Back in June of last year, we posted our most read post of 2015: The Nordics will attract more venture capital than London within three years, a rather controversial statement that I was subsequently asked to comment on whenever I spoke at any events, and even ending up in the shops on the front page of CoFounder Magazine (Note: the headline didn’t come from my mouth).
I have to admit, in the immediate months following the rather bold statement, I was a little worried that this could come back to bite me at some point in the future, despite it being based on data. And while it still could, the numbers for London released by London and Partners yesterday and our numbers for the Nordics for 2015 not only give me a stay of execution, but keep the prediction on course, with the Nordics still set to surpass London for venture capital in 2017.
At their growth rates back in June, London (66%) was set to end the year on $2.25 billion and the Nordics (136%) $2 billion. However, at the time I felt that it was unrealistic for both of them to maintain those growth rates and adjusted them to 50% and 75% for London and the Nordics respectively for my final prediction, which had the Nordics surpassing London for attracting venture capital in 2017.
In actuality, according to London and Partners latest numbers and ours (due next Monday) London not only maintained that growth rate but slightly exceeded it, finishing the year on $2.3 billion, whereas the Nordics dropped off a little bit with a total of $1.82 billion raised.
This means that the Nordics saw an increase of 115% in venture capital in 2015 compared to 2014, with London seeing a 70.37% increase. Interestingly, if both maintained the same growth rate in 2016, they would both end up with $3.91 billion raised this year, with 2017 being the year the Nordics surpass London, with $8.41 billion vs. $6.65 billion as growth rates currently stand.
Now, just like in June of last year, I don’t believe the Nordics can maintain that growth rate, but let’s say that London can, then the Nordics would need to see a growth rate of 92% per year in order to surpass London in 2017. This is not impossible, but as things stand right now, it doesn’t seem likely.
The fact remains however, that while everyone falls over themselves and marvels at the rates that London is raising venture capital at, elsewhere in Europe other places are raising even faster, with London’s growth rate paling in comparison to the Nordics, and while I don’t personally believe the Nordics will surpass London in venture capital next year, the numbers still suggest otherwise.
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