2017 got off to a flyer for Norway, with Fuse, Xeneta and Huddly all announcing $10 million+ rounds within the first 4 months of the year. Although this seemed like a great move in the right direction of an ecosystem scaling up, there did seem to be an element of good timing about it, rather than something that could be more sustainable. However, with 8 months of the year now gone, Norway have kept announcing them, meaning there has now been 11 Norwegian companies who have raised a funding round above $10 million in the last 12 months.
This is more than double than we saw in the 32 months preceding that, demonstrating a serious amount of acceleration in terms of the number of companies that are capable of raising rounds above $10 million. Most vividly though, it shows an ecosystem that is beginning to mature as the companies that raised early-stage money in the last couple of years are moving through the funding pipeline.
Not only is this a record period for Norway, but it also stacks up well compared to other Nordic countries within this time period, placing how impressive this is into a wider context. Only Sweden have seen more than Norway, with more established ecosystems like Finland and Denmark both coming in behind them. This is extremely impressive when you consider the level of early-stage funding these two countries have seen in the last few years compared to Norway.
To take how incredible this is into a mind-blowing level, 11 funding rounds above $10 million was what Sweden recorded themselves last year. And it is higher than either Denmark or Finland have ever recorded in a calendar year. Now, while we don’t expect Norway to be competing for investment on Swedish levels anytime soon, this is a serious move in the direction of an ecosystem that is being provided the capital to scale and the companies strong enough to do so.
A year or so ago, Norway was always placed alongside Iceland when it came to our funding analyses, now it is the Nordic country closest to challenging Sweden for the number of funding rounds above $10 million. Now, while a slowdown (which looks rather worrying) in Denmark has certainly contributed to Norway gaining this position, 11 $10M+ rounds in the last 12 months can’t be seen in any other perspective than clear and exciting progress for a Norwegian ecosystem that is growing and growing.