Highlighting October’s most significant investment, exit and story

This month we shine the spotlight on an investment in one of the Nordic’s most promising startups, the first ever IPO post-crowdfund in Finland, while one of the world’s most exciting companies has pitched up in Finland to take advantage of the region’s blossoming VR and AR talent.

The investment

Swedish Soundtrap raises $6 million and reaches 1 million users

Naturally I see a lot of Nordic startups pitch, and as such it can be hard to remember who the most interesting companies are. However, one that has no problem standing out in my mind, is Soundtrap, who delivered one of the strongest Nordic pitches I have seen earlier this year.

It appears that Industrifonden were just as impressed as I was, leading a $6 million round as the company announced it is nearing 1 million users. As well as an impressive pitch, they also possess a strong team, and are well positioned to become the go-to platform for anyone looking to collaborate on making music. Definitely one to watch.

The exit

Finnish Heeros went public, becoming the first crowdfunded Finnish company to do so

Alternative funding sources are increasing in popularity in the Nordics. However, if there is one charge that can levelled at crowdfunding (equity or reward based) is that there is a perception that ultimately there doesn’t appear to be that much upside for the backers.

This could be about to change in Finland at least, as Heeros IPO makes them the first crowdfund-backed company to go public. Invesdor’s (the platform they raised on) country manager said: “A pre-IPO crowdfunding campaign is a logical step for a company preparing for an IPO; the campaign brings visibility and shareholders that are valuable when listing”. And even though I am a bit of a doubter when it comes to the value equity crowdfunding offers to the investor, I can’t disagree that this would be a logical step for a company with plans to go public. It will be interesting to see if this sparks a trend across the region.

The story

Magic Leap goes to Finland in pursuit of Nordic VR and AR talent

Undoubtably the biggest story of the month, Magic Leap, considered one of the world’s most exciting companies have pitched up in Finland to take advantage of its AR and VR talent.

While it is yet to be seen how this will take shape exactly, it is hard to think that this is anything but positive for the region. It would of course be preferable though if Magic Leap were acquiring (or acqui-hiring) rather than stealing local talent from smaller companies. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this.

“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.