Analysis: October’s Investments

After what can only be described (compared to recent times at least) as a mediocre year for investment in the Nordics, October needed to deliver in order to help prevent a potential down-year. However, unfortunately it wasn’t a spectacular month, with 53 investments totalling $189.1 million recorded, with the recent lull in investment continuing into the final quarter of the year.

In fact, October 2017 saw less investments than October of last year and only 10 more than October 2015. With last month also coming in below September’s 2016 all of the signs are currently pointing to the first down year for the number of investments in the Nordics for at least 4 years (since we began The Nordic Web in 2014).

The total capital invested though continues to hold up, indicating that it is not all bad news. Again, this was also the case last month, demonstrating that although the number of investments may be decreasing, the amount investing is still increasing, hinting at a continued maturity in the companies and the ecosystem.

The inconsistent nature of 2017 is laid out clearly when we look at the year as a whole. It’s now up to November and December to deliver at least 116 investments in order for this year to avoid less investments than 2016. It’s also worth pointing out that only 2 months in 2017 saw less investments than October’s 53.

Sweden performed strongly, whereas Denmark saw a bump in their recent performances. Finland and particularly Norway had slower months, with this the second quiet month in a row for the latter after an exceptional summer.

The spread of investments across the round sizes looked pretty similar to what we’ve seen throughout the year, with the 2 investments above $20 million helping to explain the strong total raised this month.

International involvement dropped a little from what we’ve seen in recent months, however, in general across 2017 it has been higher than what we saw last year, thanks to the increase in larger rounds.

The omens in October don’t look good for the rest of the year, however, November and December are typically strong months for funding announcements in the Nordics, particularly due to Slush taking place. I learnt a long time ago not to bet against the Nordic tech scene and despite a relatively disappointing October, I’d still back November and December to see the 116 investments announced that will see 2017 (just) surpass 2016’s number of investments (708).

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