In our January analysis, we warned that things were fairly quiet at the start of 2017, however, we put it down to it being a new year, with funding announcements typically slower.
Yet, when we look at the first six weeks over the last four years, then 2017 is noticeably slower than 2016, with no Nordic country recording more investments than they had at this point last year, indicating that a levelling out could well and truly finally be here.
Sweden is the only country who managed to at least match the number of investments during the same time period of last year, however, this is still surprising when you consider that Sweden is the fastest growing ecosystem in the region, and was previously growing at a rate of 170% year-on-year for the number of investments. At least capital being invested was significantly higher, as Sweden’s maturer tech companies continue to attract large amounts of capital, notably iZettle ($63.8 million), Mathem ($18.1 million) and NA-KD.com ($15.5 million).
All of the other Nordic countries only slightly fall short of 2016’s number of investments, so there’s certainly no crisis, however it does perhaps add some support to an argument that things are beginning to level out finally. Iceland is the only country who has recorded less investments at this point in 2017 than 2015 and 2014, so the only potential warning bells that could be sounded are most likely to be heard in the Nordics smallest country.
Of course, six weeks is a small sample, however combined with the fact that January saw the biggest drop month-on-month for the number of investments we’ve ever recorded, there’s certainly reason for us to keep an eye on the pace of investment in the region right now.