Scandinavia: A thriving hub for Forbes 2000 companies

With Oslo Innovation Week just around the corner, we decided to check out the local Scandinavian corporate activity. Here are some of our most interesting findings.

Every year, Forbes magazine publishes its Global 2000 list, ranking the top-performing companies around the world. Each company on the list is carefully selected based on four key performance indicators:

  • Sales
  • Profits
  • Assets
  • Market Value

When looked at through the right lens, this list can be an excellent source for emerging trends, corporate landscape shifts and discovering where the action is happening, e.g.:

  • Which industries are experiencing growth?
  • What corporations are on top?
  • Where are the biggest corporate innovators located?  

When looking specifically at recent activity in Europe, we found Scandinavia to be one of the most vibrant areas for corporate development and innovation. Here are some of our most interesting findings. 

The US, Europe and The Forbes Global 2000

Before we get into Scandinavia, let’s take a brief look at the recent activity in the US, Europe and the rest of the world. 

Of the companies included in this year’s Forbes 2000 list, 407 were located in the European Union, 590 in the US and a combined 1003 in the rest of the world.

This year, the US topped the list with Berkshire Hathaway, a diversified financials company boasting a market value of $741 B (As mentioned above, additional factors were taken into account besides market value for the ranking). Other top-ranked American companies included:

  • JPMorgan Chase, ranked 4th with a market value of $374 B
  • Amazon, ranked 6th with a market value of $1,47 T
  • Apple, ranked 7th with a market value of $2,64 T

Some of the top-ranked companies in Europe included:

  • Shell, ranked 16th and located in the Netherlands with a market value of $211 B
  • Volkswagen Group, ranked 25th and located in Germany with a market value of $82 B
  • Total, ranked 29th, located in France with a market value of $127 B
  • Allianz, ranked 35th, located in Germany with a market value of $96 B 

Scandinavia and The Forbes Global 2000

Of the 407 Forbes Global 2000 companies in Europe, 60 are located in Scandinavian countries (i.e. Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland). Although Finland isn’t always considered part of Scandinavia, we’ve included it in our analysis to show the economic growth in the area. 

The tally of companies per country is as follows:

In total, these companies account for three percent of the Forbes 2000 companies in Europe.  While Sweden takes the cake with the most Forbes 2000 companies, the highest ranked Scandinavian companies are located in Norway and Denmark:

  • Equinor, located in Norway, ranked 70th on the list with a market value of $118 B
  • Moller - Maersk, located in Denmark, ranked 161, with a market value of $51 B

These were the only Scandinavian companies to rank within the top 200. 

While Scandinavian companies didn’t rank as high on the Forbes list as some of their European counterparts, their sales performance has risen considerably from 2021 to 2022. This is a notable accomplishment considering recent economic shifts brought on by the pandemic and the ongoing war.  

This year, Scandinavian companies accounted for 7,73% of the sales generated by Forbes 2000 companies in Europe. In addition, they experienced some of the highest sales growth when compared to Europe or the rest of the world.

Top performing Scandinavian companies per country

As mentioned above Equinor and Moller - Maersk were the only two Scandinavian companies to make it into the top 200 of the Forbes 2000 list. However, there are plenty of other high-performing companies worth mentioning. 


Among the highest performing companies in Denmark are:


Among the highest performing companies in Finland are:


Among the highest performing companies in Norway are:


Among the highest performing companies in Sweden are:

Final thoughts

We hope you found the above analysis as interesting as we did. If you have any questions or would like to read about any additional data points, get in touch! We’d love to hear from you.

Be sure to catch us at Oslo Innovation Week this coming 28th of September. Our Managing Partner Thomas van Halewyck will be sharing his thoughts in a presentation titled “7 common struggles in corporate venturing and how to overcome them We hope to see you there!


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