Insights

Nordic highlights from November:

Twenty thoughts for twenty investments in the $1-5M range made in the Nordics in November 2017...

1. We tracked 58 investment announcements from the Nordics for the month of November. As always, Sweden takes the lion's share, with 32 of them.

2. Most of those investments are first timers with rounds under $1M (24).

3. There were also 20 announcements with funding in the $1-5M bracket. Most of them are follow up investments, with some exceptions which appear to be at the first investment round - MVNO, gaming, financial services (1, 2, 3), media.

4. November's most active local venture houses are NFT, Creades and Wellstreet - each with two announcement deals. Of those three, Wellstreet is the only one in top 10 most active investors in the region for the entire 2017, with 14 funding rounds.

5. We also tracked 3 investments made in November by Tekes, the Finnish-state owned investment company. It should be noted though that Tekes, together with Almi Invest and SEED Capital (both owned by Swedish and Danish governments, respectively) are by far the most active investors in the region - however, they're not as active in making those deals public or communicating them, as opposed to the private investments operators.

6. Daniel Pilotti is the only angel with involvement in at least two Nordic deals in November - Hygglo and Steven. He is at its 7th announced for this year. The most active angel investor in the region so far in 2017 is Bo Mattsson, with 8.

7. Speaking of most active, Bo Mattsson was also the most active investor in 2016, with 10 fund placements tracked in the Nordics. He shares the #1 spot with Lars Lindgren, also with 10 angel investments.

8. In general, the pace of investment has slowed down in the Nordics in 2017, compared to 2016. Also, word on the street among investors is that the ecosystem is a bit heated, with too little of the seed capital invested on value creation models based on sound fundamentals.

9. Specifically, the data shows that the seed market seemed to have cooled off this year. In Q4 2016, we tracked 116 seed rounds (i.e. less than $1M). This year, 2/3 in of Q4 and we have exactly 50 (data here). December is a historically slow month so there's no high change expectations. Yes, seeding is hard.

10. November also was the month with plenty Chinese investment interest in the Nordics - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Expect more similar announcements soon.

11. There were a few announcements related to the so-called fintech hubs in the region and clusters in general - in Denmark, the Swedish state, Øresund Fintech, Tequity Cluster. There's been an explosion of those for the past 6-12 months, with lots of resources, attention and visibility, time will tell if a physical hub will be a sustainable value proposition.

12. Financial services is actually a hot subject these days in the Nordics, notably with local banks creating a defensive move in Norway so that they would protect local business from global tech companies.

13. Intriguing ideas to keep an eye on - horse tech, satellites (1, 2), MVNO, LEGO, operating system, social responsibility, agriculture.

14. Academic research is one of the main sources of projects that may become entrepreneurial - Sweden just received about $200M in donations to fund AI-related academic research for the next 10 years.

15. Vertical consolidations -  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

16. Two bigger-than-usual-in-the-region VC big bets - EQT ventures/Natural Cycles ($30M), EQT/Epidemic Sound.

17. Bold bets made by private equity money in the Nordics: $1BN (Lone Star), $650M (Nordic Capital).

18. There's plenty of more money in the market - Sunstone (€160M), Nordic Alpha Partners ($140M), Den Sociale Kapitalfond Invest ($34M), MTG ($30M) Nordea Ventures. Plus new angel initiatives 1, 2. More money than projects in the Nordics, that is for sure.

19. Lower end PE plays, with companies w/ $10M+ in revenues: 1, 2.

20. Notable exits: Dynastrom, Soundtrap, VisueCare.

Like this? Share it!

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter