share engaging content in their industry. Users can keep an eye on trending content in their industry along with analytical stats presented in a meaningful way that help them make better decisions for their content marketing and social media marketing. contentstudio.io

Cryptolens offers a state-of-the-art cloud service that makes it trivial to launch and protect any kind of software, with unique AI analytics to optimize revenue and capture untapped customer segments. cryptolens.io/

Foodla is a marketplace for you to buy and sell your organic goods in local communities – making the market more efficient, reducing food waste and promoting locally produced food which decreases transportation, mass production, and the excessive use of pesticides. getfoodla.com/

Knowlocker is a knowledge management platform for organisations large and small, helping ensure that businesses, the teams within them and external groups, such as customers, have access to the right information at the right time to achieve their goals. By giving internal teams access to the knowledge of an organisation, Knowlocker significantly improves effectiveness and efficiency of operations. knowlocker.com

Margot International transforms trade in services and equipment in the offshore and marine industries.

Suavoo is a beautytech company that provides beauty services to customers’ desired locations, such as the home, office or hotel, through a touch of an app. Suavoo’s digital platform connects freelance stylists and customers and ensures high availability. suavoo.com

The new companies in Sting Incubate

Cribble develops toys for children, developed with foundation in research in psychology and pedagogy.

Intakt will offer digital micro insurances and fundamentally change the concept of what an insurance company is. The company will offer an automated, digitalised and user-friendly solution that makes it possible to offer competitive insurances to a large number of users. Furthermore the platform will give control back to the users over their personal data.

Mindmore develops digital neurocognitive tests, including The Minnemera service, a diagnostic tool primarily aimed at primary and inpatient care. www.minnemera.se

Nutrient is a FoodTech Startup developing concepts and processes for producing climate-friendly proteins and nutrients. We aim to make a real difference by producing sustainable food in a truly circular way where nothing goes to waste. By using untapped resources and converting them into new proteins we strive to innovate the value chain from farm to table. www.nutrient.se

Qofind develops the new generation baby monitors that monitor both temperature and motion when the child is sleeping. www.parvel.se

Skillbreak is a smart social learning platform for unique local learning experiences.  All Skillbreaks are taught by experienced and interesting creative experts. We build relationships with our experts and we’re making it easy for them to showcase and share skills with their fans. skillbreak.com

NEWS January 9, 2018

Sting co-founds the new venture fund Luminar Ventures together with successful business angels

Jacob Key, Founding Partner of Luminar Ventures together with Pär Hedberg, CEO of Sting.

Luminar Ventures today announces a 500 MSEK fund focusing on seed stage technology companies in Sweden. Luminar Ventures has been initiated and co-founded by Sting and and the successful angel investors Magnus Bergman and Jacob Key, who will be the fund’s General Partners.

Luminars’s core investment focus is on scalable digital seed stage companies from Sweden, founded by highly motivated and talented entrepreneurs with a vision to disrupt or transform major industries. The fund is looking to lead larger seed rounds through an average investment of around 10 MSEK, but will also do pre-seed and series A investments.

Founding partners, Magnus Bergman and Jacob Key are both former serial entrepreneurs and active angel investors. Over the last 10 years, Magnus Bergman made over 30 seed investments with a handful of great exits, making Magnus one of the most experienced and successful tech angel investors in Sweden. “With a long background in working with startups we understand the challenges of building global companies. We founded Luminar to share our experience and bridge the gap between the angel and A-round with both financing and active professional support”, said Magnus Bergman, Founding Partner of Luminar Ventures, in a comment to the launch of the fund.

Before founding Luminar Ventures, Jacob Key made close to 20 early stage investments, with 3 successful exits to date. “We are delighted to get started with Luminar Ventures and are already in closed dialogue with a number of promising startups across Sweden. As former entrepreneurs and angel investors, our aim is to be more hands-on in the early growth stage than the general VC and to work closely with the founders of our portfolio companies”, comments Jacob Key, Founding Partner of Luminar Ventures.

Joining the team are also Linda Höglund and Daniel Karsberg. Linda has a background as global CFO at fast scaling unicorns, including Klarna in Europe and Grab in South East Asia. Daniel joins Luminar from his most recent role as Investment Manager at Creathor Venture, where he led Creathor’s Nordic operations.

Sting, the leading startup ecosystem builder in Sweden and operator of one of the most established accelerator programs in the Nordics, is one of the co-founders of Luminar Ventures.

“The initiative to start Luminar Ventures is part of our mission to contribute to a world class eco system for technology startups in Stockholm and Sweden”, comments Pär Hedberg, CEO of Sting. “Luminar is a potential investor in the Sting companies, as well as a potential follow-on investor to the portfolio companies in our Propel Capital. It is however important to note that Sting does not have any exclusivity with the fund and we will of course, as always, encourage the Sting companies to evaluate all relevant financing options, Pär Hedberg continues.

The fund also has a strategic partnership with KTH Holding, which is the holding company of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology – one of the leading technical and engineering universities in Europe. Sting and KTH Holding are both minority owners of the holding company of the fund. They support the fund with a strong deal flow and access to their respective innovation systems and networks. Luminar Ventures has also built an active network of partners throughout Sweden and within several industry verticals to ensure a high and qualitative flow of investment opportunities.

Major investors in Luminar Ventures are the European Investment Fund, through the Strategic Venture Initiative, Saminvest and a number of professional private investors and institutions.

About Sting
Since 2002, Sting has supported entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas into successful growth companies. Sting offers selected tech startups financing (via Propel Capital and the Sting Business Angels network), business development support, recruitment support and provides access to world-class networks as well as office space at co-working spaces like SUP46 and THINGS. Sting has supported over 200 startups since the start, of which 68 percent continue to grow today.
www.sting.co

About Luminar
Luminar is a Swedish based venture capital fund focused on early stage startups with global scale and ambitions. Founded by experienced entrepreneurs and angel investors Magnus Bergman and Jacob Key, Luminar provides early stage capital, network and hands-on company-building support to leading startup teams throughout Sweden helping them build the next global success stories.
www.luminarventures.com

About The Swedish Venture Initiative
The Swedish Venture Initiative is an initiative created by cooperation between Sweden and the European Investment Fund and financed under European Structural and Investment Funds.
www.eif.org

About Saminvest AB

Saminvest AB is a Swedish government owned company that invests in privately operated venture capital funds, with a focus on Swedish based investments.
www.saminvest.se

NEWS November 22, 2017

Sniph gears up with big name investors and begins European expansion

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

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

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

Challening the perfume industry: launching in the UK

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

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

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

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

*Source: Mintel

About Sniph

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

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

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

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

Contact

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

NEWS September 15, 2017

Elly Pistol raises 3 MSEK

Elly Pistol, the online fashion company dedicated to the digital generation, has closed its first investment round and has raised 3 MSEK for expansion into new markets and expansion of the team. Amongst the investors are JNE Invest and BLCBX Investment Group.

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 and that consequently can live much longer than traditional summer / autumn / spring / winter collections.

Many people know Elly Pistol through their bomber jackets that quickly became popular and were frequently seen in social media and on influencers. The design takes place in-house in Stockholm and the sale is done without resellers via Elly Pistol’s own website. Social media is Elly Pistol’s premier communication channel.

– Our target audience is the digital generation that lives as much online as offline. We want to create a community where we together with our fans can develop our collections, shape our brand and promptly receive feedback on our ideas. As more people become aware of the environment and consumerism, I am convinced that our non-seasonal products are right in time, said Cecilia de Champs, CEO and founder.

The new investors complement the Elly Pistol team with experience and network.
– We have grown rapidly organically with very little funding so far, and I am looking forward to further accelerating the expansion rate with our new owners. It has been important for us to make a “smart” round and gain access to new skills and experience from the industry, mainly in e-commerce and online media, says Cecilia de Champs.

– For JNE Invest, Elly Pistol is an investment in a smart, courageous and dynamic fashion company that is absolutely right in time.” Says Niklas Norén, Managing Partner for JNE Invest. Hugo Hågemark, Partner at BLCBX Investment Group, continues – Sales growth is impressive and we are convinced that Elly Pistol’s trip has just begun. We are really looking forward to being part of the global launch this fall.

Contact
Cecilia de Champs, CEO Elly Pistol, cecilia@ellypistol.com
www.ellypistol.com

NEWS October 19, 2014

Apply to FastForward’s next batch!

The next application round for the next batch of STING FastForward, FFW_04, is now open!

For 4 months, we gather Stockholm’s most promising entrepreneurs in the Internet/media sector at SUP46 in Stockholm. We select 7-8 startups that receive an investment of SEK 250,000, close to business development support and coaching, free office space. The companies are also invited to take part of STING’s international network of investors and experts.

> Read more about the program here.
> Apply here!

Application deadline is Nov 10 at midnight.