Highlighting May’s most significant investment, exit and story

After a couple of relatively quiet months for what we’ve become accustomed to recently in the Nordics, May was back with a bang, as we saw a record amount of investments and several impressive exits.

In this article, we’ve decided to focus on an investment for one of Norway’s most promising startups, an exit for one of Sweden’s most impressive gaming companies and a success that may just save the future of one of the regions most loved companies.

The Investment

Norwegian Unacast raises a $5 million Series A aiming to index the physical world

Unacast are one of the brightest hopes amongst Norway’s growing startup scene. With an experienced founding team (ex-Tidal), Unacast have been going from strength to strength, particularly in terms of securing strategic partnerships. Now they’ve raised a further $5 million to pursue their ambition of indexing the physical world. As early movers in this market and with money in the bank, they have a real opportunity to establish themselves as a market leader in this space as well as providing Norway with a tech startup that’s established on the global stage (other than Kahoot! of course).

The Exit

Swedish gaming company Paradox went public at a valuation of $418 million

Paradox Interactive have long been one of the biggest (and largely unheralded) successes of the Swedish gaming scene, and a successful exit in May ensured that a lot more people know who they are now. Not only did they float at a valuation of $418 million, with an immediate 35% pop, it was also revealed that Tencent had acquired 5% of the company through the IPO, with plans to help Paradox further develop their presence in China. Paradox’s exit is not just encouraging for tech companies considering going public, but also is further proof that investment and interest from the East in the region is becoming more and more prevalent.

The Story

Rovio’s Angry Birds flick is off to a solid start, grossing $43 million in its opening weekend

Over the last 12 months, the general consensus has been that the future of Rovio depends on either the failure or the success of its movie. While that may be a very granular view to take, my understanding is that it is not too far from the reality. Therefore, it came as a welcome relief to many at Rovio and in the region, to see the movie grossing $43 million in its opening weekend. Not only that, but it has continued to perform strongly. Rovio put all their eggs into one basket with this movie, and right now it seems that that bet may have paid off. It remains to be seen whether Rovio can build on this in terms of taking the Angry Birds brand further, but things are certainly looking brighter for them than they were six months ago and this could be a pivotal moment in their existence.

“In the tech world, things move fast and companies are born anywhere in the world. I’m able to have an ear to the ground with The Nordic Web – the content is fresh, local, and of high quality, which is exactly what you need as a seed investor.

In fact, it’s through Neil Murray’s newsletter that I first heard about Mapillary. Several months later, I was fortunate to lead our firm’s investment in the Company to help drive the creation of a crowdsourced visual representation of our world”

— Nathan Benaich, Playfair Capital

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.