The Nordic countries best for start-ups

Almost one in ten of the world’s start-ups sold for over USD 1bn – so-called unicorns – come from the Nordic countries.

The Nordic countries; Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, are lush pastures for unicorns, aka start-up companies with a price tag of over US dollar 1 billion, writes referring to an analysis from the Swedish venture capital fund Creandum.

Globally, one in nine start-ups is sold for over US dollar 1 billion. In the Nordic countries, it is one in five.

Nine per cent of the world’s BUSD exits
The analysis shows that since 2005, 9% of global billion US dollar (BUSD) exits have come from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, accounting for only 2% of global GDP and 3% of the population in Europe. This is a remarkably strong number, considering that the rest of Europe accounts for 8% of the world’s unicorns despite having 97% of the population in Europe.

Danish unicorns include Skype, Zendesk, JustEat and Unity. Swedish unicorns include Spotify, King and Mojang. The latter two companies are behind the huge gaming successes Candy Crush and Minecraft, respectively. In September 2014, Microsoft acquired Minecraft for USD 2.5bn.

Denmark is highly attractive for start-ups
According to the analysis, Denmark performs well across sub-indices measuring the business conditions supporting tech start-ups:

# 1 on Best Country to start a company.

# 1 on Corruption perceptions index.

# 2 on Researchers per million people.

# 4 on R&D as percentage of GDP.