Norway has become a hub for startups with renowned unicorns and emerging soonicorns. In recent years, the country has been gaining appreciation for its impact on the global startup sphere, producing several successful companies that have achieved unicorn status. But what exactly is the Norwegian startup scene all about? Let's dive in and explore the world of Norwegian unicorns and Norwegian soonicorns.
The startup ecosystem in Norway is thriving with a dynamic community that supports creativity and the spirit of entrepreneurship. Like its Nordic neighbors who have produced startups like Spotify, Klarna, and Whim, Norway has emerged as a hub for startups across many industries thanks to its two-fold emphasis on technology and sustainability. The development of startups in Norway has been facilitated by the government's encouraging policies and access to capital through subsidies. Norway's startup environment stands out from others by its dedication to sustainability. The nation has a long history of environmental protection and is renowned for its renewable energy and green technologies initiatives. This emphasis on sustainability appeals to potential business owners who are driven not only by profit but also want to have a positive impact on the environment.
Before we go into the Norwegian unicorns and soonicorns, let's define these phrases in the startup sector. Unicorns are privately held startup enterprises with a valuation of $1 billion or above. These companies are rare and often considered the "rockstars" of the startup scene. On the other hand, soonicorns are startups that show great potential to become unicorns in the near future.
Both unicorns and soonicorns represent the pinnacle of success in the startup world. They are the companies that have disrupted industries, attracted investments, and are assured of exponential growth. In Norway, these companies are making waves and putting the Norwegian startup scene on the global map.
With the development of blockchain technology, Dune Analytics has positioned itself as a specialist in the cryptocurrency market. The platform offers potent tools for processing and displaying blockchain data. Dune’s mission is to make crypto data legible, enabling users to explore, comprehend, and use it to its full potential.
Aside from that, Dune facilitates a community environment by offering customers a platform to explore projects and customize their dashboards to see real time shifts in data depending on the industry. Dune uses data provided by various softwares such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, Polygon, Solana, and Arbitrum, making crypto data more accessible and consumable across the market.
Fredrik Haga and Mats Olsen, the co-founders of Dune, created traction in the international market and raised the valuation of Dune to $1 billion, reaching its unicorn status in three years.
Cognite is a Norwegian software company that specializes in industrial data management and analytics for oil and gas, power and utilities, and renewable energy. The startup helps companies unlock the full potential of their data using AI to optimize operations. It also gives them access to organized industrial data to increase productivity. Cognite quickly gained recognition and has secured partnerships with major players in the energy, manufacturing, and shipping industries. Cognite's solutions have garnered recognition globally, positioning them as a trusted partner for companies that are seeking to revolutionize their industries through the power of data.
Founded in 2016 by John Markus Lervik, the leading industrial software company is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with offices in Asia, the Middle East, and the U.S. Their success raised their funding to $346.8 million in just four rounds. This propelled them to unicorn status, with a valuation of $1.6 billion.
Kahoot is a renowned learning platform that has achieved a remarkable track record of success through a gamified approach by transforming how students and teachers interact with education. They have gained the attention of educators and institutions globally.
The platform offers a user-friendly experience for individuals and corporations to create, share, and host learning sessions and quizzes about relevant topics. Regardless of location, Kahoot sessions can be hosted using any device connected to the internet and users can seamlessly facilitate interactive sessions and foster a dynamic learning environment.
Morten Versvik founded the platform in 2012 with a group of co-founders for a project for the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. With millions of users, Kahoot has solidified its position as a Norwegian unicorn with a valuation of $1.6 billion.
Gelato is a Norwegian soonicorn software company that has reorganized the global printing industry. The platform distinguishes itself from other companies through its on-demand network that produces locally in 32 countries and delivers globally to 180 countries. The company provides a cloud-based platform that enables businesses to print and deliver marketing materials, business cards, and other printed products anywhere in the world. By leveraging a network of local printers, Gelato offers a cost-effective and sustainable printing solution that emits less carbon emissions. As a result, businesses can streamline their printing processes, which reduces costs, and scales operations efficiently.
Headquartered in Oslo, Norway and established in 2007, Gelato’s approach earned them unicorn status with a valuation of $1.1 billion which positioned them as a key player in the printing industry.
Autostore is a robotics company that specializes in automated storage and retrieval systems. Their technology enables businesses to optimize their warehouse operations and increase efficiency through both hardware and software systems. They offer services for various sectors from e-commerce, grocery, and industrial, to healthcare, warehouses, and retail locations. Autostore assures speed and efficiency in the era of omnichannel shopping demands by expanding scalability to meet business demands for maximum potential.
Autostore's robotic solutions have been adopted by major companies in industries such as e-commerce and logistics, implementing over 1,150 systems worldwide. Each system is designed uniquely to fit individual business needs by ensuring that the automated systems will fit the company's existing infrastructure. Founded in 1996 with a vision of finding cube storage automation, Autostore has earned its place as a leading unicorn with a valuation of $1.8 billion.
While the unicorns we just discussed have achieved great success, it's also important to keep an eye on the soonicorns – the startups that show great potential to become unicorns in the near future. Norway has a number of soonicorns that are making waves and attracting attention in the startup world. This section will present a few notable Norwegian soonicorns to watch out for. If this prompts curiosity about the startup valuation journey, check out our article on it where we explain all these definitions.
Sonitor is a Norwegian soonicorn that specializes in providing ultrasound-based indoor positioning technology. Their focus is on creating solutions for healthcare, industrial, and security sectors by harnessing the real time location system (RTLS). Sonitor’s solutions gather patient and worker data, assuring patient well-being in healthcare settings. Aside from this, the company also works on industry solutions in the form of automation and smart machines.
The company was founded in 1997 by Ole B. Hovind with a vision of increasing worker productivity through technology. Sonitor continues to push the boundaries of indoor positioning, revolutionizing industries and unlocking new possibilities. Their approach and growing customer base position them as a promising soonicorn in the Norwegian startup scene.
Tibber aims to revolutionize the energy industry by providing sustainable solutions for homeowners. They offer a digital platform that allows users to monitor, control, and optimize their energy consumption to reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy costs in real time. By leveraging advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, Tibber creates personalized energy plans that maximize the use of renewable energy sources.
After working in the energy sector for many years, founders Daniel Lindén and Edgeir Vårdal focused on combining technology with sustainability to reshape the way people consume and interact with energy. Tibber has raised $97 million in its most recent series of funding in 2022.
eSmart Systems is a company looking to transform the energy industry through its digital intelligence solutions. Their primary focus is on providing software platforms and services for smart grid management and energy optimization. With their artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics, eSmart Systems helps energy companies to make data-driven decisions with solutions that enable efficient asset management, and predictive maintenance.
Alongside this, eSmart Systems is driving the transition toward a smarter and more sustainable energy ecosystem. Established in 2012, the startup has raised a total of $99 million in funding over five rounds and is in the making to become a soonicorn.
Xeneta specializes in providing market intelligence and data-driven insights for global container shipping. Their platform offers real time and historical data on container shipping rates enabling businesses to make informed decisions and optimize their supply chain strategies. With a vast network of contributors and advanced analytics capabilities, the platform helps companies benchmark their shipping costs, negotiate better contracts, and gain a competitive edge. Founded in 2012 with the vision of providing transparency and actionable market insights, the startup raised $80 million in a series D funding in 2022.
The Norwegian startup scene is a force to be reckoned with. From unicorns that have disrupted industries to soonicorns that show great potential, Norway is home to a diverse and thriving startup ecosystem. The success of Norwegian startups can be attributed to the government's encouraging policies, capital availability, and emphasis on sustainability. The Norwegian startup scene offers a range of opportunities that cater to both technological novelty and sustainability.
You can participate in the revolution that is reshaping the startup landscape by embracing the entrepreneurial spirit and drawing on the creative ideas being developed in Norway. The next unicorn or soonicorn could be just around the corner.