Written by Marija Sinicaite

Denmark’s Badass Startup Scene

Denmark is not only considered as a ‘green energy leader’ by the London School of Economics, it’s also home to a number of startups, housing ‘22% of the scaleups in the Nordics’.

Europe is a homeland for some of the best startups in business, and of the 11 European startups valued at over $1 billion, two of them are Danish, those being Trustpilot and Tradeshift. And of the top fifteen ranking countries in Bloomberg’s 2018 Innovation Index, Denmark ranks as number 8.

“Of the 11 European startups valued at over $1 billion, two of them are Danish.”

In this technology era, vast amounts of innovative ideas have been coming about. Because of the significant growth in the digital technology sector, countries that have the most to offer for the emerging entrepreneurs became hugely spotlighted.

The capital of Denmark has created a unique environment for its tech companies, and are attracting new investments. The city of Copenhagen might soon knock Stockholm from its position as the innovative business leader in the Nordics.

“In the existing big established systems, people are often blind to innovation. They lack the juice of innovation which I think we have in Copenhagen at this very moment.” – Morten Lund, investor, and entrepreneur.

Here are the top 10, you can read the full list here.

#1 Tradeshift

Founded Date: 2009
Funding Investment Stage: $432M
Employee # on LinkedIn: 603
Founders: 
Mikkel Hippe Brun
Christian Lanng
Gert Sylvest

Tradeshift started almost a decade ago, and there is no doubt that it can be called the most successful startup in Denmark. The long lasting experience helped these fellows to come up with a revolutionary product that allows companies to run financial tasks more efficiently. Tradeshift uses cloud-based technology for digitizing and connecting everything that happens between a customer and a retailer.

#2 Vivino

Founded Date: 2010
Funding Investment Stage: $56.3M
Employee # on LinkedIn: 173
Founders: 
Heini Zachariassen
Theis Søndergaard

Almost Amazon but for wine! Vivino is the world’s largest digital wine marketplace powered by a community of 31 million enthusiasts who use the online platform and application to discover and buy wine based on their personal taste and price preferences.

#3 BlackWood Seven

Founded Date: 2013
Funding Investment Stage: $43.2M
Employee # on LinkedIn: 127
Founders: 
Thomas Bertelsen
Carl Erik Kjærsgaard

This end-to-end media planning platform allows advertizers to have full control. Blackwood Seven revolutionises traditional media, implementing Ai in their software that helps advertizers plan, analyze and predict the sales results of both online and offline media channels. Started in Copenhagen 5 years ago, today Blackwood Seven has 4 new offices around the globe.

#4 Pleo

Founded Date: 2015
Funding Investment Stage: $22.3M
Employee # on LinkedIn: 48
Founders: 
Jeppe Rindom
Niccolo Perra 

“No more lost receipts!” – Pleo introduced a smart payment technology that automates expense reports and makes company spendings easier. Pleo offers an unlimited amount of virtual and physical cards with a predefined limit that can be changed with one click. In this way, all of the spendings can be controlled and visible in one accounting system.

#5 Gaest.com

Founded Date: 2015
Funding Investment Stage: $3.7M
Employee # on LinkedIn: 24
Founders: 
Anders Boelskifte Mogensen
Christian Schwarz Lausten
Chris Kjær
Jonas Grau

Need a place for your upcoming workshop, photoshoot, meeting, etc.? Gaest.com it is then! Being the largest digital marketplace for listing and booking various venues and untraditional spaces Gaest.com works as easy as Airbnb. Scroll, choose, click and show up at the booked time!

#6 Botxo

Founded Date: 2016
Funding Investment Stage: DKK2.5M
Employee # on LinkedIn: 20
Founders: 
Henrik Fabrin 
Darío Rodríguez López

A revolution in the interaction between companies, their employees, and customers! Botxo integrated bots, NLP, machine learning and Ai into a chatting software that boosts user experience, enables 24/7 automated customer support, sales and marketing. Sounds pretty futuristic but it seems that Botxo is already one step ahead in this conversational era.

#7 KUBO robot

Founded Date: 2016
Funding Investment Stage: $1.5M
Employee # on LinkedIn: 14
Founders: 
Daniel Lindegaard
Tommy Otzen

In this technology era, coding becomes a significant element for future generations. KUBO offers a learning product for kids as young as four (or even younger), helping them to develop critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity skills while also gaining a fluency in technology. The world’s first puzzle based coding concept teaches kids to write basic code using a unique TagTile® concept. This fantastic classroom solution allows educators to introduce coding in an easy and exciting way!

#8 Airtame

Founded Date: 2014
Funding Investment Stage: $7.6M
Employee # on LinkedIn: 84
Founders: 
Jonas Gyalokay
Brian Kyed

Airtame is the most user-friendly wireless HDMI streaming solution for schools and businesses. It is a wireless device that plugs into the HDMI port of any screen or projector and streams your content to the screen from a computer or mobile device. Unlike other wireless HDMI devices, nothing has to be plugged into your computer or smartphone. The only one step to be made is downloading the Airtame app – that’s it!

#9 Lunar Way

Founded Date: 2015
Funding Investment Stage: $9.6M
Employee # on LinkedIn: 49
Founders: 
Ken Villum Klausen

This startup offers a mobile banking app that allows users to open a banking account, receive a debit card powered by MasterCard, and get a real-time transaction feed of one’s spending, and view these transactions by shopping category. It is also possible to set saving goals and pay bills – what else can millennials ask from a free banking-app?

#10 Tattoodo

Founded Date: 2013
Funding Investment Stage: $15M
Employee # on LinkedIn: 49
Founders: 
Johan Plenge
Mik Thobo-Carlsen

The world’s largest tattoo community having a website and application with more than 30 million monthly ink enthusiasts. Tattoodo brings this industry into the digital age while offering inspiring content, educational articles on the craft, artist recommendations, and even enabling to book consultations with reputable tattoo studios around the world with the click of a button!

Much like fields in Valuer’s machine learning platform, we’ve carefully weighed the above factors to account for electing the coolest startups in Denmark. Take it as a challenge if you are not on a list!

Factors considered:

• Industry sector
• Founding team experience
• Established date
• Growth
• Funding
• Market potential
• Number of employees

If it wasn’t enough,  here is a list of 400+ Danish startups that you should also check.

Since 2010, the startup scene in Denmark has been rapidly expanding and presenting the world with amazing solutions and concepts which aren’t showing signs of slowing down.

The real disruption in Copenhagen is the changing landscape of new businesses and startups that have become an ever-present part of the city.

It’s evident that the Nordic startup scene is strong, and while Stockholm may be the titan, Copenhagen is set to become the leading startup hub in Scandinavia.

So what’s all the hype about?

Highly Educated

Denmark boasts as having the third most high-quality universities in the world, as well as ranking number five in Universitas21’s (U21) report on the overall Ranking of National Higher Education Systems.

Its high rank is attributed to the employability of alumni, as well as the quality of its universities and resources. Its international placing and connectivity promote technological change and economic growth. Denmark also and has among the highest number of scientific papers produced in the world.

Flexible Labour Market

Its flexible labor market is one of the most attractive attributes of Denmark for entrepreneurs. The attitude towards work is well known for producing high morale among employees…no wonder that they’re considered as one of the happiest nations in the world!

With its flat hierarchy, employees and managers are treated alike. It’s not uncommon to see employees with a fair amount of autonomy over their projects, fostering innovation and creativity within these healthy work environments. Denmark also boasts one of the most competitive salaries in the European Union.

Economic Opportunities

There is lots of support offered to entrepreneurs, with free courses offered by the state for entrepreneurs. They are counseled and given advice on their business, as well as offered networking events and tools.

Startup Denmark is a government-wide initiative that provides a gateway for impressive foreign entrepreneurs. Startups have the perfect set up for starting a new business with low tax rates for corporations.

Unique Culture

It seems that the Scandinavian way of life has become trendy around the world. With its minimalistic aesthetic, beautiful architecture, and happy residents, Denmark is a place of envy for many. Ranked as one of the happiest nations in the world, the quality of life in Denmark is why many startups and entrepreneurs thrive.

The country has the third highest number of English speaking residents, excluding the countries where English is the mother tongue. The Danes are a nation of early-adopters, constantly adapting to new technology and implementing it into their daily lives.

Co-Working Opportunities

Home to a number of innovation labs, accelerators, events, and co-working spaces that are a breeding ground for disruptive technology and newly birthed startups.

It’s these opportunities that bring the hefty seed investments and equity funding to Denmark year after year. The grass-roots non-profit organization #CPHFTW is the central player, connecting the community.

Transparent

According to the 2017 Corruption Perception Index, which is based on public sector corruption in accordance with experts and businesspeople in the field, Denmark ranks as number two. While they have ranked two points lower (88/100) than in 2016, Denmark is still noticeably high on the list.

What makes Denmark such a high ranking country on the corruption index? Its high literacy rates that are near to 100%, low inequality rates, high GDP per capita, the openness of the government, freedom of the press, and the transparency mechanisms are just some of the many factors involved.

While it is a great ecosystem, there a few factors holding the country back. Those factors being the limitations for early-stage funding and the deportation of immigrants which held the country back from making it to the top. They took the right actions and even more are believed to come!

The Danish government started offering financial support as well as improving their migration laws to engage and keep international business-minded talents in the country.

Being one of the most liveable cities, Copenhagen’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is said to be the fifth best in the world and a list of these 25 the most badass Danish startups proves it!

 

 


As you can see from this list, Denmark has an advantageous ecosystem for startups to flourish and might even improve in the following years!

The Government attracts international talents by providing access to various programmes and subsidy schemes that include free counseling. Migration laws are becoming more favorable for global entrepreneurs, so more amazing concepts are yet to come!

The unique country’s culture, highly educated population and endless economic opportunities have made Copenhagen a worldwide competitor and flourishing startup hub.

These are the top 25 most badass startups in Denmark today. Hit us up if anyone was missed!

 

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