The 2015 Danish Funding Analysis

After our 2015 Nordic funding analysis and our 2015 Icelandic funding analysis, next we turn our attention to Denmark, a country that has been threatening to join Sweden and Finland in the upper echelons of Europe’s startup hubs for a while now, especially when it comes to attracting venture capital, so how did they get on in 2015?

In 2015, we tracked 65 investments in Danish startups, totalling $273.53 million

2015 got off to a slow start, and the promising 2014, a year when Denmark started to compete at a similar level with Finland seemed like it may have just been an exceptional year rather than the start of something more sustainable. However, things really picked up in the final quarter of the year, with nearly 1 in 3 investments in Denmark coming in the last three months of the year, meaning 2015 was more than comparable to 2014 after all.

The top 10 largest investments in Denmark in 2015 played a very big part in Denmark seeing a very healthy amount of venture capital invested, accounting for 84.49% of the total money, demonstrating that these ten large amounts can skew the picture somewhat when you consider the overall health of the funding landscape in Denmark, but, equally, you can make the point that Danish companies are now able to attract the larger later-stage money easier than before.

Denmark’s ability to raise those later rounds also affects the breakdown when we look at the stage the funding came, with nearly 25% of the investments coming at Series A and onwards.

The median seed and Series A was lower than the average seen compared to the Nordics as a whole ($1.04 million and $5 million respectively), however the median Series B was significantly higher, although it should be noted that this is from a sample of three, either way, this again points to the fact that larger rounds were not a problem for Danish companies in 2015.

A vertical widely regarded as Denmark’s strongest area of expertise once again saw the most investments in 2015, however, adtech saw just as many, suggesting that this is an area that Danish startups are particularly strong in at the moment.

The number of investments jumped from 38 in 2014 to 65 in 2015, representing a 71.05% increase year on year, a healthy growth rate, that should be possible to maintain in 2016, which would mean 100+ investments in Danish startups this year.

The amount of investment grew at around the same rate, with $273.53 million a 66.18% increase from 2014’s $164.6 million.

In terms of where Denmark fits in on a Nordic level, they continue to threaten Finland as being considered one of the major hubs in the region, (Sweden are a different matter) as although they may still see fewer investments, the total they are raising was significantly higher (Finland raised $197.52 million). Interestingly, in terms of number of investments, Denmark are growing at a rate of 71% compared to Finland’s 27.27%, so if these rates are maintained Denmark may soon surpass Finland both in terms of number of investments and amounts raised, which would be a bit of a shake-up as to where the money typically goes in the Nordics.

However, the high total amount of venture capital that Denmark raised in 2015 will be hard to sustain in 2016, mainly due to the top 10 this year accounting for 85%, so we should not be surprised if the total doesn’t grow significantly in 2016, there’s even a possibility it could drop. But, yearly totals are a short-term way of looking at things, the growth of the number of investments is a better way of determining how healthy an ecosystem, and in that regard Denmark are looking good for 2016.

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