Finnish Startups Smashed Investment Record
Once again, Finnish startups are breaking records: a total of 1,2 billion euros has been raised during 2021, making it the highest yearly amount so far. Especially foreign venture capital investors are well represented in the numbers.
The largest investor group was venture capital investors, who invested a total of 743 million into Finnish startups in 2021. 190 million euros were raised from Finnish venture capital investors and 553 million from foreign venture capital investors. The amount of foreign venture capital investments in Finnish companies doubled in only a year. A total of 182 Finnish startups received venture capital investments.
Other foreign investors, e.g., foreign companies and private individuals, invested a total of 302 million euros in Finnish startups.
Other groups of Finnish investors invested around 50 million each: Finnish angel investors invested around 52 million, Finnish crowdfunding around 50 million, and other actors, such as companies, around 50 million.
The largest funding rounds were raised by Wolt, Aiven, and Oura. These companies are now unicorns, meaning they are among startups valued over 1 billion dollars.
According to Pia Santavirta, the managing director of the Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA): ‘’Finnish success stories attracted large amounts of international funding also last year. The share of foreign investments in the total amount invested in startups grew to 71 percent, totaling to 855 million euros.’’
According to Janne Holmia, partner at the international private equity fund Verdane and chairperson of the board at FVCA: ‘’Finnish startup field has become more diverse during the last couple of years. Previously a major part of startups provided services for other companies, but recently the best consumer service companies have enjoyed massive growth rates. Wolt and Swappie are good examples of these types of companies.’’
Record-breaking numbers from Finnish venture capital investors
The Finnish venture capital field has become more advanced and ambitious, and it has broadened its scope to foreign markets. Finnish venture capital investors have invested a historical amount of 294 million euros in Finnish and foreign startups in 2021. Especially seed-stage startups received a record setting 52 million in funding, meaning a 79 percent increase.
According to Santavirta: ’’Seed-stage investments by Finnish venture capital investors have almost doubled in a year. These investments create possibilities for new success stories.’’
’’There is international interest in the know-how of Finnish venture capital investors. 36 percent of Finnish venture capital investments were made in foreign startups. Strengthening international networks also benefits the Finnish startup ecosystem’”, she continues.
Successful fundraising and sector specific funds
In addition to top-tier Finnish companies, Finnish venture capital funds have proven appealing to international funding. Venture capital funds have traditionally been the target of Finnish fund investors, such as family offices and pension funds. Now they are joined by fund investors outside of Finland.
Thanks to successful fundraising in recent years, the total assets managed by Finnish venture capital investors have risen to nearly 2 billion. Though a portion has already been invested in various startups, 935 million euros is still available for new investments.
’’Successful fundraising is explained by many factors: Finnish funds have become larger in scale, investment activities have become more international, fund returns have been excellent, and we have witnessed numerous success stories in the technology sector. The success of Finnish venture capital funds is enticing to more and more fund investors’’, Santavirta continues.
In recent years, six Finnish funds have crossed the 100 million threshold, which is only the average fund size in the context of European venture capital funds. In addition, there have been newly founded sector specific funds, such as FOV Ventures that’s solely focused on the metaverse, Nordic FoodTech VC focuses on food technology, Sparkminds.vc focuses on educational technology and Voima Ventures focuses on deep tech.
‘’So far ten unicorns, startups that have broken the one billion dollar threshold, have been raised in Finland. These include Wolt, Aiven, Relex, and the newest being Oura. Nearly all of these companies have had venture capital investors to support their growth. A larger and more diverse group of investors undoubtedly have better possibilities of supporting the next round of cutting edge startup ideas that have the potential to grow into future market leaders’’, concludes Santavirta.
Finnish Venture Capital Association
Pia Santavirta, Managing Director
+358 40 546 7749
Janne Holmia, Chair of the Board
+358 40 084 3333
Saara Vettenranta, Head of Communications
+358 40 723 3516