(Photo: Nick Night)
Looking for green transport solutions and world-class recycling systems? You have come to the right place. During the last few years, urban development in Oslo has seen steady growth, with a range of new companies emerging across the field. Since 2016, investments in urban development startups and scaleups have increased from EUR 12 million to EUR 58 million in 2021, making it one of the fastest-growing innovative tech fields in town.
Solar power and waste management
Oslo is a city with a range of green solutions, and was awarded the prestigious European Green Capital title for 2019. The Norwegian capital is leading the market when it comes to clean transport systems, and is in fact the city with the highest proportion of Electric Vehicles in the world! The city of Oslo is also working towards a “car-free city”, having removed hundreds of parking spots in the city centre since 2016, while facilitating for green mobility instead - with pedestrian streets, bike lanes, subsidizing of electric bikes, delivery of goods with cargo bikes and more.
Furthermore, Oslo was one of the first cities in Europe to start working towards a circular economy. Recycling plastic bottles is a huge part of Norwegian culture, and Norwegian TOMRA has a market share of impressing 70 percent within deposit machines in Norway. In Oslo, most municipalities jointly own inter-municipal public companies that ensure efficient waste management, and there are several re-use stands and kiosks as well as apps available, giving citizens the opportunity to swap furniture, books and other objects.
There are a range of different mobility companies in Oslo, and many of them are attracting investors in Norway and beyond. For example Xeneta, a company within benchmarking and analysis of freight rated within shipping and aviation, raised more than EUR 46 million in fundraising rounds during 2021. As part of this development, StartupLab Mobility have, together with The Institute of Transport Economics, recently established Mobility Test Arena Oslo - an initiative to secure pioneering new solutions in the mobility field, as well as stimulating the already thriving start-up ecosystem that exists.
Proptech is another field within urban development in growth. Clusters like Proptech Norway and Proptech Innovation are gathering forces, and new emerging companies such as Propely, Varig and Defigo are showing huge potential. Start-ups and scaleups supplying technology and services to the real estate industry are also on a roll, and companies such as Unloc, Defigo and Findable are worth keeping an eye on, amongst others.
Some promising companies from Oslo:
- Xeneta provides ocean and air freight rates for the short-term and contract markets, has gained international recognition and successful scaling since its inception in 2012. In 2022, the company had a firm valuation of EUR 241m, and they raised an additional EUR 75m in funding led by world-class investors Apax Digital, with participation from their existing investor Luxor Capital, towards the end of the year
- Spacemaker is discovering the smartest ways to maximize the value of any building site. With a firm valuation of EUR 218 million, they have grown substantially since the start in 2016 and Spacemaker has become an important player in the Norwegian construction tech boom.
- Brim Explorer, the company’s silent electric and hybrid-electric passenger ships provide ocean excursions without noise or pollution. They offer sustainable boat tours in Oslo, Lofoten, Svalbard, and Tromsø. With financial backing from Katapult Ocean and We Are Human, Brim Explorer currently has two ship models and will be rolling out their third one in 2022.
Sources: Oslo State of the City report 2022, Startups and scaleups in the Oslo region 2022 and Oslo Business Region.
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