The Q2 2017 Danish Funding Analysis

In the first of our country specific Q2 funding analyses, we delve deeper into Denmark’s performance. The headline being that in Q2, Denmark recorded 29 investments totalling $55.6 million, a slow but steady quarter compared to recent performances.

 

Two quick notes on methodology before we begin:

We only record private minority (equity and loan) investments into Danish tech companies

** Ultimately we decide to leave out Unity from this analysis due to them being headquartered in the United States for quite some time now, for anyone who disagrees, just add ‘1’ to the number of investments and $400 million to the totals. 

 

In fact, this was the slowest quarter for Danish funding announcements for one year, as the peak of Q4 2016 continues to see a slide downwards after it. However, there was still a slight increase of 11.54% from Q2 2016, although this still came in significantly below the 23.9% that was seen across the region as a whole.

This brings them up to 65 investments at the halfway point of the year, representing a fairly flat projected growth, considering they recorded 123 investments in the whole of 2016.

In terms of the amount of capital being invested it was essentially a flat quarter, meaning barring a monster round, 2017 looks destined to be a down year compared to 2016. For context, what has been invested in 2017 so far was essentially invested into Denmark every quarter (except Q4) last year, meaning the amount of capital has nearly halved.

This can easily be explained by the lack of action above $10 million. While the other Nordic countries have seen their companies progress through the funding pipeline to raise Series A’s and beyond, Denmark is struggling in comparison. While an argument could be made that it is simply a less mature ecosystem than Sweden and Finland, Norway nullifies this line of reasoning as they’ve had no problems with $10 million+ rounds in 2017.

This appears to be a problem area for Denmark right now, with a lack of quality companies coming through at Series A, hopefully some of those that have raised early-stage companies who’ve raised in the last 9-12 months will prove strong enough to see this pick up later in the year.

As ever, Enterprise SaaS reigns supreme in Denmark, with FinTech, a vertical that has seen a lot of energy and money go into it within the country took second spot. Only three other verticals recorded more than one investment in Q2: DeepTech (3), Food and Drink (2) and Gaming (2).

It’s worth noting that the highest funding round (Denmark’s solitary $10 million+ round) only just tipped the scales at $10 million, and in fairness it’s not even a true VC case with no traditional tech investors participating in any of its funding rounds (Edit: This was poor wording, its’s backed by Evolution, a VC fund specialised in cybersecurity, it would have been better to say from none of the usual suspects or from more generalised VCs like Index, Accel etc) Below them, we can see some of the current darlings of the Danish tech scene all raising in Q2.

As usual, the capital city claimed the majority of the investments, although it is perhaps interesting to note that their share (69%) has dipped from 2016(80%) and Q1 2017 (77.77%). In contrast, Aarhus continues to increase their share (17.24%) as Denmark’s second city stakes their claim to be considered a strong Danish tech hub and also worthy of investors attention, with nearly 1 in 5 Danish investments happening there in the last quarter.

Denmark still relies on International investors to participate in 1 in 4 of their funding rounds, which is pretty impressive when you consider the lack of larger funding rounds. This demonstrates that Denmark perhaps doesn’t have the level of strength of domestic VCs available as countries like Finland and Sweden do, particularly in the Series A range, which could also be part of the slowdown here.

It was by no means a disastrous quarter for Denmark, however, there is no getting away from the fact that it was the lowest investments in a quarter they have seen for a year, and perhaps more concerning, they were the only country in the Nordics that didn’t see an increase from their Q1.

As mentioned above, the most concerning statistic however appears to be how few companies seem capable of raising a Series A and beyond. That will need to change during the rest of this year for 2017 to be considered another strong year for investment into the Danish ecosystem.

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.