Silicon Valley is usually known as the startup capital of the planet. that will’s where entrepreneurs go to raise money, develop their tech platforms, along with find investors.
yet one city known for the maritime industry is usually emerging among the fast-growing tech scenes outside the U.S.
Oslo, Norway’s capital city, experienced a 0% uptick in startup investments inside the past year, according to Oslo’s 2017 State of the City report. that will’s the second biggest jump inside the Nordic region behind Sweden, up 171%.
“There’s a booming startup scene in Oslo,” said Tellef Thorleifsson, a founding partner of the Norwegian VC Northzone. “yet that will’s still inside the early stages.”
Norway is usually the eighth wealthiest nation inside the planet due in part to its biggest export: oil. that will was recently ranked as the happiest country on Earth by the United Nations 2017 World Happiness Report. The country’s sovereign wealth fund just topped $1 trillion dollars last month.
yet in recent years, Norway has had to compete with lower oil prices inside the Middle East along with Venezuela.
today, its leaders are looking to eco-friendly tech as the next big money maker — a natural evolution for the country, which has long been committed to sustainability. that will’s currently one of the only countries to have a tax on carbon emissions, along with the government offers a 25% subsidy for fuel efficient vehicles.
Related: Where are the planet’s happiest countries?
“If you’re gonna solve the planet’s biggest issues today, you genuinely need technology along with innovation,” Crown Princess of Norway Mette-Marit told sy88pgw.
Crown Prince Haakon along with Crown Princess Mette-Marit are encouraging more entrepreneurs to take advantage of investors interested in funding socially minded startups.
Last year, there were 78 investments in Norwegian tech companies — totaling $100 million, according to the 2017 State of the City report. About 15% of tech investments inside the country were focused on sustainability, the highest among all the Nordic countries, research firm Nordic Web finds.
some other northern European cities such as Denmark along with Helsinki have some cache for producing successful tech startups like Spotify along with Rovio, maker of Angry Birds.
“The quality of the entrepreneurs we see [inside the country] today compared to 10 years ago is usually a lot higher, ” said Thorleifsson of Norwegian VC Northzone.
Thorleifsson was an early investor in Spotify along with incorporates a diverse portfolio of digital tech companies — the majority of which are through Scandinavia. Northzone is usually an investor inside the Norwegian company Kahoot!, a game-based learning platform primarily used in schools. that will boasts 50 million monthly unique users.
“There’s a lot of capital in Oslo along having a lot of money going into tech,” said Kahoot! CEO Erik Harrell. “I think those elements helped make Oslo a not bad place to start companies.”
While most of Kahoot!’s users are inside the U.S., 85% of their funding is usually through Scandinavia.
“We found getting funding in Europe was fairly easy,” said Harrell. “The Nordic venture capital community is usually fairly tiny so getting access to [VCs] wasn’t that will difficult.”
While Norway’s startup scene incorporates a lot of momentum, the country has only produced one unicorn: the blockchain platform, IOTA. Blockchain is usually a data base for cryptocurrency, which is usually not regulated by a central governing body along with is usually used heavily in developing countries.
This kind of year alone, Silicon Valley added 44 unicorns. A unicorn is usually a startup valued at over $1 billion.
yet since 2014, Silicon Valley’s share of global unicorns has decreased by almost 50%, according to Northzone’s analysis of data published inside the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, the number of unicorns in Asia along with Europe has grown significantly — up 400% along with 700%, respectively — in just three years.
Related: 10 best cities to launch a startup
Martine Kveim of CHOOOSE, a Norwegian-based climate change platform, sees that will as an advantage.
“[Norway] is usually still much less mature compared to many some other parts of the planet, which opens up great opportunities for attentive investors,” said Kveim.
One of those investors was Nordic Impact, a VC firm that will invests solely in companies with sustainability-focused business types. that will was an early investor inside the nearly year-old startup CHOOOSE, which focuses on eliminating the carbon footprint of big businesses.
The company works with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change along with the EU Emissions Trading System to sell carbon emission quotas to the average person along with socially-conscious companies. The process of purchasing carbon quotas is usually typically reserved for big corporations having a large carbon footprint. The move makes the carbon quotas less available for big polluters.
Related: How Norway is usually changing the way we drink coffee
“[We’ve had investor interest] because we’ve found a not bad way to connect idealism with green capitalism,” said Kveim. “Our experience is usually that will impact investing opportunities attracts people that will have a lot more to offer than funding.”
Anders Lier, the chairman of of Nordic Impact, believes there is usually more money to be made through companies focused on sustainability.
“[Young people] want to buy not bad products that will are not bad for the planet, along with they’re willing to pay premium prices for that will,” Lier said.
As startups continue to grow along with look for funding, some are attracting attention through outside the country, too.
“Many investors we’re [talking to] today are coming through outside of Norway,” said Kveim of CHOOOSE. “The vision along with mission of the company seems to have no borders.”
sy88pgw (completely new York) First published November 6, 2017: 8:40 AM ET