Home to Klarna — the second most valuable fintech in the world — Stockholm is now a booming hotspot for digital finance startups. The city ranks in the top five hubs in Europe for fintech investment and has an exciting pipeline of newcomers, including neobank Juni, ‘smart economy’ app Anyfin and open banking platform Minna Technologies.
At the same time, Sweden consistently ranks as one of the world’s most sustainable countries, most notably for its use of renewable energy and commitment to green housing and transport.
As the two worlds collide, and sustainability initiatives and benchmarks sweep the fintech sector, Sweden is poised to make real change. So who are the disruptors to watch? Here are five green fintechs leading Sweden’s environmental revolution.
Last month, climate impact startup Doconomy announced a $17m round, making it Europe’s largest ever climate fintech round.
Founded in Sweden in 2018, the startup’s services include measuring CO2 and H2O impact for businesses.
“Most people and companies understand that we need to act on the climate crisis but there is a giant gap in understanding your impact, reducing it consistently over time and measuring the effects,” says Mathias Wikström, CEO and cofounder of Doconomy.
Since innovation has, to some extent, caused the acceleration of climate change, innovation will be crucial in finding the solution.
Johan Pihl, Doconomy’s chief innovation officer and cofounder, says Doconomy’s user base today reaches 360m users in 19 countries, through partnerships with Klarna, the Nordic bank Nordea and global banks like Standard Chartered. He says nudging small changes of behaviour in everyday actions has a powerful impact.
“Since innovation has, to some extent, caused the acceleration of climate change, innovation will be crucial in finding the solution,” says Phil. “At Doconomy we’re undeniable optimists and believe that with the right tools we can achieve a fast and effective shift towards a more sustainable future together.”
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A lot of companies are skating on thin, and melting, ice when it comes to climate change regulation. But often they have the data to help — they just don’t use it.
Enter Datia, a Stockholm-based data platform for sustainable finance. Founded in 2019, the startup works with investors and companies to automate their sustainability data and crunch the numbers into something tangible they can turn into goals.
“The exponential increase of demand from both customers and regulators is creating a need for a new suite of tools for investors,” a Datia spokesperson told Sifted. “We help investors to both comply with regulations and increase their positive impact.”
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are playing an increasing role in decisions around mergers and acquisitions, and €1.1tn was invested in European funds with an ESG tilt in 2020. This presents a golden opportunity for startups that make measuring ESG easy for businesses.
The exponential increase of demand from both customers and regulators is creating a need for a new suite of tools for investors.
In today’s world there are investments, and then there are sustainable investments. Swedish startup Trine wants a future where there are good, sustainable investments and evil investments — and nothing in between.
The company enables its customers to invest in solar energy in developing markets such as South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Rwanda.
“In a time where big banks are still funding fossil fuel projects and action firmly needs to be taken to limit global warming, the financial system needs to work as a catalyst for change and move capital to sustainable operations only,” says Sam Manaberi, Trine’s CEO and cofounder. “Trine makes it easy for individuals and companies to invest in solar energy in emerging markets.”
The financial system needs to work as a catalyst for change and move capital to sustainable operations only.
Trine says it has invested almost €60m in clean energy so far, including projects like its 2016 Christmas present campaign, where people could purchase solar power vouchers as gifts.
Keeping the Earth’s temperature down over the next few decades depends on measuring and limiting our emissions.
To keep track of them, Swedish startup Normative says it’s “the world’s first carbon accounting engine”, helping businesses calculate their carbon emissions — including indirect emissions from supply chains.
“Normative makes it easier for businesses to get to net zero,” says Kristian Rönn, Normative’s CEO and cofounder. “Our carbon accounting engine puts you in control of your CO2 emissions, highlights your emission hotspots, and suggests initiatives to eliminate them.”
This month, the startup announced investments of €10m from some of Europe’s largest climate funds.
Green Assets Wallet
Another data-led startup, Green Assets Wallet is an independent platform for financial impact, and hosts the impact data of over 200 labelled bond issuers such as energy providers, real estate companies and financial institutions.
It started off as an innovation project under Stockholm Green Digital Finance (SGDF), an initiative that aimed to accelerate green finance and investment in Sweden, but it decided to spin out on its own in 2020 after lots of investor interest.
The fintech took part in Mastercard's Lighthouse open innovation programme, and has recently been chosen to be part of the Bonfire accelerator, a joint programme run by PwC and Findec, a hub that aims to boost Sweden’s fintech ecosystem and took over SGDF last year.
“Findec’s mission is to foster collaboration in the fintech sector and support its members,” says Mats Holmfeldt, Findec’s chairman and founder. “Taking the lead of SGDF made perfect sense since there has been a growing number of fintechs in the green space in Sweden.”
What will the next green fintech be?
Want to learn more about the startups turning the fintech sector green, and how Swedish and UK fintechs are leading the charge?
Act for Impact days are a series of digital and physical events, held by Business Sweden from June through to December. Each event will focus on a specific technology theme, from green finance to mobility innovation.
Learn more about Act for Impact here, and stay tuned for more information about the next event.