The notorious Nordic summer slowdown is almost here, but before everyone signs off for sun, sand and *ahem*, June provided us with one of the biggest funding rounds in 2016 so far, the Nordics’ (and Europe’s) first ‘decacorn’ and one of the legends of the Nordic startup scene stepping down from his current role.
Denmark’s Tradeshift lands $75 million through new Series D round
Having long been on the ‘unicorn-in-waiting’ list, Tradeshift took a step closer to the $1 billion valuation mark, raising a $75 million Series D at close to a $600 million valuation. This was a 2x increase on their previous valuation when they raised their Series C at a $300 million valuation.
As was the case with their Series C, the latest money came from the East as they continue to focus on the Asian market. With 50% of their staff still based in Copenhagen, this is one of the biggest current Danish tech successes, and while those who were hoping they would be Denmark’s next unicorn may have to wait a little longer, there’s no doubting that Tradeshift are moving in the right direction, with 800,000 customers in 190 countries and reporting a 250% growth in transacted value year on year.
Tencent buy SoftBank’s stake in Supercell, valuing them at $10.2 billion
Supercell are arguably Europe’s biggest-under-the-radar success, despite their valuation having been second only to Spotify in Europe, they were regularly overlooked in the ‘unicorn’ conversation. That has all changed though, as the deal where Tencent acquired Softbank’s stake has valued the Finnish company at $10.2 billion, making them Europe’s first ‘decacorn’.
When you consider the hype around other European startup hubs, it’s remarkable that this feat happened in Helsinki. In a Nordic context, this now means that 4 of the 5 highest valued European unicorns have now come from the region, which is simply staggering.
In further good news for Finland (and the Nordics) Supercell have confirmed that their headquarters will remain in Helsinki and they will continue to pay their taxes in Finland.
Peter Vesterbacka is leaving Rovio
When Peter Vesterbacka announced he was leaving Rovio, the news about “The Mighty Eagle” graced the front pages of some of Finnish news agencies such is his profile in Finland. This is due not only to his work with Rovio but also the role he has played in the emergence and growth in the Helsinki and Finnish ecosystems, not least due to his involvement with Slush.
Although a large part of Peter’s role at Rovio was commercial being brand ambassador, Peter’s true passion has always revolved around the educational side, therefore it is no surprise that that is where he will focus his attentions next post-Rovio, working on an EdTech startup idea. And as ever, his ambitions remain sky-high, telling gamesindustry.biz: “Over time I expect to transform education globally”. We certainly won’t be betting against him.