In the first six weeks of Q3, we’ve tracked 63 investments totalling $296.4 million. While the total amount raised is very healthy (although it should be noted that Unity account for 61%s of this), at half way through the quarter, we are projecting ‘just’ 126 investments in Q3, which would be the lowest we’ve recorded since Q3 2015 and would account for the first down quarter we’ve recorded since Q3 2014 (when the number of investments was 48 compared to 47 in Q2).
Q3 is often a slower quarter in the Nordics, due to the renowned prolonged holiday season which means that pretty much everyone shuts down during July, however there are a few signals from the first six weeks of Q3 data that indicate that the slow down in investments may run a little deeper than a summer break.
Although July is the main time for holiday in the Nordics, so far, August is turning out to be even slower than July, and based on current projections, would be on course to record just 36 investments for the month. This would be the lowest recorded in a calendar month in 2016 and perhaps more significantly would mean that the number of investments per month would have dropped for the fourth month in a row, enough to consider it a trend.
Identifying the shortfall
Interestingly, if we compare the projected numbers for Q3 based on the first six weeks of data against Q2, the shortfall doesn’t seem to be at the larger rounds, but rather the early stage. As the biggest discrepancy by quite some distance is at the $500,000-$1 million round size. In some ways this is to be expected, as one of the recent investment trends is to avoid this size of round, however, this shortfall is not compensated either below or above this amount, as would be expected. In fact, investments below $500,000 are the round size with the second highest amount of difference between quarters.
And in terms of individual countries, while Denmark and Finland are currently tracking the same number of investments as they saw in Q2, Norway and Sweden are behind. This was to be expected for Norway, as the 23 investments they saw in Q2 was a record quarter by some distance and was always going to be hard to maintain.
However, Sweden is a different story, as they are currently on course to record 30 less investments this quarter than last, which would be quite the shortfall. This would also have wider reaching implications as Sweden is the main investment hub and this could have a knock on affect across the region.
It’s not all doom and gloom though as in the first six weeks of Q3, 34.9% of the funding rounds announced have included a minimum of one International investor, sitting way above the average of 19.19% for the year as a whole.
And it is also more than possible that now everyone is properly back from holiday, we’ll see a flurry of funding announcements meaning Q3 will surpass Q4 2015, but even if that is the case, Q3 2016 will certainly be the slowest of 2016 so far, and will be the first down quarter for two years, meaning that it may be time to consider that investments have peaked in the Nordics for now.