Wth only 28 days, February is traditionally one of the slower months for investment announcements in the region and this year was no different, with “only” 50 Nordic funding announcement taking place last month.
This was actually lower than what we recorded in both 2017 and 2016, although the difference is minimal enough for us not to need to read too much into that, and it’s fairer to say that the amount was on par to what we’ve become accustomed to seeing during the shortest month of the year.
Despite the lack of growth in the number of investments, the capital invested was a record for February, with over $200 million invested into the region last month. This follows a strong January, as 2018 continues its strong start for the amount of money being invested into the region.
February actually gave us our lowest number of investments announced in one month since July. Again, this is not really cause for concern. However, it would certainly be welcome if this month was able to replicate March of 2017, which was the 2nd highest performing month last year.
When you consider that 4 investments were between $20-50 million it’s not hard to figure out why it was a record February for capital invested. Activity continues to be rife in the awkward $0.5-$1M stage, although referring to it as awkward is seemingly no longer appropriate as the previous gap in capital there looks to have been filled.
Norway had a storming month, coming in 2nd place for the first time, recording just 5 investments less than Sweden. In fairness, this is was also due to an exceptionally quiet month in Sweden, with a drop-off of around 50% of what we are used to seeing. This is certainly worth us keeping an eye on.
IOT was the “surprise package” in February, as it recorded the 3rd highest number of investments. Elsewhere it was business as usual.
There was an unusually high amount of International participation in Nordic funding rounds in February, however this can largely be explained by the 4 rounds above $20 million.
If Sweden had held up its end of the bargain then we would be marvelling at how strong February had been, in fact it would have been one of the strongest months we’d have seen over the last year or so.
Instead, we reflect on another average month with a potential concern as to Sweden’s quietness. However, I know the deals are happening there so I believe it is a matter of time before it is business as usual once more. If the other Nordic countries can continue their strong start to the year then our prediction of 1,000+ investments will still be on course, despite the slow start to 2018.