Highlighting November’s most significant investment, exit and story

A big investment in Sweden, a plethora of exits in Denmark and an uprising in Norway particularly caught our attentions in November, here’s why:

The Investment

Swedish graph-database company Neo Technology raised a further $35.9 million

Image via 8till5.se Image via 8till5.se

Neo Technology have had an eventful year, including being the enabling technology behind the Panama Papers. In many ways, this is a perfect demonstration of the potential impact that they can have with their graph database product, and also means that there are no surprises that IBM, Oracle and others have now moved into this space.

To help them combat this, they announced a $35.9 million Series D to help them accelerate ahead of the upcoming competition.

CEO Emil Eifrem told TechCrunch it was “an opportunistic and significant up-round” and was done for the aforementioned reason. Emil also revealed that their latest valuation sets them up to pass the (once?) coveted $1 billion valuation within two to three years.

The Exit(s)

The Danish tech scene appears to be maturing, 4 exits announced in one week

Denmark’s tech scene has had a couple of very promising years, with interest and investment continually rising. However, the only way to build a sustainable ecosystem is to have exits. Not only do they demonstrate to investors that returns can be made by backing Danish companies, they also provide entrepreneurs with resources to start angel investing themselves, and helping the next generation come through.

Meaning, November was an interesting moment in the Danish tech story, as 4 exits were announced within a single week. Admittedly, none of them were blockbusters (with the possible exception of CFH Group), but even still, in the majority of the cases, capital will get regurgitated, entrepreneurs will go and build again and the momentum that an ecosystem needs to grow will keep building.

For those interested, the four exits were:

  • CFH Group acquired by Playtech for up to $120 million
  • Wise.io acquired by GE Digital
  • Martin Thorborg sold his accounting business Dinero to Visma Group
  • Miinto acquired by Anders Holch Povlsen, the sole owner of competing Bestseller for a “double-digit million-euro sum

The Story

Prominent Norwegian entrepreneurs have grouped together to put pressure on the Government for more entrepreneur-friendly conditions

Although admittedly they are coming from a lower baseline than the others, from an investment perspective Norway is the fastest growing ecosystem in the Nordics right now. This is in spite of most of the country still looking to oil and real estate as the most attractive investable opportunities and the Government being largely unaware to whats happening in their blossoming tech startup sector.

Norway is at a crucial stage in its development right now, where if conditions are right it could really push on and build up an ecosystem that rivals some of the more established hubs in the region. Luckily, some of Norway’s most prominent entrepreneurs have recognised this and have grouped together to put pressure on the Government for more entrepreneur-friendly conditions.

Key to their argument is making programming mandatory in schools as well as introducing investor-friendly conditions for those looking to put capital into the country’s tech startups.

Change at a Governmental level takes time,  meaning it is never too early to start pushing for it.

“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 Tech.eu.