Analysis: November’s investments

Let’s cut to the chase immediately, November was a record month for the Nordics, 86 investments is the highest recorded number of funding rounds in a calendar month ever in the Nordics.

November experienced a 95% increase year on year, meaning that although November was also a particularly strong one in 2015, this year’s was even more impressive when we look across the context of the calendar year, with other months recording significantly lower growth rates YOY.

It was also a strong month for capital, with November recording the most capital in a calendar month since before the beginning of summer. Although this was mainly due to the sheer number of investments, the number of bigger investments also increased, as we will come to below.

To put this month’s spectacular number in perspective, November recorded 24 more investments than October and 13 more than September which was the previous record month, a rather dramatic increase.

As ever, Sweden led the way, recording as many investments themselves as the whole of the Nordic region did in some early months of 2016. However, the real story here is Finland. As is the same every year, they start slowly and then have a big Q4 for investments.

It’s hard not to draw a direct correlation between Slush and Finnish companies saving their funding announcements to maximise their impact, as it happens year after year.

Some promising developments in November in regards to something we’ve been warning about.

Finally we saw some action in the $5 million+ investments, with 11 in total and 3 of these being above $10 million. This is exactly the type of movement we need to see if we are to avoid a pipeline bottleneck from the masses of early-stage investments that have occured over the last 18 months.

That old Nordic favourite of Enterprise SaaS easily attracted the most investments in November, as investors perhaps look to proven business models in what has been a fairly uncertain 2016. The Nordics have come late to the game in Food and Drink compared to the startups in this space in London and Berlin, however, more and more have been attracting funding in the region in the last couple of months and this appears to be a hot sector right now.

There was a slight increase in International involvement compared to October’s 12.9%, but 18.6% is still relatively low compared to the 25%-30% we witnessed most month’s in 2015. However, this is due to an increase in local funding options rather than a decrease in International investor participation.

2016 was seemingly set to be a year of stabilisation in terms of the number of investments, but driven by startups positioning their funding announcements around Slush, November experienced a significant increase on recent months, meaning we are set to end the year on a high.

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Neil S W Murray founded The Nordic Web in 2014 in order to provide the Nordics with the quality coverage it deserves. As well as being Founding Editor of The Nordic Web, Neil is also an active community builder in the region, participating in a number of initiatives, and has previously worked for