Insights

Predictions 2018 - how we did (pretty good!)

At the end of 2017 we had a look at possible candidates from the small and cozy Nordic startup ecosystem that would be looking for raising growth capital investment funding in 2018.

The methodology was as follows:

- We considered companies interested in growth funding, aka rounds higher than $5M level. That means, a company should have raised at least $1-5M already prior to end of 2017.
- We analyzed rounds between $1 and 5 million made in 2016 and out of 265 companies on the receiving end, more than half already announced followup funding in 2017.
- We then looked and analyzed a list of 289 deals of $1-5M investment rounds for 2017 and made a short list 10 companies we thought would close growth capital deals in 2018.

How did the predictions go? Pretty good, it turned out, as 7 out 10 from our list have announced securing capital in 2018.

The other three (Refunder, Upcloud, Watty) may have already raised and not announced publicly (unlikely), or they may still be in the raising process. However, as you may see below, all of them are on a growing trajectory with their business.

Let's see what were the companies we got right:


Arundo Analytics

- software company powering advanced analytics for the heavy industries. Founded in 2015 by Tor Jakob Ramsøy and Stuart Morstead, and backed by investors such as Alliance Venture, Brillio and Northgate Capital
- raised $25M Series A in January 2018


Cardlay

- SAAS provider for banks for service management and customer engagement. Founded in 2016 by Jørgen Christian Juul and backed by investors including Thorleif Krarup, SEED Capital, and SEB Ventures.
- raised $5M in January 2018


Coinify

- SAAS platform that offers blockchain currency trading and payment processing services. Founded in 2014 by Kris Henriksen, Lasse Olesen and Mark Højgaard, and backed by SEED Capital and SEB Ventures (major owner)
- raised $5M at the end of 2017.


Critical Force

- game developer for mobile platforms. Founded in 2012 by Veli-Pekka Piirainen and backed by South Korean publishing conglomerate NHN Entertainment.
- didn't raise equity money but announced securing a $6.4M grant from Business Finland in June 2018.


Midaxo

- SAAS software for M&A dealflow management. Founded in Helsinki in 2011 by Kaija Katariina Erkkilä and Kalle Kilpi and backed by EOC Capital, Tesi and FInnvera.
- raised $16M in series B capital in March.


Sympa

- SAAS for HR management. Founded in 2005 by Keijo Karjalainen (CEO) and his sister Taina Sipilä and backed by Alfvén & Didrikson.
- raised an undisclosed amount of money in June.


Zervant

- developer of online invoicing software for small business owners. Founded in 2010 by CEO Mattias Hansson and Tuukka Koskinen and backed by Northzone, NFT Ventures and Conor Venture Partners.
- raised $7.4M announced in February.



What we didn't get right:

Refunder

- cashback site, launched in October 2013 by Fredrik Ohlsson and Victor Dahlborg. At the end of 2016 Bonnier acquired 49% of the shares and it looks like Refunder is pretty much integrated within Bonnier's properties. End of 2017, official Swedish data indicates that the company is not profitable at a turnover of SEK 43M ($4.8M), almost double yoy. At the end of 2016, it raised SEK 37M.

Upcloud

- Nordic competitor for AWS, founded in 2011 and led by Antti Vilpponen. The company seems to be on an accelerated growth path, changed the pricing scheme at the beginning of 2018, then opened an office in Seattle and launched a second data center in FInland. Official accounting data indicates a small loss at a $5M turnover (+60% yoy) for 2017. Raised $4.2M in its first external round of funding, backed by Inventure, at the end of 2016.

Watty

- home monitoring analytics provider, founded by Hjalmar Nilsonne in 2013. Not too much public info about how 2018 went, at the end of 2017 the company was making as much as it was losing, about SEK12M ($1.4M), +30% yoy. Still should have more money in the bank, as it raised a little more than $3M from investors including EQT Ventures in 2016.

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