Thanks to Klarna, Spotify, Rebtel, and King.com, among others, Stockholm has a longer history of tech successes and more big-dollar exits than its German rival. For instance, the Nordic region as a whole — which still represents a much smaller population than Germany — accounted for about 6.5 percent of the world’s billion-dollar exits from 2005 to 2012, according to statistics provided by Stockholm-based venture capital firm Creandum. Europe — excluding the Nordics — represented 12 percent. And of the billion-dollar private companies listed in Business Insider’s Digital 100, 13 percent are from the Nordics, while Europe without the northern region represents only 8 percent.
“The Nordics are definitely delivering a disproportionate amount of large companies, especially considering that much less capital is invested in the region and of course that the region is much smaller,” says Creandum’s Daniel Blomquist.
One might argue the Nordic countries are winning the battle of sexy too. While Germany is mostly known for knock-offs, Finland has Angry Birds, and Sweden has Spotify. Those are two of the hottest companies in any country in recent years. And in terms of impact, the Nordic development of crucial parts of the open source stack enabled this entire generation of Web companies.
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