Analysis: September’s investments

Ahead of releasing our quarterly funding analyses tomorrow, we reflect on September, a month where investments happened in abundance. However, with more than half of these under the $1million mark, it’s important for us to delve a little deeper into the numbers, to get a true sense of what the last month of Q3 really looked like for the Nordic investment scene.

In terms of calendar years, this September truly was a remarkable one for the sheer number of investments, experiencing 143% YOY growth from 2015. To put that into further context, August 2016 saw a 79% YOY increase from August 2015.

Despite the record number of investments, in terms of capital, September didn’t perform so impressively. Although there was an 84% growth YOY when compared to September 2015, September 2016 recorded over $30 million less than August 2016, despite 21 more investments.

However, there’s no denying that September was an extremely impressive month for the number of investments, easily the best performing month of the year, and outstripping the second best month (May) by 12 investments.

Looking via country, it’s clear to see that the majority of these additional investments occured in Sweden, as they were the only country to see a marked improvement on August in terms of the number of investments.

53.4% of investments were under $1 million and 95.89% of them were under $5 million, demonstrating that the rise in investments in September was predominantly due to an influx of angel and pre-seed rounds.

Retail, Energy and EdTech startups had a particularly strong month for funding, standing up alongside the usual suspects of FinTech, Enterprise SaaS and Gaming.

Hardly surprising considering the round sizes were so small in September, but the amount of International (non-Nordic) investors participating in funding rounds was only 16.4%, dramatically down from August’s 30.8%.

Typically, when a record-breaking month for the number of investments comes along, we’d be full of hope and positivity, but looking beyond the headline number for September, there is some cause for concern. There’s no doubt that money is continuing to flow into the region faster than ever at the early stages, but the later, bigger money seems to be consistently slowing down month by month which could bring us a pretty severe pipeline problem in 2017.

So, congratulations to September and all who sailed on her, let’s just remember to look out for icebergs from here on in.

“In the tech world, things move fast and companies are born anywhere in the world. I’m able to have an ear to the ground with The Nordic Web – the content is fresh, local, and of high quality, which is exactly what you need as a seed investor.

In fact, it’s through Neil Murray’s newsletter that I first heard about Mapillary. Several months later, I was fortunate to lead our firm’s investment in the Company to help drive the creation of a crowdsourced visual representation of our world”

— Nathan Benaich, Playfair Capital

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