As the last month of Q3, September carried a sense of responsibility on its shoulders to ensure that Q3 wasn’t one of the slowest quarters for investment in over a year. In fairness, although Q3 ultimately ended up on the low side, September itself performed reasonably strongly, with 64 investments totalling an impressive $234.1 million.
Still, 2017 came in behind 2016’s September, demonstrating that while things may have picked up compared to recent months, the pace is still slower than last year, something that may still result in a potential down year for the region. Let’s not forget though, that compared to just two years ago, investment levels are much improved, with 2017 seeing more than double the amount recorded in 2015.
In terms of capital invested, it was a very strong month for the Nordics, with over $200 million invested and more than double the total seen in September 2016. This is an impressive amount and demonstrates that although the number of investments may have slowed, the type of investments (larger and into scaling startups) are looking good.
September brought us back to the level we saw before the summer break and in fact, was the fourth strongest month of the year so far. If Q4 can come out as strong as last year then we still see some growth in the number of investments this year.
All countries pretty much stayed true to recent form in September, although Norway recorded a weaker month than we’ve become accustomed to in 2017. Still, they remained strong throughout the summer when others didn’t so perhaps it was simply a later break in Norway this year than usual… While Finland continues to significantly outperform Denmark in 2017.
The 9 investments happening above $10 million clearly contributed to the strong total. And incredibly, the recent resurgence in deals we’ve seen (and talked about for some time) between $500,000-$1M led to that being the most popular bracket in September, whereas in recent years it’s always been the bracket where the least action is happening at the early stage, quite the contrast.
In terms of verticals, there was a strong mix between established favourites (Enterprise SaaS and Health and Wellness) and recent favourites (Entertainment and Media and Deep Tech).
September recorded the highest percentage we’ve seen in terms of International investor participation for well over a year. We have seen this rise throughout 2017, with September the newest peak. This can largely be attributed to the increased rounds above $10 million.
September was an odd month to judge. It was the 4th highest month of the year and plenty of capital was invested due to an increase in larger rounds. Still, it was nothing spectacular, and “celebrating” it as a good month for investment would be testament to 2017’s weakness rather than September’s strength.