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The 12 hottest Nordic fintech startups

Sebastian KlarnaKlarnaKlarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski.

Financial technology, better known as fintech, is absolutely exploding around the world right now, with new businesses springing up doing everything from online lending to handling cryptocurrencies.

London has emerged as a capital of fintech in Europe, with the UK attracting $US5.4 billion (£3.5 billion) of investment in the sector over the last five years compared to $US4.4 billion across the rest of Europe.

But Europe’s Nordic countries — Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, and Finland — also have a flourishing scene. The region is already home to a so-called fintech “unicorns” — startups worth over $US1 billion.

We’ve rounded up the 12 most exciting fintech businesses from the region below.

12. Lendify -- Swedish peer-to-peer lending platform

YouTube/Lendify

Based: Stockholm, Sweden.

Founded: 2014.

Raised: $US3 million (£1.95 million).

What it does: Sweden's first peer-to-peer lending platform, focusing on consumer loans. The company launched to the public in April after a soft launching last September. It recently raised €2 million (£1.43 million, $US2.2 million).

11. Lendino -- Danish peer-to-peer lending platform

Based: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Founded: 2013.

Raised: N/A.

What it does: A Danish marketplace lending platform for institutional and individual investors, with a focus on lending to people or businesses in your local area. Well-known early stage London tech venture capital fund Passion Capital recently invested in the platform, although the amount was not disclosed.

10. Fixura -- Finish peer-to-peer lending platform

YouTube/Fixura

Based: Vasa, Finland.

Founded: 2010.

Raised: N/A.

What it does: A consumer peer-to-peer loans platform. Over €46.3 million (£33.25 million, $US51.2 million) has been lent over the platform to date, with an average annual return of 10.3% including subscription and transaction fees.

9. Holvi -- Finnish business current account with smart accounting tools

Holvi/Screenshot
The Holvi team.

Based: Helsinki, Finland.

Founded: 2011.

Raised: $US2.72 million.

What it does: Holvi offers business current account with built in accountancy tools. Small businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and sole traders can get a real-time view of their company finances, as well as manage expenses and tackle invoices.

8. Coinify -- Danish bitcoin company that lets businesses accept the cryptocurrency

Based: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Founded: 2014.

Raised: N/A.

What it does: Coinify is a bitcoin company that helps merchants accept the cryptocurrency and builds tools to help users pay with bitcoin. The company raised an undisclosed funding round in the 'multi-millions' last September, according to CoinDesk.

7. FundedByMe -- Swedish crowdfunding platform

Screenshot/FundedByMe
An advert for subscription snack service Fikabox, which ran a crowdfunding campaign on FundedByMe.

Based: Stockholm, Sweden.

Founded: 2011.

Raised: N/A.

What it does: FundedByMe is a crowdfunding platform that covers 8 countries including Sweden, Germany, and Singapore. The platform reportedly has 58,000 global users and has raised over $US18 million (£11.6 million) for hundreds of businesses, according to Crowdfund Insider.

6. Safello -- Swedish bitcoin marketplace that's done a deal with Barclays

Safello
The Safello Team.

Based: Stockholm, Sweden.

Founded: 2014.

Raised: $US968,000 (£628,600).

What it does: A bitcoin exchange that allows direct payments from 86 banks across 11 countries. The company recently signed a deal with Barclays to explore how the blockchain, the technology that underpins bitcoin, could be used in traditional finance.

5. BehavioSec -- Swedish biometric security company that works with most Nordic banks

BehavioSec
BehavioSec's co-founder and COO Olov Renberg at Finovate

Based: Luleå, Sweden.

Founded: 2007.

Raised: $US8.2 million (£5.3 million).

What it does: P
rovides a layer of so-called biometric security that lets banks tell who you are just from the way you type, move your mouse, or touch your phone screen. The company is used by most Nordic banks, with millions of customers unknowingly using its technology. It recently launched in the UK.

2. Trustly -- Swedish online payment method

Trustly
A demo shot of how the Trustly button works.

Based: Stockholm, Sweden.

Founded: 2008.

Raised: $US23 million (£14.9 million).

What it does: An online payment method that lets you pay directly from your online bank account with just the click of a few buttons. The company recently expanded to 21 new European countries including the UK.

3. Meniga -- Icelandic company that makes personal finance tools for big banks like ING

Meniga

Based: Reykjavik, Iceland.

Founded: 2009.

Raised: $US6.5 million (£4.2 million).

What it does: Meniga builds personal finance management tools that it sells to banks to then give to its customers. It works with banks including Skandia, ING, and Islandsbanki, reaching 25 million people across 16 countries. The company is poised to announce a similar partnership with a top 10 European bank imminently.

2. iZettle -- Swedish maker of card readers for small businesses

iZettle
iZettle CEO Jacob de Geer.

Based: Stockholm, Sweden.

Founded: 2010.

Raised: $US165.5 million (£107.4 million).

What it does: iZettle build card readers designed for small businesses. The company also recently branched out into lending, based on data from usage of the card readers that can be used to predict future revenues. iZettle is reportedly valued at $US500 million (£325 million), according to the Financial Times.

1. Klarna -- Swedish online payment business

Klarna
Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski.

Based: Stockholm, Sweden.

Founded: 2005.

Raised: $US280 million (£181 million).

What it does: Klarna lets any retailer add the equivalent of Amazon's buy with one click button. A customer can buy an item by inputting just their email and postcode. The buyer then gets an email from Klarna asking them to fill in payment and delivery details. Meanwhile, Klarna has already paid the retailer and will get that money back when the customer coughs up. Klarna is a 'unicorn,' valued $US2.25 billion (£1.4 billion).

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