Venture capital investments exceed €135 million in the first half — Finnish startups and early stage growth companies attract VC financing at record speed

Finnish startups and early stage growth companies raised over €135 million in venture capital (VC) financing from domestic and foreign venture capital investors during the first half of 2018. The amount raised during the first half already surpassed total investments made in 2017. Foreign VC investments into Finnish companies outpaced investments made by domestic investors for the first time.

The beginning of 2018 project a record year for Finnish startups and early stage growth companies. A total of 90 Finnish companies received an investment from a Finnish or foreign VC fund during the first half of 2018. Over €135 million in VC investments were made into Finnish companies in the first half, already eclipsing all investments made in 2017.

– The rise in investment volume shows the potential of early stage companies on the one hand, and the desire by entrepreneurs to grow together with venture capitalists on the other. A venture capitalist shares the risk together with the entrepreneur and not only provides money for startups and growth companies, but also know-how and active support for growth. Moreover, a venture capitalist’s connections to potential clients, partners and follow-on investors play a key part for the cooperation, comments Pia Santavirta, Managing Director of the Finnish Venture Capital Association.

Contributing to the strong growth in VC financing is the increase in the number of top-tier domestic startups. In addition, more companies succeed in raising larger financing rounds at later stages for scaling their international operations.

During the first half of 2018, a few early stage growth companies in particular – including HMD Global, ICEYE and Small Giant Games – raised substantially large VC investments in their latest financing rounds.

– The wider the spectrum of potentially world-class companies is, the more likely it is that new success stories like Supercell will emerge. The positive effects that these success stories have on Finland spread out, accelerating the economy and bringing new know-how that is distributed across yet a new generation of entrepreneurs, describes Santavirta.

Internationalization speeds up – Foreign VCs involved especially in large financing rounds  

 Investments made by Finnish VC funds totaled €72 million in the first half of 2018. Out of this, €53 million went to financing 81 domestic startups or early stage growth companies. Nearly 30% of investments were made into top-tier foreign companies.

For the first time, total financing raised by Finnish companies from foreign VCs surpassed investments made by domestic VCs. However, foreign VC investments were directed to only 15% of all Finnish companies that raised VC financing, as 14 domestic companies received an investment from an international VC fund.

This implies that foreign VC funds are mainly investing in Finnish companies that are raising larger financing rounds at later stages. To an extent, foreign investors are filling the gap by providing needed capital for Finnish companies to grow at later stages that the relatively small Finnish VC funds would not otherwise be able to provide alone.

– Nearly 1 billion euros has been raised by domestic VC funds over the last ten years, which has contributed to the current state of available financing options for startups and early stage growth companies in Finland. However, the size of venture capital industry must be doubled over the next ten years, in order to keep up with international competition and allow for the positive trajectory to continue during the coming years as well, Santavirta states.

Additional information:

Pia Santavirta
Finnish Venture Capital Association, managing director
+358 40 546 7749
pia.santavirta@fvca.fi

Pauliina Martikainen
Finnish Venture Capital Association, head of communications
+358 45 138 5002
pauliina.martikainen@fvca.fi

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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.fvca.fi, @FVCAfi