A record-breaking number of investments – 479M€ jackpot for Finnish startups
Finnish Business Angels Network (FiBAN) and Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) have collected their annual statistics of investments into Finnish startups and early stage growth companies in 2018.
A record-high figure of 479 million euros was invested into startups and early stage growth companies in Finland in 2018. Of the total sum, foreign investments accounted for 291 million euros. Finnish Venture Capital (VC) funds invested 101 million euros and business angels invested 36 million euros. Foreign VC funds allocated 103 million euros of direct investments into Finnish companies. The amounts of investments from both Finnish and foreign VC funds has grown significantly from the previous year. FiBAN’s business angels invested in 435 startups and early stage growth companies. VC funds invested in total of 154 Finnish startups and early stage growth companies in 2018.
The maturing of the startup investing ecosystem leads to bigger investment rounds
The business angel statistics produced by FiBAN show that angel investments by FiBAN members grew from the previous year. The statistics are based on the FiBAN annual investment statistics survey, which is Europe’s most comprehensive yearly survey for business angels.
“The early stage funding environment in Finland has developed a lot since FiBAN was founded in 2010. Startup investing has established itself as a vital part of the Finnish economy. Today, business angel investing is based on several proven conventions and practices. Another sign of a maturing field is the stabilisation of many key statistical figures. Fortunately, the early-stage funding ecosystem is also undergoing constant renewal and diversification”, notes FiBAN’s Managing Director Reidar Wasenius.
In 2018, the total number of startup investments surged thanks to the increased amount of large investments made by foreign investors to the most promising startups and early stage companies in Finland. These investments also grew substantially the share of foreign VC investors in the investor pool in Finland. The number of domestic startup investments made by Finnish VC funds also increased considerably (35%) from last year.
“A well-functioning, networked and diverse business angel and VC market is a prerequisite for making the most out of Finland’s strong technical know-how. This know-how is the accelerator of growth for Finnish startups and early stage growth companies – and the thing that also generates the interest of foreign VC investors. Finnish companies have now more potential than ever to lead substantial, international financing rounds, which is great news for Finland”, comments Pia Santavirta, Managing Director of Finnish Venture Capital Association.
Startup investors play a major role in the development of the Finnish business environment
Early stage investments made by business angels are crucial for the creation of successful startups. Business angels invest their time, knowledge and personal wealth at a stage when the investment risk is very high. In 2018, business angels invested in 435 startups. According to the 2018 statistics, the average investment per angel was 42 000 euros and the median investment per angel was 18 000 euros.
Sources: FVCA, EDC, FiBAN, ETLA
VC investors and their business know-how accelerate the growth of startups furthermore. A recent study carried out by Finnish Venture Capital Association and KPMG mapped the development of growth and revenue of Finnish startups that had received venture capital during the period of 2010 to 2017. During the three years after receiving venture capital, the startups’ average annual growth rate was 7 times faster than that of the control group (without the share of Supercell). During the same period startups’ personnel grew by 1000 persons, annual growth rate being 5 times faster than the one of the control group’s.
The small sizes of Finnish VC funds and investments hinders the growth of companies
“We still have a lot of work to do in Finland. If we want to create more thriving Finnish startups, we need more and larger VC funds to finance and support startups and early stage growth companies wanting to scale their business. Finland is missing a great potential for growth if we do not develop and strengthen the investing capacity of domestic investment pool. When comparing Finland with other countries, we clearly lag behind in the average sizes of VC investments as well as the average sizes of VC funds”, comments Santavirta.
A new Nordic Venture Capital report shows that while European average seed stage investment size reaches 0.7 M€, Nordic seed stage investment size remains at a low number of 0.3 M€ during the period of 2015-2017. In 2018, the number in Finland is 0.2 M€. Additionally, the average size of investments in Finland falls behind their European and Nordic counterparts also in the later investment rounds.
“The foundation for future growth is laid by improving the business environment for startups and early stage growth companies, by attracting talent to Finland and by investing into research and education. FiBAN and FVCA hope that the economic policies of the new Finnish government will promote growth to strengthen Finland’s competitiveness”, conclude Wasenius and Santavirta.
Venture Capital in Finland
“We are proud of the funding rounds that Finnish companies have received. There is a high number of quality early stage growth companies attracting bigger investments rounds than ever before. These bigger investments will be used for heavy international growth. Overall the VC market is working smoothly – I’m sure we’ll see a number of impressive exits this and the following year. But to accelerate growth Finland desperately needs more power behind early stage seed funds; we need to boost the amount of investments fast by increasing the amount of VC funds and their financial capital”, comments Sami Lampinen, FVCA’s Chairman of the Board and Inventure’s partner.
Pia Santavirta, Managing Director, FVCA, p.+358 40 546 7749, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sami Lampinen, Chairman of the Board, FVCA, p. +358 40 520 5295, email@example.com
Reidar Wasenius, Managing Director, FiBAN ry, p. +358 400 432 100, firstname.lastname@example.org
Janne Jormalainen, Chairman of the Board, FiBAN ry, email@example.com
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Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) is the industry body and public policy advocate for the venture capital and private equity industry in Finland. As the voice of the Finnish VC and PE community and the entrepreneurs they fund, it is our role to demonstrate the positive impact of the industry on the Finnish economy.
FVCA – Building growth. www.paaomasijoittajat.fi/en
Finnish Business Angels Network (FiBAN) is a non-profit association enabling its 660+ members to be increasingly successful startup investors. It is the largest and most active business angel network in Europe. The European Business Angels Network (EBAN) rewarded FiBAN as the Business Angel Network of the Year in 2012 and 2014. FiBAN received the esteemed Internationalization Award of the President of the Republic of Finland in 2017.
FiBAN – Inspiring Private Investments. www.fiban.org