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Dear Valued Member and Friend of SACCNY -
As we look back at yet another trying and uncertain year, I wanted to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for the continued strength and resilience of our SACCNY network and family. I recall writing similar sentiments a year ago, as the Holidays and New Year were upon us, and thinking then that surely, we would be seeing much brighter times and the burdens of the pandemic solidly behind us by now. As we now know, not so, as we continue to grapple with the many challenges and changes brought on by this seemingly “new normal”. Here at Gateway and SACCNY, we continue to work hard at adapting and adjusting our services and membership programs to add relevant, timely programming and support. Our new InnovateNordics Summit approach, where we combined Innovate46 and Sustainology Summit and held our first such meet-up in Stockholm, following this fall's now virtual Acceleration Program with twelve exciting start-ups, was by all accounts a great success - and a model to build on. We are now looking forward to the next leg of this collaboration here in NY this coming spring. We are launching a new and exciting version of our Mentorship program, now in collaboration with Novare, and with a Leadership Development component geared to all genders pursuing a career in international business at the executive level. We are planning an exciting bi-coastal eWc series, also in the spring. All this to say, we are optimistic and energized and counting on a bright and productive New Year, while realizing we are not out of the woods and our job and goal is to stay on our toes and a step ahead. Thank you again for your support and participation and please know how much we are looking forward to much continued good work with all of you! In the meantime, this is wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy Holiday and New year.
Anna Throne-Holst
Top news from SACCNY's community of members and beyond.
REUTERS | The $5 billion Swedish group Securitas recently announced it is buying the alarms business of U.S. power-tools company Stanley Black & Decker for $3.2 billion. The deal more than doubles Securitas’ annual revenue from electronic security to $3 billion, roughly a quarter of total sales. With its higher margins and better growth prospects, Chief Executive Magnus Ahlqvist’s pivot from man to machine is a smart one.
🇸🇪 DAGENSINDUSTRI | After a flying start in Sweden, social podcast app Logcast now launches in the U.S. In conjunction with the U.S. launch, Logcast brought in a smaller scale investment round with investors from the industry including actor and singer Jacob Latimore, and streaming producer J.R. McKee. The app consists of a feed where users record short podcasts over the phone that are then uploaded onto the feed, not unlike Instagram, but illustrated by a picture, as opposed to a video clip.
BLOOMBERG | EQT AB’s venture capital arm is taking a stake in Candela Speed Boat AB, a Swedish startup making electric boats that rely on hydrofoil technology. EQT Ventures led a $27 million funding round that will enable Candela to scale up the production of leisure boats and start building battery-powered passenger ships for public transport. “We’ve shown that our hydrofoil tech is the key to make electric boats commercially viable,” Candela’s CEO Gustav Hasselskog said in a statement. “The investment from EQT Ventures will allow us to double down on our mission.”
KINNEVIK | Kinnevik AB today announced that Mathem has agreed to merge with, Axfood’s online grocer business, and to enter into a long-term strategic supply agreement with Axfood’s purchasing and logistics company Dagab. Kinnevik will own 31 percent of Mathem after the transaction and remains the company’s largest owner. Georgi Ganev, CEO of Kinnevik commented: “We welcome Axfood as a partner and owner in Mathem. Axfood’s leading market position and passion for good and sustainable food will help strengthen Mathem’s customer offering, and we look forward to support the company on their continued growth journey together with our new partner."
CLEANTECHNICA | After having completed a pilot project with Uber, currently active in nine African countries, Swedish Opibus and Uber are now entering into a partnership. During 2022 Opibus will produce 3,000 new electric motorcycles that Uber drivers in Kenya will be able to buy. The vehicles are financed through a micro loan with five so-called micro financing institutes. Uber thus acts as a middleman and marketing platform for Opibus. ”It’s great to receive that credibility and response from a company as large as Uber. It shows that our products are ready for the market. We are ready to scale and that is what we will be focusing on now, says Mikael Gånge, Co-founder of Opibus.
VOLVOCARS | Volvo Cars and Northvolt will open a joint research and development (R&D) centre in Gothenburg as part of a SEK 30 billion investment in battery development and manufacturing. The R&D centre, which will become operational in 2022, will create a few hundred jobs in Gothenburg and positions Volvo Cars as one of the few automotive brands to make battery cell development and production part of its end-to-end engineering capabilities.
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More top picks for the Swedish-American business community.
REUTERS | Top asset manager BlackRock Inc. said it wants U.S. companies to aim for a board that is 30% diverse and, for the first time, contains at least one member from an under-represented group. In new guidelines explaining its priorities for 2022 at portfolio companies, posted on its website, the $9.5 trillion asset manager also gave companies new guidance for reporting on climate change. But it said some continued investment in fossil fuels will be needed. 
WSJ | American companies are planning for steeper wage increases next year than at any point since the 2007-2009 recession, according to a new report, amid a tight labor market and the highest inflation in three decades. A survey by the Conference Board finds that companies are setting aside an average 3.9% of total payroll for wage increases next year, the most since 2008, with many citing higher inflation as a reason.
🇸🇪 DAGENSNYHETER | Sweden, now solidly recognized as a Gaming wonder child, put on the map by companies such as Mojang and Dice, and now further evidenced as Apple selects this year’s 15 best apps through its decades-old App Store Award. Former winners are apps and games such as Pokémon Go and Disney+. This year, Sweden distinguishes itself both in the realm of apps and games, with Swedish gaming company Toca Boca being behind the app Toca Life World, which is recognized within the category iPhone App of the Year, and through a lesser-known company from Helsingborg helping Sweden pull its weight with gaming company Pixelbite being recognized for its Space Marshals 3 in the category Apple TV game of the Year.
WGBH | New research led by scientists at Harvard University Medical School explains one of the many mysteries of COVID-19: why people infected with the virus often temporarily lose their sense of smell. The study’s lead author, Dr. Sandeep Robert Datta, said their findings was a surprise and could lead towards eventual treatments for a range of neurological disorders caused by the virus. His team took a close look at a specialized type of sensory neurons in the nose that detect and transmit smells to the brain. They discovered that two other kinds of cells that support those neurons are being attacked. Those cells can regenerate more quickly. “And so we think, on the whole, this is good news, and suggests that people who lose their sense of smell, for the most part, are going to go on to get their sense of smell back.“, he said.
🇸🇪 DAGENSINDUSTRI | During November, Venture capital companies invested over 3.1 billion SEK in Swedish tech companies. Biotech, software companies, food savers, and loan challengers brought in the most capital. Among the companies raising capital is software company Neo4j who extended its summer investment round of 2.7 MSEK to 3.3 MSEK, making it among the ten largest during 2021. This means the risk appetite was kept steady for the fourth month in a row, even if it fades in comparison to the record month of June with its 32.7 billion SEK. In total, 68.3 billion SEK has been invested in Swedish tech companies throughout 2021's first 11 months, and thus the record of 27 billion SEK invested during 2020 has been surpassed.
🇸🇪 DAGENSINDUSTRI | Klarna’s new Swedish Country Manager Jesper Eriksson announces he will work to establish the payment company as a challenger to Facebook’s and Google’s marketing services, while simultaneously attempting to ward off critics questioning whether Klarna might be attempting to build the next Amazon. ”That would have been very counter-productive” says Eriksson in an interview with Dagens Industri. The ambition is for the company’s app to operate as an all-encompassing shopping engine, including functions such as wish lists and where price changes and discounts will be monitored for consumers. As part of the app, is also inspiration functions such as targeted recommendations on anything from fashion to beauty.
NYTIMES | Biden Orders Federal Vehicles and Buildings to Use Renewable Energy by 2050
President Biden set in motion a plan to make the federal government carbon neutral, ordering federal agencies to buy electric vehicles, to power facilities with wind, solar and nuclear energy, and to use sustainable building materials. In a series of executive orders, Mr. Biden directed the government to transform its 300,000 buildings, 600,000 cars and trucks, and use its annual purchases of $650 billion in goods and services to meet his goal of a federal government that stops adding carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by 2050.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS | Kentucky Hardest hit as Storms Leave Dozens Dead in 5 States
A monstrous tornado, carving a track that could rival the longest on record, ripped across the middle of the U.S. in a stormfront that killed dozens and tore apart a candle factory, crushed a nursing home, derailed a train and smashed an Amazon warehouse. “I pray that there will be another rescue. I pray that there will be another one or two,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said, as crews sifted through the wreckage of the candle factory in Mayfield, where 110 people were working overnight when the storm hit. In Kentucky alone, 22 were confirmed dead after half a day, including 11 in and around Bowling Green.

THE GUARDIAN | The Music Industry Unites to Pledge Net-zero Emissions by 2050
Three major labels – Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group – plus independents such as the Beggars and Secretly groups of labels, Warp, Ninja Tune and more, have signed the Music Climate Pact which will see them pledge “actionable climate targets”. The companies will sign up to one of two existing schemes, Science Based Targets or the SME Climate Commitment, the latter part of the the UN’s Race to Zero initiative. Both schemes require signatories to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, and achieve a 50% reduction by 2030.
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