As the United States sees their tech companies increasingly toiling when it comes to going public (bar Twilio), the Nordics have had no such trouble. In fact, quite the opposite has happened, as the number of tech companies conducting an IPO has dramatically increased.
The first half of 2016 saw 11 Nordic tech companies go public, compared to 6 in the first half of 2015 (an increase of 83.3% year on year). In fact, 2015 saw 11 in total for the year, meaning that we’ve already seen just as many in 2016 despite only being halfway through it.
Using Nordic in this analysis should be done so loosely, as of the 11 companies that have gone public in 2016, 10 of these are from Sweden, with 1 being Norwegian. This is up from 45.45% of Nordic tech IPOs in 2015 coming from Swedish companies and is therefore a big indicator as to where these additional IPOs are coming from in 2016.
This was also the same percentage (45.45%) of how many of the IPOs were VC-backed in 2015. In 2016, this number sits at 81.82% and provides evidence as to why there’s been such an increase in Nordic tech companies going public this year.
With increased investment comes increased demand for liquidity events, and with Sweden the biggest beneficiary of the former, it’s natural that they will become the biggest beneficiary of the latter too.
Most interestingly (and importantly) these are not just small floats either. 5 of the 11 Nordic tech companies to go public in 2016 have had initial market caps’ of $50 million plus, with 3 of them $200 million plus.
With capital continuing to flow into the Nordics, it’s vital that investors begin to see a return on their money in the region. First North (10 of the 11 IPOs happened on there) provides a strong option for Nordic tech companies and their investors who are looking for a liquidity event without even looking outside of the region. This ‘easy’ option is likely also part of the reason why there has been such an increase. Most importantly though, this rise in IPOs proves that not only have the private markets held strong in the Nordics so far this year, so have the public ones.