Follow the Data

A data driven blog

Big data companies in Sweden

Edit in Feb 2015

A lot of people are still visiting this page. Bear in mind that it was written about four years ago, in 2011, and is unlikely to give a good overview of data-driven companies in Sweden today. Thank you for your cooperation. I may try to update it in some form at some point.

Alphabetically ordered list (see below for context & edit history)

AdAction – ad optimization – Stockholm

alaTest – product review comparisons – Stockholm

Augify – Real-time information capture, interpretation and visualization (or something like that) – Stockholm

Big Data AB – big data consultancy – Stockholm

Brummer – hedge fund – Stockholm

Burt – ad optimization – Gothenburg

Campanja – Online advertising – Stockholm

Experlytics – health analytics – Malmö

ExpertMaker – search, recommendation and discovery – Malmö

Gavagai – text analysis – Stockholm

Intellus – business intelligence – Stockholm

Keybroker – ad optimization – Stockholm

King.com – online gaming – Stockholm

Klarna – online payment services – Stockholm

Markify – trademark search – Stockholm

NeoTechnology – graph database development – Malmö (?)

Recorded Future – temporal analytics – Gothenburg

Saplo – text analysis – Malmö

Spotify – music streaming service – Stockholm (HQ), Gothenburg

Svensk lånemarknad – Helps customers find the best loans – Stockholm

Tailsweep – market communication – Stockholm

Tink – Stockholm

Tripbirds – “social hotel booking” – Stockholm

***

When I was at the Strata conference earlier this spring, I noticed there were very few European participants. While the US and Silicon Valley in particular seemed to be going nuts over “big data” and analytics, I haven’t seen much buzz in Sweden (where I currently live) or in Europe as a whole. This question thread on Quora seems to confirm that there really aren’t that many European big data companies. If there are few in Europe, there should be essentially none in little Sweden. So I thought it would be fun to round up the Swedish big data-related companies that I’m aware of.

I know as well as anyone that the term “big data” is not well defined and that I have inevitably missed many companies (false negative) and perhaps included some that don’t consider themselves big data companies (false positives, at least from their point of view!). I’d be very happy to get feedback from companies either way. By the way, there is a nice discussion (also on Quora) about what the big data space looks like as a whole, mostly from a US perspective. But back to Sweden!

Recorded Future, which I’ve blogged about repeatedly and which has also been covered in Wired (in a rather hyperbolic way, one might add), has development offices in Gothenburg. Its founder Christopher Ahlberg previously created the useful analytics/visualization package Spotfire, which has since been sold to Tibco.

Spotfire sounds a bit like Spotify, which is of course a very popular music streaming service that has taken at least Sweden (and soon the world?) by storm. I know I have moved maybe 80% of my music listening time into Spotify. Like the “old” music recommendation/social network service last.fm, Spotify has a lot of interesting data that could be mined in various ways. They are currently looking for people who know things like Hadoop and Python.

Klarna was covered in a recent Economist article about data-driven finance. It seems to be an interesting company that tries to do everything in Erlang, a functional programming language first developed at Ericsson. Klarna allows customers to shop online by typing their date of birth, name and address – they don’t actually pay until they have received the goods. This is made possible by combining and analyzing data that goes way beyond conventional credit scores.

There are a couple of ad optimization companies (surprise surprise) that hire big data experts. I’ve already blogged about one of them, Burt. Apparently, last fall they were looking for a “big data wizard” to work with Hadoop, Pig, HBase etc. AdAction were recently looking for Hadoop programmers. Keybroker have announced positions for people who know Hadoop, EC2 and Ruby on Rails.

I’m sure that many hedge funds and other financial companies use a lot of big data methods. I’ve heard that some hedge funds within Brummer work extensively with machine learning.

The only real tech company in this roundup is NeoTechnology, the creators of the graph database Neo4j. There was quite a buzz around this graph engine/noSQL database at the Strata conference.

There are also a couple of really interesting natural language processing oriented companies (perhaps Recorded Future could also have fitted into this slot): Saplo, which offers a text analysis API with functionality for things like entity tagging, sentiment analysis, similarity search and context recognition. And Gavagai, a Stockholm-based company, doesn’t offer much information on their web page except for saying that they “… develop and employ automated and scalable methods for retrieving actionable intelligence from dynamic data.” Having met the founders through work a long time ago, I bet they are doing something really cool, though.

Again, I’d be happy to get more suggestions! Any other Swedish big data companies out there?

Update 2011-04-08 Per Mellqvist suggested the addition of Tailsweep, a marketing communication company that describes itself as a “leading media channel in blogs and social media”. According to Per, they have been Hadoop users for a while already. Apparently the name Tailsweep comes from the notion of wanting to “sweep” the long tail of social media.

Update 2012-01-15 Benoit Fallenius suggested the addition of Markify, a “name-screening tool” which identifies registered trademarks that look or sound similar to a given query (like a name you are considering for your new company). They use an algorithm which is trained on actual case literature of disputed trademark claims.

I also found a company called alaTest, which compiles and analyzes product reviews to help customers select the most suitable product for them. In their own words, they do  “statistical analysis of review data, statistical matching between products and reviews, natural language processing, data mining and opinion mining. All built on a scalable infrastructure using open source software and modern web technologies like Tornado, Solr and REST.”

Also, Intellus seems to be some sort of business intelligence company, which I mention here because they have an advert out for a master’s thesis project ” […] in the bleeding edge technology of machine learning and distributed big data analysis.”

Update 2012-05-19 Based on our latest podcast episode, we should add King.com (online gaming) and Big Data AB (consultancy).

Update 2012-06-13 Augify is a Stockholm-based startup that aims to “capture, index and store large amounts of fast-changing data in real time”, “tell stories using data visualization and interactive infographics”, etc.

Update 2012-09-06

Tink seems to be in stealth mode, “looking to expand [their] team with brilliant backend developers/data scientists” as of 2012-09

Campanja – online advertising, use a lot of AI and Erlang

Svensk lånemarknad – helps customers find the best loans, looking for predictive analyst as of 2012-09

Update 2012-09-09

Tripbirds – “social hotel booking”

Update 2013-08-26

Experlytics – electronic data capture and prediction for medicine

ExpertMaker – AI based search, recommendation and discovery

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14 thoughts on “Big data companies in Sweden

  1. Petter Holme on said:

    Swedish research funders gear up as well . . a SEK 10^8 call for big data stuff: http://bit.ly/hytUSc

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  3. bea de leo on said:

    thank you for that info! additional information regarding gavagai and its activities would be useful.

  4. Nice to be on the list 🙂
    I agree that the BigData hype of Silicon Valley is not here yet, but I have a sense it may be starting in 2011. If you want to add more Swedish companies I think Tailsweep are Hadoop-users since a _relatively_ long time.
    As far as Adaction we’ve been running a production Hadoop cluster for about a year. Partly to do new types of analysis and optimizations on ad-targeting, and partly to refactor more traditional reporting from the current MySQL solution. Oh, and we’re right now (until April 10) running a BigData related contest to win an iPad on our website. More contestants welcome!

  5. Mikael Huss on said:

    Per, thanks a lot for your comments. The big data related contest mentioned is here: http://www.adaction.se/join-us/vinn-en-i-pad-2/1351629-ipad-contest although time is running out already. I’ll add a link to Tailsweep, which I hadn’t heard about.

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  8. Maybe time for a follow up, Mikael Huss?

    At Markify http://www.markify.com/main.html we are today running the world’s most accurate comprehensive trademark search.

  9. Mikael Huss on said:

    Done! (better late than never) Thanks for the heads-up!

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  12. Hi,

    Aitellu is one of the BIG DATA companies in sweden that´s working with insight analytics.

    Go to our website to learn more.

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