Angel investors from the Nordics who funded VR startups very early.

09 October 2018 Euro Lists
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VR startups in the Nordics was quite the hype in the early stage investment circles in the last 24 months or so. It still remains an interesting paradigm with very powerful tech looking for business models.

Varjo raising recently $31M for a VR headset for industrial companies made us wonder who are some of the Nordic investors funding early VR startup initiatives.

We made a few queries in our investor database and from a list of about 100 names we compiled a selection with the following list of angels and very early institutional investors from the Nordics who funded VR-based startups*. There are not too many repeat investors, as VR is still an early bet that didn't really return on investment, or else... 


Rikard Steiber - President of Viveport - The Virtual Reality App Store - at HTC Vive.
- investor at Mimerse -  virtual reality platform for evidence based apps that can improve, manage and treat the minds of users

Leif Bengtsson - an angel investor owner of several groceries stores in the city of Vänersborg and founder of PicaDeli, a salad bar restaurant chain sold in 2016.
- invested in Univrses - developer of a software framework customized for VR that can be configured to run on any hardware with one or more cameras, an accelerometer and a gyroscope.

Karl Magnus Troedsson - a Swedish gaming veteran, having worked for DICE, EA and Raw Fury.
- investor at Neat Corporation - a VR-game studio working on a game for the HTC Vive.
- also invested in 3rd Eye Studios - a Helsinki, Finland-based VR gaming company

Per Brilioth - finance guy, involved in Vostok New Ventures
Mats Carlson - also a finance guy, CEO at Pareto Securities
- both invested in Svrive - Stockholm-based VR games studio

Bengt Halse, Carl Palmstierna, Jakob Tolleryd, Lars Molinder, Lars Thunell, Peder Ramel, Willem De Geer
- This group of business angels from Sweden invested in ManoMotion - a Stockholm-based company providing a gesture recognition framework that allows precise and realistic gesture control for any applications in Augmented and Mixed Reality

Markus Dahlström - former SEB guy, now working for Nordic Match, an M&A boutique headquartered in Shanghai
- investor at VREX - a virtual reality gaming center from Stockholm, play courts of 150 sqm with full body tracking


John Lindfors - finance executive basd in Hong Kong
- invested in Varjo

Jaakko Manninen, Niko Punin, Sami Vanhatalo
- invested in Catland - a Tampere, Finland-based gaming company focused on VR content

Bruce J. Oreck, Inka Mero, Torsti Tenhunen and Pasi Joronen
- early investors in Immersal - a Helsinki, Finland-based company working on an AR cloud SDK


Tom Arnøy, Trond Riiber Knudsen, Gustav Magnar Witzøe
- invested in Movie Mask - an Oslo-based manufacturer of goggles that gives you a 2D cinema experience.

Bård Hall - the CEO of Norinnova Technology Transfer AS, one of the shareholders of Norinnova Invest.
- invested in Vizda - a Tromsø, Norway-based company providing software for visualizing buildings and property in 3D (well, almost VR)

Bonus: - not angel but very early stage, also you should consider
- StartupLabs/Founders Fund and Arkwright X as they have funded Imerso, an Oslo startup that built a BIM platform which can document field progress of all construction stages of a building in 3D.
- Sagene Tech Ventures (a pre-seed venture fund) which funded Dimension 10 - an Oslo-based company that built software for off the shelf Virtual Reality hardware, helping professionals to import 3D-models and work with them in virtual reality with users from anywhere in the world.


David Helgason - probably one of the go-to-investors from Scandinavia when it comes to gaming and advanced software tools, founder of Unity.
- invested in Labster, Copenhagen-based company providing education tools using VR simulations as part of their classes.

Danny Malkowski, Nicolaj Højer Nielsen
- they invested in Meetin VR - a Copenhagen-based company which developed a platform that enables having meetings in interactive VR spaces.

Capnova also invests very early, and funded Bolverk XR, focused on developing training tools using VR.


We didn't really find angel investors from Iceland investing in VR but Investa is an early stage backer present in Solfar Studio, a virtual reality studio from Reykjavik and in Aldin Dynamics, VR software company also from Reykjavik. NSA Ventures was also an investor in Aldin, also claims to invest in seed stages.

*A VR-based company can have a large meaning, as VR is a tech that can be incorporated and used for solving problems in many industries as opposed to a VR industry per se. As such we considered a VR-based company one that uses VR to a larger or smaller degree for achieving its business goal.

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