The Q3 Icelandic Funding Analysis

Editor: We’ve teamed up with our friends at Iceland’s premier startup blog Northstack to bring you the Q3 Icelandic Funding Analysis.

We’d highly recommend anyone with even a passing interest in Iceland to check out Northstack, as well as signing up to their excellent The Memo. You can read this post on Northstack here.


  • 6 investments, $20.4m total (disclosed)
  • Average round was $4.08m, four times the Q2/’16 average round, and the highest average since we started doing these reports
  • Iceland accounted for 4% of deployed capital in the Nordics
  • 81% of the capital was from foreign sources
  • 3 of 4 Icelandic VC’s invested in the quarter
  • No exits, which means two quarters in a row without an exit.


This quarter we recorded six investments, and no exits. The biggest investment was Meniga’s $8.2m round, which we record in Q3 because that’s when it was announced (although it closed in Q1).

Funding rounds

(millions of US dollars)

An interesting development is that all the investments were at least $1m. Four investments were into fairly old companies (Meniga, Mint, Greenqloud, Oculis Pharma), and two into younger companies (Datadwell, Takumi). We didn’t pick up any angel or early seed stage investments.

Investments, by size and quarter

We also see a small increase in investments quarter-over-quarter, up to six investments. This implies that the low of four investments last quarter was a seasonal thing (although we won’t assert that, yet).

In regards to the smaller rounds, it’s important to remember that Icelandic angel investors are secretive (or just don’t proactively share their investment data). The fact we didn’t track any doesn’t mean no investments happened.

Number of investments per quarter

This next chart reveals a big positive: We haven’t seen this amount of capital deployed in the Icelandic startup scene for three quarters, and if you don’t count CCP’s $30m round, even longer. The average round is almost double the size of the highest average we’ve had. This is obviously impacted by the age of the companies that were raising funds – maybe we should start tracking that as well.

Capital deployed and average round sizes

(millions of US dollars)

*The average for Q4/2015 doesn’t include the $30m CCP investment *The average for Q4/2015 doesn’t include the $30m CCP investment

Comparison with the Nordics

As we saw in the last report, recorded investments in the Nordics have grown steadily quarter over quarter. The dataset behind investments in Iceland, and the timeframe we’re looking at, is too small to plot any real trend, but it’s positive to see the number rising.

Number of investments compared to the Nordics

This quarter, Iceland’s $20.4m accounted for ~4% of deployed capital (total $516.2m) in the Nordics, as per The Nordic Web’s funding report.

Funding sources

Bigger rounds, older companies, higher averages. This all leads up to a (fairly) obvious assumption: The money is coming from outside of Iceland. And, it is. Around 81% of deployed (and disclosed) capital in the quarter is from outside of Iceland.

However, three of the four VC funds were active. Brunnur invested in Oculis Pharma, Frumtak in Datadwell, and NSA Ventures participated in Mint‘s round.

“In the tech world, things move fast and companies are born anywhere in the world. I’m able to have an ear to the ground with The Nordic Web – the content is fresh, local, and of high quality, which is exactly what you need as a seed investor.

In fact, it’s through Neil Murray’s newsletter that I first heard about Mapillary. Several months later, I was fortunate to lead our firm’s investment in the Company to help drive the creation of a crowdsourced visual representation of our world”

— Nathan Benaich, Playfair Capital