Before we delve into the quarterly analyses tomorrow, we first have to do March the justice it deserves. We hinted at it last week, but March truly was the month where investments into Nordic startups really burst into life again, with 68 investments.
However, it was a fairly standard month for capital invested when comparing to March’s of past, with approx. $50 million less than 2016, even with removing Spotify’s $1 billion.
March was the first rise in investments we’ve seen since November, clearly demonstrating it’s importance in saving what was looking like a pretty mediocre funding quarter (more on that tomorrow).
The increase appears to be thanks to Sweden, while other countries recorded similar numbers to January and February, Sweden was around 10 or so investments higher than what we’ve seen previously seen in 2017. Unfortunately, an extremely quiet March meant that Iceland finished the quarter on just one investment.
Most of the activity in March was at an early-stage, however it still provided us with six rounds above $5 million. With 11 in February, it appears that March’s top-level strong numbers are predominantly due to a particularly high number of Swedish angel, pre-seed and seed investments.
The usual suspects reigned supreme, with perhaps the only vertical particularly worth a mention is food and drink, appearing on the radar for the first time this year with a flurry of funding announcements just as the sun comes out, how convenient.
No surprise to see the percentage of non-Nordic investors very low considering the majority of investments were early-stage Swedish ones, where there is plenty of capital on the ground. Even still, this is a low percentage, and one that appears to be in the decline each quarter.
In summary, although March was a strong month, there were still three months that saw more investments in 2016, showing that despite moving in the right direction, 2017 still needs to get faster to see anywhere near the same levels of growth in investments that previous years have shown.