November and December are traditionally a busy time for funding announcements in the Nordics, predominantly due to Slush taking place. And this year we needed them to be particularly strong in order to avoid the ignominy of this being a “down year”.
Compared to recent months, November certainly stepped things up with 63 investments totalling $123.9 million. Still, this was 25 less investments than November 2016, pressing home the fact that overall 2017 has been a pretty disappointing year for the number of investments in the Nordics. In fact, it’s rather incredible that the number of investments in November 2017 are closer to the number of November 2015 than 2016.
Despite the poor performance in the number of investments, the amount of capital has generally fared very well in comparison, however, November also took a slight hit in this regard compared to 2016. Still, overall 2017 has been a strong year for total capital invested due to the larger number of investments happening at the $5million+ mark.
Despite coming in 25 investments lower than November 2016, last month was still the 5th highest performing month in 2017, demonstrating just how slow this year has been for investments. December now needs 53 investments in order for this year to surpass the year’s total for 2016, and with 28 already announced by Friday 8th December, we look on course for this at least.
Norway was competing at a similar level to Denmark and Finland last month, an indication of just how much their investment scene has matured over the last 18 months. Sweden were as consistent as ever, while 2 investments in Iceland represents a good month there.
With 62% of November’s investments under $1million it’s not hard to see how the amount of capital raised was slightly lower than we’ve become accustomed to this year. 5 investments above $5 million in a month would have been considered promising 12 months or so, but with an increase in maturer investments in 2017, this is actually a fairly quiet month in that regard.
FinTech has had something of a resurgence in the last couple of months, as it claimed the most investments for the second month in a row. DeepTech and Energy, two of the verticals that have also had a strong 2017 were also represented.
Unsurprisingly with a higher percentage of smaller investment rounds last month, the International investor participation percentage also took a hit, with just 12.7% of funding rounds including a minimum of one non-Nordic investor. In comparison, October’s percentage was 17% compared to 54.7% being under $1million. (Note to self: Look deeper into a possible correlation here)
November is a tale of two perspectives. Looked at through the lens of recent months, it was a strong month and a return to the form that we need to see if 2017 is to be a growth year for the number of investments. Looked at through the lens of 2016, it was another mediocre month, symptomatic of a year that has not exactly impressed on the investment front.