Seven Startup Reykjavik companies to watch

Today is investor day at Startup Reykjavik 2016. This is the fifth time the accelerator is operated and today’s pitches by the ten companies participating this year are a culmination of 10 weeks of work. The event invites investors, corporate executives, and press to see, and potentially invest in, these companies.

To commemorate this, we’ve created a short list we call Seven Startup Reykjavik companies to watch. To make it on to the list, the company needs to have received equity funding since finishing the accelerator program. The list is ordered alphabetically. We don’t include information on funding other than equity funding.

Activity Stream

  • Founders: Stefán Baxter, founder, and Einar Sævarsson, co-founder
  • Funding received: 270m ISK ($2.1m) in one round
  • Startup Reykjavik batch: 2013
  • Industry: Software, SaaS, Operational Intelligence

Activity Stream is developing operational intelligence software. It monitors a company’s operations and uses artificial intelligence to improve daily operations and customer support. As of this September, the company will have paid subscribers that have actively participated in the last phases of their development.

Last December, the company raised a ~$2.1m funding round from several investors, including VC funds Eyrir Sprotar and Frumtak. The company is preparing for a Series A round financing by the end of 2017.

They recently opened an office in Denmark responsible for sales and customer success, and are building infrastructure in Iceland to on-board new customers and keep them happy. Further scaling will depend on their Series A. The company will officially launch in October, after being in stealth mode since inception.

According to Stefán, the main value they got from Startup Reykjavik was access to the mentors, a “free pass” to be completely focused on their new venture, and to meet the people in a young and growing startup scene. Remember, this was three years ago, and a lot has changed since then. Also, one of the drivers for their participation was that they wanted to “pay it forward” in a way. They were (obviously) hoping to succeed, and by going through Startup Reykjavik, their success would help raise the profile of Startup Reykjavik. Stefán acknowledges that “this may sound arrogant, but we were hoping to be able to contribute, as well as receive.”


Authenteq User profile
  • Founders: Kari Thor Runarsson, Runar Karlsson, Adam Martin
  • Startup Reykjavik batch: 2014
  • Funding received: $80K in two rounds
  • Industry: Software, SaaS, authentication

Authenteq is an automatic identy verification platform. Their initial product was an app that took photos that couldn’t be altered. They pivoted after Startup Reykjavik, and decided to build on the tamperproof core they had created. The current product takes two pictures – one of the user, and another of the user’s government issue ID – and compares them to issue an Authenteq ID that people use to prove their identity.

The company participated in the accelerator Startup Bootcamp after Startup Reykjavik, and has now launched their MVP. They are currently working with select development partners before fully launching. They’re currently raising a seed round to hire more developers and get their product to market.

In terms of the value the company got from Startup Reykjavik, Kári said it was mostly twofold. First – it validated their idea and encouraged the team to work on it. Secondly, the funding that came with their participation allowed them to focus completely on the company.


  • Founders: Guðmundur Grétar Sigurðsson, Höskuldur Þór Arason, Ingi Björn Sigurðsson, Þórólfur Gunnarsson
  • Funding received: Undisclosed
  • Startup Reykjavik batch: 2015
  • Industry: Hardware, IoT

Datadrive helps car owners lower costs, lower emissions, and operate more efficiently. They currently offer two products – one for car rentals, and another for other businesses. The car rental solution tracks that car’s location through GPS – both for the safety of the passengers, and the car rental, to see if the car has gone through forbidden areas. It is connected to the car’s computer and measures its status, as well as creating a WiFi hotspot for the passengers. Their business product tracks and analyses the car fleet and efficiency. Datadrive supplies a mobile app and webapp to view the data.

Since finishing Startup Reykjavik, the company launched both its current products, and is working on their third, which will be consumer focused and launches later this year. They received an undisclosed amount in funding from Klappir earlier this year. Their next steps are getting more customers, building their business case and finding partnerships in Europe. They aim to enter the European market in 2018.

Guðmundur told Norðurskautið that the team got a lot of value out of the mentor discussions in Startup Reykjavik that helped them develop their product and business model. Regular lectures and workshops, that sometimes forced the team to rethink their plan, meant the team ended up with a better vision.


  • Founders: Kolbrún Hrafnkelsdóttir CEO, Karl Guðmundsson VP Sales- and Marketing, Elsa S. Halldórsdóttir VP Research and Development
  • Funding received: 100m ISK (~800K) in two investments
  • Startup Reykjavik batch: 2013
  • Industry: Pharmaceuticals

Florealis is a pharmaceutical company that develops herbal medicine for mild common diseases and symptoms. Their medicines are created using natural ingredients, scientifically tested, and approved by European Drug Authorities. Since leaving Startup Reykjavik, the company has raised 100m ISK, built up the team, and filed three pharmaceutical registrations in seven countries each.

The company expects their first products to ship to market in early 2017 in Sweden and Iceland. These products are medicines for mild symptoms and diseases, such as mild urinary infections, sleep aids, and mild arthralgia.

Kolbrún told us through email, that the biggest benefit they got from Startup Reykjavik was raised awareness of the company, and a platform to pitch and present their company and products.

Kaptio Travel

  • Founders: Arnar Laufdal Ólafsson and Ragnar Ægir Fjölnisson
  • Funding received: 445m ISK ($3.4m) in 2 rounds
  • Startup Reykjavik batch: 2014
  • Industry: SaaS, Enterprise travel platform, Salesforce app.

Kaptio Travel is software built on top of the Salesforce platform with industry specific features for the travel industry. It’s designed for tour organisers and operators, hotels, and conference centers. It aims to streamline processes and give instant access to data important to these professionals.

The team entered Startup Reykjavik in 2012 with another company, Datatracker, while simaltaneously working on Kaptio Travel. Following Startup Reykjavik, the team decided to focus on Kaptio and finally merged the two companies. They have since raised two seed rounds, one led by NSA Ventures and another led by Frumtak Ventures. They launched their product in January 2014 and have customers in Europe, the US and Latin America.

The company recently raised the second seed round, and are now focusing on growing the team and making the organisation work smoothly, in terms of product development, sales, and implementing the solution for new customers.

Arnar told Norðurskautið that their main value from the Startup Reykjavik program was getting access to the network and feedback from mentors.

Mure VR

  • Founders: Anton Þórólfsson, Bjarni Rafn Gunnarsson og Diðrik Steinsson
  • Funding received: 50m ISK (~$400K) in two rounds
  • Startup Reykjavik batch: 2014
  • Industry: Software, VR, Productivity

Mure VR is building practical VR applications. Their product is called Breakroom that aims to create a fully functional workplace environment in virtual reality. The reason is simple: many organisations now have open-space offices that, while good for some things, can make concentration and privacy more difficult. Using Breakroom will transfer users to a virtual reality workspace, where concentration and focus is easier. We recommend you check out the short video loop on their website to get a feeling for it.

The team has already soft-launched a product on Steam to try out the process and get feedback. They’re launching Breakroom on November 25th, and will be raising funds following that.

According to Diðrik, the main value they got from Startup Reykjavik was feedback and the network of contacts it created.

Wasabi Iceland

wasabi iceland
  • Founders: Johan Sindri Hansen and Ragnar Atli Tómasson
  • Startup Reykjavik batch: 2015
  • Funding received: 50m ISK in one round (~$400K)
  • Industry: Agriculture

Wasabi Iceland’s product is, as the name suggests, wasabi from Iceland. The duo started their venture into wasabi growing during an entrepreneurship class at university, and afterwards applied to Startup Reykjavik. The company raised a 50m ISK seed round from undisclosed, private investors, and have started growing wasabi in a green house in the east of Iceland.

According to Ragnar, one of the co-founders, they’re working towards shipping their first batch in 2017. A large portion of that batch has been sold to the restaurants Grill Market and Fish Market – two popular restaurants in downtown Reykjavik. The plan is to ramp up production in the beginning of 2017, and start exporting as soon as the production has reached enough mass.

The team benefitted greatly by connecting with mentors at Startup Reykjavik, some of whom have continued to help them long after the program ended. Ragnar also mentions experience pitching and public speaking as benefits the team gained from the program.