Finland, along with Sweden, possesses one of the more established startup ecosystems in the Nordics, both in terms of previous successes, and attracting capital. In fact, Finland saw the highest number of investments in 2014, yes, even more than Sweden, but were they able to keep up the momentum in 2015? Let’s find out.
In 2015, we tracked 84 investments into Finnish tech startups, totalling $197.52 million
As was the case in all of the Nordic countries, the majority of investments occurred in the second half of the year, particularly in the final quarter. While Q4 saw the lowest number of investments for two years globally, in the Nordics, it was the highest number of investments in a quarter ever recorded.
There were no landmark Finnish funding rounds in 2015, with only two companies breaching the $20 million+ mark. This meant that the top 10 rounds actually only made up 59.54% of the total raised, for context, the top 10 funding rounds in Denmark made up 85% of their total raised.
As to be expected with no major funding rounds, the majority of investments in Finland in 2015 were at an early stage, with 79.10% of the investments happening at seed and below. Despite the lack of later-stage funding rounds, Series A rounds made up 14.93% of the investments, demonstrating a strong pipeline of Finnish companies that will be looking to raise the larger, later rounds in 2016.
The median seed rounds were slightly higher than the Nordic median ($1.04 million). Despite the relatively high number of Series A, the median size of them were significantly lower than the Nordic median ($5 million). However, despite the scarcity of the later rounds, Series B were higher than the Nordic median ($15 million) although it should be pointed out that this is from a sample of three.
No surprises here, as health and wellness, and gaming were comfortably the most popular verticals to be funded. Other notable verticals to register on the scale were fintech, sales and marketing, enterprise SaaS and adtech, however I feel it’s fairly safe to say that we won’t see much disruption to the top two for a while, as Finland is a real hot-bed of innovation in both of these areas.
Investments increased from 66 in 2014 to 84 in 2015 representing a 27.27% increase year on year.
While the amount invested increased from $174.7 million in 2014 to $197.52 million in 2015, representing a 13.06%.
2015 is a difficult year to assess for Finland and venture capital. Their growth from 2014 to 2015 in number of investments and amount of investment was the lowest in the Nordics, however, part of this is due to the fact that in 2014 Finland saw the highest number of investments and the second highest amount of capital, meaning they were starting from a much higher base number than anyone else (bar Sweden with amounts). Also worth noting, Finland actually fell behind Denmark for the first time for total amount raised but this was largely in part due to a couple of monster rounds from Danish startups (Trustpilot $73.5 million, Siteimprove $55 million) than Finland’s own performance, with Finnish startups still seeing a higher number of investments than Danish ones.
The fact remains, that although the growth percentage was fairly low year on year, investments and the amount still grew, so I would suggest that 2015 was still a healthy year for Finland and investment, however, in saying that, due to the strong pipeline at Series A, and the fact that 2016 will likely see more rounds above $20 million than 2015 did, I expect 2016 to be a significantly stronger year.
*Our numbers differ to Startup100 who also released number on Finnish investments largely due to the fact that our definitions of what constitutes tech varying, with Startup100 employing a wider definition. Startup100 is a very valuable resource for us in terms of tracking Finnish investments and exits, and we have included all investments from Startup100 that fit with our definition of tech.
Now read: The 2015 Nordic Funding Analysis
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