Oslo’s 10 hottest startups 2012

Wired magazine - Europe's hottest startupsIn the September version of Wired there is a 36-page supplement showcasing 10 startups from 10 hot startup cities in Europe. It is great to see both Helsinki and Stockholm on the list among huge cities like London, Barcelona, Berlin and Istanbul.

Oslo unfortunately did not make the selection of cities. No wonder really as there is little startup news even in our own local press. And as it makes little sense for a startup to make much fuzz about being Norwegian, they are often mistaken for being American. We are working on making them more visible and to show that things aren’t totally dead in Oslo we made this list of 10 hot ambitious, non-copycat startups from Oslo!

1/ WeVideo
Spun out of Inspera spin-off Creaza WeVideo is a collaborative online video editor in the Cloud. They took a $19.1M investment from Crest Capital Ventures in April 2012 and have been promoted heavily by Google for the Google Drive launch.

2/ ProxDynamics
From stunning 1-gram ornithopters to straight-out-of-a-science-fiction-movie video-capable helicopters Prox Dynamics are leaders in making remote controllable micro air vehicles. With a focus on military operations you will probably not have these floating around your desk anytime soon.

3/ Stay.com
Plan your trips with the social trip planner stay.com. With the ability to download your plans to your phone, including maps, you avoid wasting money on roaming charges. Founded by the online travel veteran Joachim Paasche.

4/ cXense
Launched by the former CEO of FAST Search and Transfer, which was sold to Microsoft in 2008, cXense develops context aware solutions in advertising, search and analysis. With many of the largest publishers in Europe and Asia on-board they are hard at work to impact the huge online advertising market.

5/ bMenu / bMobilized
bMobilized is strictly speaking a NYC based company, but it was developed and is owned by Oslo based bMenu. The company allows site owners to create a mobile friendly HTML5 version of their existing site in a few clicks. Raised $1.5M in May 2012 from Alliance Venture and Investinor.

6/ ForgeRock
The nordic countries has several success in creating businesses around open source. With a $7M investment from Accel ForgeRock is well equipped to take on the increasingly complex and important market of identity management.

7/ Soundrop
As one of the first apps for Spotify soundrop has moved to become a leader in music discovery for the platform. Branded listening rooms hosts new albums launches and warm-ups for festivals and tours. Soundrop got a $3M investment from Northzone in June 2012.

8/ CFEngine
Server configuration management solution for large installations. Customers include Ebay, Cisco, MIT and Paypal. Received a $5M investment from Ferd Capital April 2011.

9/ WeWantToKnow / DragonBox
When DragonBox had it’s pre-launch in Norway it quickly went past Angry Birds to become the most purchased app in the itunes App Store. Wired’s own GeekDad wrote DragonBox is making me reconsider all the times I’ve called an educational app “innovative.”.

10/ Artplant
With the addition of former Funcom employees Artplant has secured 3 top tier licenses for games the last years. Battlestar Gallactica, Game of Thrones and G.I. Joe all allow Artplant to get games in front of millions of gamers. As they are expanding their capabilities we are sure we will see many high quality games emerging from their studio.

This was our list based on a quick brainstorming. We focused on the digital ones, so no oil, shipping, biotech or health related businesses. Any obvious candidates we should have included?

13 Replies to “Oslo’s 10 hottest startups 2012”

  1. You forgot TrustNorway! The first neutral TSM in the Nordics, enabling NFC payments and other applications through the user’s phone!

    TrustNorway have got Series A funding from a private equity firm, and have gathered some of the most experienced players within the field of NFC, in addition to youngster who provide the fresh spirit!

  2. Pingback: Quora
  3. Yeah.. what constitutes as a startup is a hard question. I usually look to the culture as I have worked in what I consider a 6-year old startup myself. So age is not a criteria for me.

    Both stay.com and CFEngine are mature companies, but they are still working to find their place in growing industries. Anyone got a good criteria for what to call a startup? Will check quora.

  4. Not neccessarily sure these companies indeed are the “hottest” startups in Oslo, however you guys deserves praise for making a list like this. Totally agree on the fact that news about Norwegian startups is missing in many Norwegian media outlets, but hopefully it will become better in days to come.

  5. Lars: That is why I made the disclaimer that this was based on a short brainstorming. We don’t have a total overview or 5 researchers to go through the companies to check their long term goals. But when you comment like that you have to come up with some alternatives: Who is missing ?

  6. I’m completely biased, of course, being one of the founders, but Videxio is pretty exciting. A cloud video conference service provider. Only a year old, but with a global network and distribution across Europe and beyond.

  7. It’s sure nice to see this kind of lists, and even nicer to be featured in it!

    Not sure about “hot”, but when it comes to “startup”, pretty sure we deserve it: we’re finally having offices! We’re moving to Forskningsparken today!

    No more sofa coding – during day time 😉

  8. Videxio is indeed an exciting company. Heard your CEO talk at a Silicon Vikings event.

    Jerome: Congrats on moving to a physical space 🙂

    Jens Måge: Wired focuses on digital companies so we did the same. But we are in general interested in most tech business.

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