Every 4 months, a Nordic startup is acquired by one of tech’s big 5 (Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Alphabet)

As home to heavy technical talent, it’s no surprise that some of the world’s biggest and most successful companies look to the Nordics when it comes to acquiring talent and innovative product. In fact, all of tech’s big 5 (bar Amazon) have bought Nordic since 2014. While this isn’t overly surprising, the number and pace of these acquisitions is.

First, a look at the number of acquisitions each of them have made between January 2014 and March 2017.

Facebook and Microsoft are the most frequent buyers, with Facebook’s four actually making them amongst the most active acquirers of Nordic startups since 2014. Amazon’s lack of activity isn’t that surprising as they make considerably less acquisitions than the others.

Who have they acquired?


Moves (Finland): https://techcrunch.com/2014/04/24/facebook-acquires-activity-tracking-app-moves/

Pryte (Finland): https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-to-acquire-finnish-start-up-pryte-1401808791

13th Lab (Sweden): http://arcticstartup.com/article/swedish-13th-lab-acquired-by-facebook/

The Eye Tribe (Denmark): https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/28/the-eye-tribe-oculus/


Mojang (Sweden): https://mojang.com/2014/09/yes-were-being-bought-by-microsoft/

MinecraftEdu (Finland): http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-acquires-minecraftedu-from-teacher-gaming/

Donya Labs (Sweden): https://venturebeat.com/2017/01/17/microsoft-acquires-3d-data-optimization-company-simplygon/


Limes Audio (Sweden): https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/05/google-acquires-limes-audio/

drawElements (Finland): http://arcticstartup.com/article/google-acquires-helsinki-based-drawelements-for-8-figures/


Indoor.io (Finland): http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-acquired-finnish-company-indoor-io-help-it-map-indoor-spaces-2016-12?r=UK&IR=T&IR=T

10 startups selling to the big 5 since the start of 2014 is impressive and demonstrates the quality and depth of the Nordic talent pool. In truth, it also makes for a compelling story to communicate to those both within and outside of the region as to the potential that exists in investing here.

Due to the sporadic nature of both buyer’s and seller’s circumstances, it’s impossible to judge whether interest is increasing or decreasing, however the fact that there has been 2 acquisitions already in 2017 sets up the year to be another strong one for the big 5 shopping Nordic.

What it also means, is if we use the last 39 months as an average, then a Nordic startup is acquired by one of the big 5 every four months, an incredible statistic for an ecosystem the size of the Nordics, and further proof that the region really does make a tangible global impact on tomorrow’s technology, with Nordic technology providing the backbone for some of the world’s most used and most innovative products.

Neil S W Murray founded The Nordic Web in 2014 in order to provide the Nordics with the quality coverage it deserves. As well as being Founding Editor of The Nordic Web, Neil is also an active community builder in the region, participating in a number of initiatives, and has previously worked for Tech.eu.