Fresh facts and figures on the startups and scaleups ecosystem

Forsider 19

Published by Oslo Business Region, 22 November 2022

2% of the total value creation in the Oslo region comes from startups and scaleups. Value creation in startups and scaleups has almost doubled since 2010. In the Oslo region, startups and scaleups account for NOK 13.2 billion in value creation, shows the report published today by Menon Economics on behalf of Oslo Business Region.

The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of startups and scaleups in the Oslo region and their contribution to value creation and employment. The report builds on a previous study for Oslo Business Region in 2021. The analysis is based on data for Norwegian enterprises with register data from Menon’s historical database of accounting information for Norwegian companies, combined with other sources used to identify innovative companies who either have a potential for growth or have achieved growth.

New jobs

In 2021, the companies employed 15,400 people. In the last 10 years, 1 in 10 jobs has been created in tech startups and scaleups. "For the municipality of Oslo, it is important to follow the development of the total value creation over time. The majority of these jobs have been created in the last decade, illustrating how important these companies are in creating new jobs. Startups alone employ 22 percent more people now than in 2016", says Victoria Marie Evensen (Ap), Vice Mayor for Business Development and Public Ownership in the City of Oslo, the owner of Oslo Business Region.

More scaleups

Compared to last year (2019 figures), this year's report (2021 figures) shows an increase in the number of scaleups and a slight decrease in the number of startups. The number of startups has remained fairly constant over the past five years at around 2,000 companies. In contrast, the number of scaleups has grown by 98% from 2016 to 2021 despite a drop in 2020.

The growth companies also employ more people than before. Since 2019, there has been an increase of 32% - 2,600 new jobs have been created in growth companies in the Oslo region. Since 2015, few companies have managed to maintain their scaleup status according to the criteria that Menon has used in the report. One of the companies that manage it is Gelato.

Oslo and Akershus are on par with Helsinki and the Copenhagen region in the number of growth companies. This is shown by a statistic that Nordic Innovation did with 2020 numbers, which is also mentioned in the Menon and Oslo Business Region report. Oslo and Akershus respectively have 525 growth companies, barely 3.5% below Helsinki with 543 companies. In Copenhagen, there are 564 (7% more than in Oslo and Akershus) and in Stockholm 804 companies (35% more than in Oslo and Akershus).

Key facts/figures

  • In 2021, there were 196 scaleups in the Oslo region, an increase of 8% from 2019. The number of scaleups has grown by 98% from 2016 to 2021 despite a drop in 2020.
  • In 2021, there were 1,886 startups in the Oslo region. The number has fallen by 5% from 2019 to 2021.
  • 275 of the 1,886 startups meet the criteria of being innovative (R&D) and capital intensive.
  • Value creation in startups and scaleups has almost doubled since 2010. In the Oslo region, startups and scaleups account for NOK 13.2 billion in value creation.
  • Startups and scaleups account for 2% of value creation in the Oslo region.
  • 6-8% of the startups were created outside the region and moved to Oslo shortly afterward.
  • In the last 10 years, 1 in 10 jobs has been created in tech startups and scaleups.
  • In 2021, startups and scaleups in the Oslo region employ 15,400 - an increase of 10% from 2019.
  • Startups and scaleups account for 10% of net job growth since 2010.
Evensen Victoria Marie1

The capital crisis

The figures from the report are largely taken from 2021. It, therefore, does not capture the difficult market.

"I know that some companies are having a hard time now and the report does not capture the recent dramatic events either. The companies that were started during Covid are not included here, because the startups must be at least 2 years old. Nevertheless, we see a positive development in Oslo in several areas. As a city and ecosystem, it is important that we continue to build solid environments, attract capital and facilitate international talent and a diverse business community."
- Victoria Marie Evensen (Ap), Vice Mayor for Business Development and Public Ownership in the City of Oslo, the owner of Oslo Business Region.

foto: Sturlason

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