The Finnish H1 (Q1 and Q2) Funding Analysis

After publishing our Nordic and Danish H1 funding analyses earlier this week, let’s take a deeper look a little further north, to Finland.

Methodology and Disclaimers

  • The most important thing to mention, is that at the end of a quarter we spend time updating our database from investments that we either missed at the time or were subsequently uncovered post the original analysis. Therefore, some of the numbers, particularly on the number of investments per quarter differ in this analysis from previous ones you may have read previously.
  • We are largely able to achieve this increased accuracy due to the higher quality of available data sources that exist in the region these days, particular shout-outs deserve to go to Nordic9Nordic Tech List and Northstack.
  • Any differences that occur in our datasets are predominantly due to methodology, therefore it is important to outline ours:
  • We only record publicly disclosed, private minority (equity and loan) investments into Nordic tech companies. We do not include secondary investments, nor do we include accelerator investments (for entry into a programme)

 

The Number of Investments

There were a total of 58 investments in H1 2018 (28 in Q1 and 30 in Q2) meaning we saw a 9.43% increase compared to H1 2017, considerably above the increase seen across the region as a whole which was 2.2% year-on-year, but notably just below Denmark’s 10.77%.

Q1 and Q2 were both pretty consistent, with Q2 the strongest quarter for a year (since Q2 2017). And after a relatively slow 2016, these days Finland is recording 25+ investments every quarter for five in a row now, meaning a new baseline for what is a “good” quarter for investment has seemingly been set. The current rate of investment would lead to a solid yet unspectacular 2018.

 

The Amount of Capital Invested ($M)

$302.8 million was invested into Finnish startups in the first half of 2018, with Q2’s $190.2 million a new record quarter, although HMD’s $100 million round obviously made up the majority of this.

The $302.8 million was a 107.2% increase on H1 2017, just $70 million short of the total raised in the whole of 2017 and putting 2018 comfortably on course to be a record year for capital deployed into Finnish startups.

 

The Number of Investments per Round Size

It’s particularly interesting to note that “just” 48.3% of the investments happened below $1 million (assuming the undisclosed investments can be included) which is less than the 52.5% seen across the region as a whole and significantly less than Denmark’s 62.5%. This is largely due to the amount of investments happening in the $1-3 million range and can partly be explained by the amount of local VC firms in Finland there are who can provide capital in this range.

The biggest increases in action year on year are in the $0.5-1M and $5-10M ranges while the biggest decrease in action is at $3-5 million.

 

The Number of Investments per Vertical

Enterprise SaaS and Health and Wellness are ruling the roost in Finland right now, while gaming has seemingly taken a back seat in 2018 so far. Other than that only Food and Drink and Hardware have recorded 3 or more investments, with Enterprise SaaS or Health and Wellness startups actually accounting for 34.4% of the investments announced in Finland in H1 2018.

 

The Number of Investments per City

The Helsinki and Espoo axis dominated as usual with 4 out of 5 investments happening there (arguably more including Vantaa), although the other notable hotspots in Finland (Oulu, Turku and Tampere) all secured multiple investments to prove there is life outside of the capital too.

 

The % of Funding Rounds with a minimum of 1 International Investor

Finland continues to do exceptionally well at attracting foreign investment, with nearly 1 in 3 investments in H1 2018 including at least one investor from outside of the Nordics. This is significantly higher than the average we see across the region and is a testament to Finland’s ability to continue to build strong relationships with international investors. It is however below the numbers we usually see (the last couple of years it’s been nearer to 50%), yet this is more to do with the increased activity of newer local players than a diminished interest from outside.

 

Conclusion

It appears almost inevitable at this point that 2018 will be a record year for capital deployed into Finnish startups. However, the rate of investment is not growing as fast meaning it could be a relatively stable year for growth in this regard.

Yet, historically Finland has a much stronger H2 than H1 for the number of investments meaning there is still a real possibility that Finland could record the 2nd most investments in the region (behind Sweden) for the first time in 2015.

Neil S W Murray founded The Nordic Web in 2014 in order to provide the Nordics with the quality coverage it deserves. As well as being Founding Editor of The Nordic Web, Neil is also an active community builder in the region, participating in a number of initiatives, and has previously worked for Tech.eu.