Nordic Tech Shifts Focus – Climate Tech Takes Center Stage Over AI in 2023


  • Nordic tech funding experiences a downturn in 2023, with AI struggling, but climate tech emerges as the savior.
  • Series B and mega-rounds witness a decline, yet the total investment in Nordic startups reaches $10.3bn, with Sweden leading.
  • The surprising rise of climate tech dominates the year, with Harald Mix spearheading three of the six major raises.

In a surprising twist of tech trends, Nordic tech witnessed a shift in their technological landscape in 2023. While the global tech scene grappled with the challenges of raising funds, the Nordics, traditionally known for their prowess in AI, experienced a unique divergence. The keyword “AI” takes a backseat this time, as the Nordic nations, faced with economic headwinds, turned to a different golden ticket—climate tech. This unexpected pivot has reshaped the trajectory of Nordic tech, prompting a closer look at the events that unfolded in this transformative year.

Nordic Tech’s resilience in 2023

In a year marked by funding struggles, the Nordic tech scene demonstrated resilience, with a total investment of $10.3 billion in 2023, despite a significant drop from previous years. Series B and mega-rounds experienced a decline, yet notable players like H2 Green Steel, Northvolt, and Klarna held their ground. Sweden emerged as the leader, securing $6.5 million in startup investments. Yet, Finland faced a stark reduction from $1.9 billion in 2022 to $680 million in 2023.

The year 2023 witnessed an extraordinary surge in climate tech investments, stealing the spotlight from AI. Six out of the ten largest funding rounds, ranging from €75 million to €1.5 billion, were claimed by climate tech startups. The trio of H2 Green Steel, Northvolt, and Aira, all tied to the visionary Harald Mix, a behind-the-scenes figure until now, emerged as key players. As Mix steps into the limelight, anticipation builds around his upcoming climate-focused initiatives.

While climate tech took center stage, Danish biotech startups, including Hemab Therapeutics, NMD Pharma, and IO biotech, silently secured positions among the top ten startup investments in 2023. Novo Holdings, Europe’s most valuable company, invested €200 million annually in early-stage therapeutics startups, showcasing Denmark’s prowess in the health tech realm. Also, Finnish VC Kvanted made a bold move, closing a €70 million fund focused on industrial tech, underscoring the sector’s importance in addressing the climate crisis.

Charting Nordic Tech’s odyssey – Web3 surprises, and giant resilience in 2023

Amid the dominance of climate tech, the most surprising move of 2023 came from Heartcore, introducing a Web3 fund. Contrary to expectations of Web3’s demise, Heartcore’s partner Yacine Ghalim emphasized the necessity of fully engaging in the evolving tech landscape. The move challenges preconceived notions, signaling that Web3 remains a relevant and viable investment avenue.

The Nordic tech narrative would be incomplete without addressing the challenges faced by industry giants. Klarna, despite an annual loss of $1 billion in 2022, managed a remarkable turnaround, reporting its first profitable quarter in four years. On the other hand, EV charging company Easee, once a fast-growing startup, faced a setback with a ban on its best-selling chargers. The ensuing legal battle and employee layoffs raise questions about the company’s future prospects.

As 2023 draws to a close, Nordic tech stands at a crossroads. The unexpected dominance of climate tech over AI prompts reflection on the region’s tech trajectory. What will 2024 bring? Will the startup ecosystem and worker unions find common ground in the face of evolving industry dynamics? As the Swedish model faces challenges, the need for adaptation becomes apparent. The Nordic tech scene, shaped by the choices of 2023, awaits its next chapter with a mix of uncertainty and anticipation. What role will AI play in the unfolding narrative, and can the Nordic tech giants strike a balance between innovation and worker rights? Only time will reveal the answers to these pressing questions.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Aamir Sheikh

Amir is a media, marketing and content professional working in the digital industry. A veteran in content production Amir is now an enthusiastic cryptocurrency proponent, analyst and writer.

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