Friday, September 30, 2016View this email in your browser


Standout News is a quarterly(ish) newsletter from Standout Capital about tech deals, trends and the latest posts from our blog. New subscribers can subscribe to the newsletter here.

Latest from Standout

Standout invests in the digitalisation of business and society, and we explore this trend and what it means in "Digital Transformation and the Nordic Opportunity"

We are happy to announce that Christine Ahlstrand from Morgan Stanley has joined our team, read her thoughts in "What I'm Bringing from Corporate Finance to the World of Tech Investing"

Yes, we continue to hire! Now recruiting additional members to our Investment Team in Stockholm. Check out open positions at Standout Jobs

Tech deals in the Nordics

Digital transformation in finance: As big banks and other traditional financial institutions face the challenge of new players in FinTech, Swedish bank SEB made a move and invested in financial planning app Tink

Digital transformation of media: Swedish streaming audio book company Storytel acquired Danish competitor Mofibo for SEK 125 million, and more spectacularly bought the traditional publishing house Norstedts for SEK 150 million.

Digital transformation of education: DigiExam, a tool for academic tests, raised a $3.5 million, and Coursio, a SaaS for producing online courses, raised $1.2 million while investors injected SEK 86 million in Norway's Kahoot, gamification of education. Education Technology (EdTech) continue to be a busy area.

There is US appetite for Swedish companies. Buyout fund Thoma Bravo acquired busines intelligence company Qlik in a deal worth $3 billion and General Electric wants to buy additive manufacturing ("3D-printing") company Arcam for almost SEK 6 billion. Meanwhile, Illinois-based LRS acquired Cirrato, an innovative printer network software company in Stockholm. 

Meanwhile Axis, recently acquired by Japan's Canon, bought Cognimatics in a logical deal. Axis is a world leader in network video, while Cognimatics is an innovator in video and image analysis, used for understanding customer movements in retail spaces.

Monitoring consumers' digital behaviour is a big deal, and Finland's Verto Analytics raised $16 million for further expansion in a round led by a group including EQT Ventures, Conor Venture Partners, Open Ocean, Vision+ and Finnish Industry Investment.

In Denmark, Nets started trading as the IPO valued the payment company at $4.5 billion, the second largest listing in Europe so far this year. Nets will continue to focus on the Nordics. 

And finally, digital transformation in funerals: Sweden's Funera offers an online service for funerals and has raised SEK 15 million from Verdane and others. Funera is now one of the top 10 largest funeral providers in Sweden, disrupting an ancient market. 

Technology trends and research

US venture capital firm Kleiner Perkin's legendary analyst Mary Meeker released her equally legendary report on Internet Trends 2016.

Sweden is doing well it seems, and is now officially the most competitive economy in the EU according to IMD World Competitive Rankings and was also ranked one of the EU’s most innovative country in the European Innovation Scoreboard.

Cool digital stats: Instagram now has half a billion monthly active users (MAUs), Snapchat has 150 million global users and 50 million in Europe, Spotify has reached 40 million paying subscribers, Pokémon Go has 55m users, and Finland, with an estimated 3 million smartphone users, consumes about the same amount of data as India’s 220 million smartphone users.

The world is going cord-less. We think it's interesting that in the US, Bluetooth headsets have surpassed conventional headsets, and note that Apple's new iPhone 7 comes with wireless headphones.    

Swedish VC firm Creandum's released its Nordic Tech Exit Report 2016, and finds that the Nordics represented 50% of all billion USD exits between 2005-2015. 

Standout Capital is a private firm investing in Nordic growth companies. The founding partners are Fredrik Arnander, Klas Hillström and Erik Wästlund. We'd love to get in touch with outstanding teams and businesses. Hope you enjoyed our newsletter!

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