May 13, 2024

The 10 fastest-growing startups in the Nordics

Climate tech dominates the list of fastest-growing teams in the region in 2024

Mimi Billing

6 min read

1X's android EVE and the CEO Bernt Øivind Børnich

The Nordics has developed a reputation as a European impact hub in recent years — where both large battery factories and smaller, fast-growing startups can flourish.

The region had a record quarter for funding — once you include debt — in Q1, securing a whopping €13.2bn from 277 deals according to Sifted data.

The number of megarounds in Q1 (9) beat the entirety of 2023 (6) in just one quarter, headlined by mammoth fundraises from Swedish unicorns Northvolt (€5bn) and H2 Green Steel (€4.75bn). Subsequently, 79.6% of the €13.2bn invested flowed to late-stage companies.


Climate tech continues to attract the most interest from investors, recording 85 funding rounds,  followed by B2B SaaS (71) and healthtech (41). Deeptech underperformed with only 10 rounds.

This follows VC investment across the region standing firm much better than many of Europe’s other tech ecosystems in 2023, only falling 24.8%. UK, German and French funding — its main competition — fell by 30.8%, 35.5% and 41.5% respectively. 

The influx of US capital (as a percentage of the investment received by country of origin) dropped from 20.5% to 8.8% between 2022 and 2023. Capital originating from the Nordic region itself rose from 29.6% to 38.3% — a record high for self-sufficiency according to Dealroom data dating back to 2010.

As a result, many Nordic startups have also been on a hiring spree in the last year. Swedish heat pump startup Aira, founded by serial entrepreneur Harald Mix, already has more than 400 employees despite launching less than two years ago.

Sifted has compiled a list of the 10 fastest-growing Nordic startup teams by headcount over the last 12 months, using data from Dealroom. The majority of them are climate tech companies — with only two fintechs (once the region’s big strength) making the cut.

To avoid results being skewed by early-stage startups making disproportionately many hires in their first year, businesses need to have raised at least $30m and have at least 50 employees to be considered. Total funding and headcount figures are taken from Dealroom.


Aira, which supplies heat pumps and home energy tech to consumers, is the second-youngest member of the high-profile group of climate tech companies Mix has founded. His portfolio includes other prominent companies like Northvolt and H2 Green Steel (which is also on this list).

Earlier this year Aira raised a €58m Series B extension, bringing the total of its Series B to €145m — a significant sum given the startup is just over a year old. In addition to Mix’s investment company Vargas, Aira is also backed by Singapore’s Temasek.

HQ: Stockholm, Sweden

Founded: 2022

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: +300% to 986 employees

Total funding: $182m


FlatPay is a Danish point of sale (POS) solution for SMEs that are owner-managed, like restaurants and cafes as well as independent or family-owned shops. In 2023 it was featured on Sifted’s list of payments startups to watch and last month Flatpay raised a €45m Series B from UK-based Dawn Capital and Danish early-stage investor Seed Capital.

FlatPay has been scaling its payment offering in Denmark and Finland, and making initial inroads in Germany.


HQ: Herlev, Denmark

Founded: 2022

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 174% to 129 employees

Total funding: $67.4m

1X Technologies

Robotics startup 1X, previously known as Halodi Robotics, was founded in 2014 and its first-generation android, named EVE, has been around for the past four years. Its new human-sized “butler” android NEO, weighs only 30kg, has a soft layer over its core of aluminium and has two legs instead of wheels.

The company added OpenAI and Tiger Global to its shareholders for its Series A last year and raised a $100m Series B led by EQT Ventures in January. The capital was raised to ramp up production and support the launch of its new android later this year.

HQ: Moss, Norway

Founded: 2014

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 113% to 194 employees

Total funding: $136m


Pet insurance caught VCs’ attention in 2021. Since then the sector has cooled off slightly but for Lassie — a Swedish preventative health insurance for pets — growth remains on the agenda.

In late 2023, Lassie raised a €23m funding round led by UK-based Balderton Capital with Nordic early-stage VC Inventure participating. The startup has recently focused on international expansion in Europe and leveraged generative AI to grow its community.

HQ: Stockholm, Sweden

Founded: 2020

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 100% to 58 employees

Total funding: $40m


Hystar is a deeptech startup that has developed a system for producing green hydrogen through its patented electrolysers — a technology where water is split into hydrogen and oxygen to produce hydrogen.

The company has raised capital from VCs such as UK-based AP Ventures and SINTEF Ventures as well as Japanese corporate actors such as Mitsubishi and Nippon Steel.

HQ: Bærum, Norway

Founded: 2021

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 86% to 67 employees

Total funding: $32m


Norwegian EV charging and infrastructure startup Wattif is the leading charging operator in the Nordics and operates over 26k charging points. The company raised €50m at the beginning of 2023 to expand across Europe. One of its backers is Luxembourg-based Marguerite focused on infrastructure startups.

The plan is to build more than 120k new charging stations for electric cars in Europe. In 2023 it launched in the UK.

HQ: Bergen, Norway

Founded: 2020

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 84% to 79 employees

Total funding: $70m


Danish startup Agreena incentivises farmers to adopt regenerative farming practices to limit carbon emissions. A growing issue, the European Environment Agency estimates agriculture contributes to 30% of global carbon emissions. Agreena has developed a platform through which farmers can earn carbon credits for turning their land into carbon sinks — naturally removing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it.

The company is one of Europe’s best-funded agritech companies, having raised a $50m Series B round last year from Giant Ventures, HV Capital, AENU and Swedish investment vehicle Kinnevik.

HQ: Copenhagen, Denmark

Founded: 2018

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: +100% to 260 employees

Total funding: $81m


Monta is tackling a big challenge for the EV industry: the need for reliable and accessible charging infrastructure. Its operating platform is designed to provide an integrated solution for EV drivers, companies, cities and the electricity grid. It plans to offer a range of support, from helping drivers manage their charging points to assisting businesses with fleet management.

The company was highlighted in Sifted’s list of Nordic companies to watch last year. It has also been backed by several VCs including Swedish climate tech VC Pale Blue Dot, Creandum and Danish early-stage VC byFounders.

HQ: Copenhagen, Denmark

Founded: 2020

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 70% to 307 employees

Total funding: $143m


Biotech startup MinervaX is developing a vaccine against Group B Streptococcus, a bacteria that is a leading cause of life-threatening infections in newborns and stillbirths.

The company is one of the early-stage investments of Novo Nordisk’s parent company, Novo Holdings. Last year, it raised a €54m funding round from EQT Life Sciences and OrbiMed with participation from existing investors.

HQ: Hellerup, Denmark

Founded: 2010

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 61% to 50 employees

Total funding: $176m

H2 Green Steel

H2 Green Steel is another one of Harald Mix’s bets and is playing in a different capital league compared to the other companies on this list. The four-year-old company, which is building a hydrogen-powered steel plant in northern Sweden, raised €6.5bn in debt and equity earlier this year.

In 2023, it announced a €1.5bn equity raise — the largest round in Europe that year. Investors include Al Gore’s Just Climate Fund, GIC and Temasek.

HQ: Stockholm, Sweden

Founded: 2020

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 58% to 247 employees

Total funding: $2.6bn in equity

Correction: Agreena's and Aira's headcount numbers have been updated since the article was originally published. 

Mimi Billing

Mimi Billing is Sifted's Europe editor. She covers the Nordics and healthtech, and can be found on X and LinkedIn