Swedish Startup Space

Berlin, Seriously?

Written by on February 24

Editor note: Tyler Crowley is the organiser of our ever-popular monthly #sthlmtech meetups – which have featured the likes of Creandum, Northzone, Mag Interactive and Jemima Kiss as guests. The next event will be held on the 4th of March and Tyler will be talking with global VC Accel Partners and Swedish media house Bonnier. Get your tickets to the event here, and don’t wait – they will sell out.

Let’s be clear, and let’s set the record straight. In terms of startup cities, Stockholm is better than Berlin.

What do I mean by “better”.  I simply mean that there are more startups being built that actually matter.

Sure, Berlin may have better discos, and cheaper rent. But let’s be honest here, Berlin doesn’t have 3 possible IPOs this year, or any for that matter. In fact the next IPO to from Berlin when it does happen will likely be the company there started by Swedes from Stockholm.  Go figure.

Now, not being a Swede myself, I don’t have to sit quietly about all the momentum building in Stockholm. As an American, from LA no less, it’s practically my duty to yell loud and clear to anyone who will listen.

When I arrived in Stockholm 18 months ago, I met with lots of really smart folks building impressive startups I’d never heard of back in LA like TrueCaller, Wrapp, Tictail, Magine, and many others. Today those same companies are setting up offices in India, SF, NYC, and spreading across Europe and the building the next generation of IPO worthy startups.

I was also surprised to learn that Minecraft and Ruzzle, 2 of the fastest growing tech startups today are both based in Stockholm along with Spotify, King (Candy Crush), Klarna, and Rebtel.

Stockholm has added 5 new coworking spaces in the past 6 months alone, and it’s unusual for a week to go by without a startup getting funding, in fact there were more than 5 last week alone.

And what’s happening in Berlin this week?  Well, a quick look at the top story right now on Berlin’s respectable startup journal, Venture Village is… “Rocket Internet (the company that has cloned many popular websites including Stockholm’s Wrapp) is hard at work on its next venture – a copy of US-based Homejoy.”

Berlin? Seriously?

It’s time Stockholm earned is rightful place above Berlin in the ranks of global startup cities. This is already starting to happen as several top tech journalists and publications have written lately, and will continue to accelerate as 2014 unfolds.

I’m honored to play a small role in this by hosting the STHLM TECH Meetups each month which continues to bring together the #SthlmTech community in one room to share, inspire, entertain, educate and connect.

By they way, if you’re free March 4th, please join us to welcome one of the top VC firms Accel Partners (facebook, dropbox, etc) to Stockholm, and also chat with Bonnier about their plans for startups. Register at http://www.sthlmtech.com

Now I mean no disrespect to Berlin, which is a truly fantastic city, with fantastic people and many respectable startups, and even some real success stories like Delivery Hero.  All I’m simply saying is.. Stockholm is better.

  • http://yalantis.com/ Ian Chernov

    Thanks for this post, Tyler. I hope that Stockholm ecosystem will grow up with the same speed or even faster it does now.

  • Namn

    Thanks Tyler!

  • 123

    I’d like to take this opportunity and wish everyone in Stockholm best of luck with their “bostadslån”.

    • jamespember

      Haha touche :)

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