Traditionally famous for gaming startups, Reykjavik is slowly but surely becoming home to a number of exciting and innovative GovTech startups. Keep an eye out for these ten tech startups and join us at the GovTech Summit!
Iceland may not be a big country, and Reykjavik may not have the highest population – just 130,000 citizens – but that hasn’t stopped them from making a mark. The country ranks first in the world in gender equality and Global Peace Index, and its capital hosts a progressive ecosystem with an ever increasing number of startups and investors.
Reykjavik is home to three main accelerators; Startup Reykjavik, Startup Energy Reykjavik and Startup Tourism. Investment in Icelandic startups reached a record £150 million in 2015, according to a report by Northstack. In 2016, lower sums were invested, but the overall number of investments increased.
Iceland is one of the most active startup ecosystems in the continent of Europe and Icelandic tech startups have raised a relatively higher funding per capita than other European countries of late. Yet, with only a handful of local VC funds, seed funding predominantly comes from government grants and “It can be very difficult for startups to get their initial funding”, according to Salóme Guðmundsdóttir, CEO of Startup Reykjavik accelerator. However, Reykjavik’s newest VC fund Crowberry Capital highlights the Nordic nation’s famously progressive society. Crowberry Capital is a Nordic Venture Capital Fund based in the capital and led by three female partners.
Despite tight investment laws and high living costs, the Icelandic capital is home to some truly progressive startups involved in multiple sectors across the GovTech spectrum. Following the financial crisis, tough conditions sparked opportunity and Reykjavik rose above with its ‘global first’ thinking and ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality.
Reykjavik is also well-known for its status as a smart city. Mayor Dagur Bergþóruson Eggertsson has pushed for new solutions and the modernisation of the city’s infrastructure through innovation. Solutions span from car sharing, smart lighting, and air quality sensors, to flow counters, charging stations for EV’s, and smart bus stops. The city is also home to a number of co-working spaces including Minor Coworking, Harbour Square, Hoftdatorg, and Armuli which offer opportunities for the capitals startup community to grow and prosper.
Top 10 GovTech Startups
Reykjavik’s GovTech ecosystem includes startups in the fields of UrbanTech, Healthcare, EdTech, ShipTech and more. Below is a list of companies with significant public sector applications to be watched in 2019.
Top 10 GovTech Startups:
Better Reykjavik is an online platform for the crowdsourcing of solutions to urban challenges launched by the Icelandic Citizens Foundation in May 2010.
Ankeri was founded in 2016 and is a startup focusing on using state of the art technology to transform the maritime business and make energy saving in the merchant fleet possible.
Viska is an AI-powered mobile app that aims to revolutionise employee training with the advent of new technologies and artificial intelligence.
Kara Connect is an all in one business platform for therapists and healthcare professionals. The platform offers therapists an easier way to manage their clinics.
SidekickHealth is a digital therapeutics company that helps people prevent and manage chronic diseases. They combine behavioral economics, gamification and artificial intelligence for an engaging experience that removes barriers to health behavior change.
PayDay is an app which simplifies billing, payroll, claims management and filing of government fees for self-employed individuals and small businesses
LearnCove is an education platform which allows teachers to gain an overview of student progress and allows students to complete personalised activities.
Authenteq was founded in 2015 is an automated identity verification platform. The startup lets users verify their identity and create sovereign digital IDs.
Straeto Bs is a public transport company which operates city buses in the capital. The app offers users the ability to track their journeys, view real time travel data and use mobile payments.
This is part of a series selecting the most exciting tech startups from all over Europe. Every week, we cover new countries – check out other European cities here.