A recent study by the Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) and PwC examined the impact of private equity and venture capital on Finland’s corporate landscape and the growth of Finnish companies.
According to the study, companies with a private equity and venture capital background play a significant role in the Finnish economy. With a combined revenue of €54.9 billion, companies that are currently owned or have previously been owned by PE investors account for 11% of the total revenue generated by Finnish companies. These companies employ a total of 207,000 people, with an estimated 140,000 in Finland – equal to the entire Finnish ICT industry.
”Although private equity and venture capital is a relatively young industry in Finland, PE investors and their portfolio companies already play a significant role in driving economic growth and employment in Finland”, says Jussi Lehtinen, partner at PwC.
PE investors are active owners who aim to develop and grow their portfolio companies during their ownership period. They also play a crucial role in creating new large enterprises in Finland. Among the 500 largest companies in Finland by revenue, 18% have a private equity or venture capital background, and of the 179 companies that have entered this list in the past decade, as much as 30% have received PE investments at some point in their history.
In recent years, private equity and venture capital-backed growth companies such as Supercell, Wolt, Musti ja Mirri and Renta have joined the ranks of Finland’s largest companies.
“Determined efforts to find, fund and develop promising growth companies have yielded positive results and numerous success stories, bringing both employment and tax revenue to Finland. Hopefully, in the future, we will see more and larger growth companies alongside traditional large enterprises, further strengthening the Finnish economy”, says Anne Horttanainen, Managing Director of the FVCA.
Private Equity and Venture Capital-Backed Companies Grow Significantly Faster Than Their Peers
The study also examined the development of revenue and the number of employees of companies that received initial investments from Finnish PE investors during the years 2012–2021.
Portfolio companies of PE investors have grown ten times faster in terms of revenue and 56 times faster in terms of the number of employees than other companies of the same size in similar industries. On average, the revenue of PE investors’ portfolio companies has grown by 43%, and their number of employees has increased by 28% annually over five years since the initial investment, while the corresponding growth rates for peer companies are 4% and 0.5%.
“PE investors are partners for companies and entrepreneurs, bringing expertise and support to the implementation of growth plans. There have been many challenging years for the whole world, but the growth of venture capital and private equity portfolio companies has been faster than their counterparts, even during these times. This shows that in addition to funding, the business expertise and support offered by PE investors can be decisive for the success of companies in challenging times,” Horttanainen comments.
“According to Petteri Orpo’s government program, the aim is to double the number of medium-sized, growth-oriented, entrepreneur-led companies in Finland by 2030. FVCA supports this goal and wants to promote growth and employment throughout Finland. There are several traditional companies in Finland with the potential for rapid growth, for which PE investors can bring useful expertise and know-how. The objective is to expand the group of medium-sized companies and strengthen domestic business. This requires skilled capital and entrepreneur-friendly decisions”, Horttanainen concludes.
Read the full study here.
Finnish Venture Capital Association, Managing Director
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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.
PwC’s purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. In Finland, we have 1,300 experts working around the country. Our services include consulting, deals, tax, legal, risk assurance, audit and other assurance services. More information: www.pwc.fi/en. Twitter: @PwC_Suomi.
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