Nordic highlights from February 2018.

Here's a few highlights from what happened in the Nordic investment scene in the past 30 days.

- The region saw the lowest number of deals for a month of February in 3 years - 50 versus 75 in February 2017 and 2016 respectively. The figure will likely change as usually there is a 4-6 weeks lag in tracking all the deals for a month. The downward trend is what matters in the big picture, though.

- BUT, in spite of a dealflow considerably lower, the aggregate investment value is the highest in the last three years ($156M in 2017, <$100M in 2016 and 2015)

- the explanation comes from 22 deals >$1M+, 10 deals >10M+ (nice self explanatory graphs available here).

- actually, the Nordics registered more $ investments in the first 8 weeks of 2018 than for entire Q1 of 2017.

- notable deals: Vivino, Peakon, Unacast, Templafy, Agrinos, Zervant (all growth money)

- special note: SGG - founded in 2014 by gaming veterans, made $33M in sales from a 10 month old title. Now the VCs entirely took over, well kinda. :-)

- keep an eye on: Anyfin - the Swedish venture obsession of finding a new fintech unicorn after Klarna and iZettle. There's been lots of bets on companies with the unique value proposition of cheaper financing options. None of them had an explosive growth, and not surprisingly for anybody who understands the consumer financing market. Last year it was the financial robot advisor obsession, btw.

- cool promising underdogs - Transfer Galaxy. Nobody was talking to those guys a couple of years ago. They found the sweet spot now and execute - it should be noted that they raised from new and fresh thinking investors (Alfvén & Didrikson and Backing Minds), not from the old school, traditional ones.

- cool stuff - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

- all data is here.

In other news:
- Sweden has a new digital officer - Åsa Zetterberg. Åsa has worked for the Swedish government her entire life, and she is a "speaker & change agent".

- Nokia confirms it's exiting the health market, fires about 425 employees in Finland.

- Nordax (Swedish bank) and Nets (Danish payment processor) taken private from the stock exchange

- Only 25% of Swedes paid in cash AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK in 2017, down from 63% just 4 years ago

- Klarna is not working out in USA

- ... and neither in Israel.

- Between September 2016 and August 2017 Swedish e-bike sales increased by 50% to 67,500 at an average price of €1,650. The e-bike market doubled in 2 years

- The long running saga of competing Finnish restaurant leftover apps gets a dark turn when ResQ founder receives a suspended jail sentence for copying Lunchie.

- War on auto ads in the Swedish market

- Swedish VC Northzone prepares to cut out losses, adjusts its expectations in two investments - Universal Avenue, Sqore

- Wearable manufacturer for kids Tinitell bankrupted its Swedish company, they still have one in the US with the same shareholders. SEK 10M in sales (6M in 2016) & 15M burn rate is not a bad picture for a growing startup. Add to it a great brand, happy customers, good DNA in the company, and the recent presence in Techstars, in USA. So it's interesting to think around what went wrong, other than the fact that hardware is a really difficult business. There are a number of possible reasons, none of them you will read about in the local media (I had fun reading this though)

- The Swedes who engaged in trading in shares and securities made an average profit of SEK 43 000, according to the latest figures for 2016. Danderyds (a Stockholm neighborhood) residents earned seven times more than the Swedish national average – the residents of Olofström only a elftedel of the same average. On average, the average Danderyds investor sold shares and funds for around SEK 293,000 in 2016. On average, each Swedish entered a total of SEK 42,836 in the sale of funds, shares and other securities in 2016.

- The Danes are richer than ever before

- Private equity group EQT set for their largest-ever fundraising, at €10.75bn. The company had to refuse record amount of cash from investors desperate to deploy capital in a low interest rate environment.

- Spotify unveiled its financial structure as it prepares to IPO. Lots of opinions about it, as always when there's noise just look at the data, as data never lies

Monthly users: 159m
Subscribers: 71m
Revenues: $5bn ($3.6 billion in 2016)
Operating loss: $461.2M ($425 million in 2016)
Net loss: $1.52bn
Valuation: $19.8bn


78% = Cost of revenue
14% = Sales and marketing
10% = Research and development
6% =   General and administrative
-8% = loss for Spotify

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