172 Nordic startups received investment in 2014, but 9 of these managed to raise money on more than one occasion. Raising money twice in one year normally means market fit has been found or International expansion is on the horizon, but most of all it typically signifies growth.
So, who were the nine fast-growing Nordic startups who raised twice in 2014?
Tradeshift helps companies to transact, connect and collaborate with each other, and brings the entire supply chain online. Having started off as an e-invoicing platform, Tradeshift has grown to offer integrated solutions across a number of typical business needs.
In February, they announced a $75 million Series C from Scentean Ventures (based in Singapore) As well as financial reasons, this was as much a strategic move, as Scentan Ventures look to help Tradeshift grow it’s business in Asia.
Although unconfirmed, a SEC filing shows Tradeshift appear to have raised a further $30 million just a couple of months later in May.
Investors: Scentan Ventures, Notion Capital, ru-Net Holdings, Kite Ventures.
Truecaller from Sweden helps make your phone smarter by allowing you to connect to who you want, when you want and has been revolutionary in shielding calls from unwanted numbers. In a year that saw them pass 100 million users they also raised a Series B round of $18.8 million, followed up by a Series C of $60 million at the end of the year.
The main purpose of the B round was to expand the business into the U.S, whereas the later C round investment was reported to be for expanding the product itself.
Investors: Sequoia, Atomico, Access Partners, Open Ocean, Kleiner Caufield and Byers, Stefan Lennhammer.
Indoor Atlas are a Finnish indoor positioning startup that uses smartphone’s built-in sensors, and natural variations of geomagnetic field as a map to pinpoint locations indoors. Interestingly, they raised a $10 million Series A from Baidu, China’s biggest search engine in a move that left people wondering why Google had not already acted to snap them up.
IndoorAtlas stated that they would predominantly use the capital for furthering their R&D and Business development efforts. They had only just raised a $3.9 million seed round three months previous.
Investors: Mobility Ventures, KoppiCatch, Baidu.
Verto Analytics provide syndicated research and analytics in real time to digital media companies operating on multiple platforms. They raised a $5.4 million Series A led by Conor Venture Partners in order to expand internationally.
Their Series A was topped up by a $2.4 million injection led by Open Ocean in September, with the existing investors also joining the round.
Investors: Conor Venture Partners, Open Ocean
Mendor are a Finnish med-tech startup focusing on advancing diabetes management products. Having raised their Series B back in 2011, they raised two further amounts of capital this year in order to fuel growth and enable further International expansion. In January they raised $5.5 million led by Reaktor POLTE (they also provided an injection in 2013) and they followed this up with $7.63 million from Luxembourg based IPF Partners in July.
Investors: IPF Partners, Reaktor POLTE, Finnvera Venture Capital, Life Sciences Partners.
Seriously are a gaming studio formed by ex-Rovio (Angry Birds) executives. Having already raised $2.4 million at the end of 2013, they raised a further $2.7 million in May. All this before they had even released their first game. This milestone came in September as they released ‘Best Fiends’ which went on to receive 1.5 million downloads in it’s first couple of weeks.
In what was an eventful year for them, they announced a further $5 million in November from their existing investors to bring their total funding up to the $10 million mark.
Investors: Sunstone Capital, Daher Capital, Upfront Ventures.
Playraven, like Seriously, are another Finnish gaming startup with a strong and experienced team in place, having been founded by five gaming sector veterans. After raising a $2.3 million seed runs at the start of the year from early backers of Supercell (London Venture Partners and Jari Ovaskainen) they subsequently released their first title ‘Spymaster’ in September.
In what was described as an ‘extended seed round’ they announced they had raised a further $4.1 million from their existing investors in order to create two new strategy games.
Investors: Northzone, Creandum, London Venture Partners, Jari Ovaskainen
Fitbay is a social shopping network helping connect shoppers with others with similar body shapes so that they can help share information regarding what clothes fit that particular shape. Fitbay kicked off the year with a $400K ‘Angel round’ which included prominent Nordic Venture Capital firm Creandum. There was no surprise when they raised their $2 Million seed round soon after with New York based Steadfast Venture Capital joining the existing investors at the table having seen Fitbay on Product Hunt.
Investors: Steadfast Venture Capital, Creandum, Jesper Buch, Kasper Grundtvig Knokgaard.
Safello provides people with a secure and easy-to-use platform to buy Bitcoin. With the aim of becoming the ‘Coinbase of Europe’ they raised a $600,000 seed round in February in order to help them to expand across the continent in order to achieve this goal.
Their growth plans were further supported by a $250,000 investment from the Bitcoin Opportunity Fund in July.
Investors: Bitcoin Opportunity Fund, Roger Ver, Nicolas Cary, Erik Voorhees
With money in the bank, 2015 looks set to be a big year for our 9 freshly loaded Nordic startups, and we should keep a close eye on what’s next for the above, as they look to make bigger inroads into their respective International markets with their newly earned cash burning a hole in their pockets.