From IKEA to ABBA: Sweden’s Biggest Exports

The most well-known Swedish company that has made it abroad is IKEA, the giant furniture company that revolutionized the DIY industry. Right behind it, Spotify - the music giant that put Apple to shame - made its debut. Created by a 23-year old from Stockholm, the Silicon Valley veteran admitted that this kid had the right idea all along. Just Eat, the company that delivers the food you crave right to your doorstep, is also a Swedish creation and it has expanded across Europe quickly. Let’s not forget Skype, which was a Swedish invention and was bought by e-Bay only two years after its launch. Are these indicators that Sweden is the capital of smart investment, opportunity and innovation?

On a per capita basis, Sweden is the second biggest tech hub in the world, just behind the US’s Silicon Valley, producing 6.3 billion-dollar companies per million people. It comes as no surprise that their technological genius is quickly expanding across global markets and London is one of the first stops to make it big elsewhere. With Sweden’s creativity and ease for innovation, and London’s central location and important international connections, the bond is just an obvious result.

Foreign Funding for Local Ideas

With outside help, such as that of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in the United Kingdom, which promotes commercial and industrial relations between companies and individuals between both nations, Swedish businesses are making a jump to the British capital to launch their newest products. Whether it’s a tech startup, a fashion design industry shop or a mobile phone app, they are using London as a base. Sweden has been a great exporter since its beginning: Volvo, Saab, Ericsson, Skype, Candy Crush, Sqore, IKEA, H&M, Electrolux, even ABBA.

Funding has only recently entered Swedish territory in the past few years, even though  the country has been creating and innovating for the past two centuries. Although investors are now physically going to Stockholm and other cities to invest, startuppers are also leaving the country to find funding elsewhere. Conferences and events such as TechCrunch Disrupt London are the perfect place for Swedish startups to expose their projects in front of possible future consumers but, more importantly, possible investors. The link between both countries is beneficial for both, and both nations are being smart in the way they use each other to push Swedish tech on an international market.