Could 2017 be a down year for investment in the Nordics?

Five and a half months into the year, we can now begin to start projecting what this year might look like for investment and begin to better understand the temperature of the Nordic investment scene right now.

What has been clear for a while now is that investment has begun to level out and is not growing at anywhere near the rate we have been seeing in recent years. This is well demonstrated by the fact that at this point of the year, we see just 27 more investments than we did in 2016, 11.54% growth, compared to 182% growth at this point in 2016.

Therefore, it’s completely feasible that 2017 could end up being a down year with the number so delicately in the balance.

In fact, if we look at how many investments there have been per week in 2017 so far and then project using that measurement, we see just 6 more investments this year, bringing us even closer to the possibility of 2017 seeing less investments than last year.

However, there’s a much more accurate projection we can make with three years of data. The good news is, is that typically at this point of the year, the investments that occur make up approximately 1 in 3 of the total investments in a calendar year. Therefore, by taking the average of what each year ultimately ended up recording in total investments, we can project the most likely scenario.

And that scenario is less worrying from a macro perspective. This would result in 71 more investments than 2016 or a 10% growth. Although not on the same level of growth of previous years, it’s more indicative of a stabilisation than a decline.

In truth, the fact that there is certainly an increase in later-stage investments and a rise in VC exits is arguably more important than the number of investments for where the ecosystem sits today. Even still, a down year for investments could certainly put the breaks on and start raising alarm bells, and while we project that it is unlikely, as we head towards the mid point of the year we certainly can’t rule it out either.

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