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Finnish startups raise EUR 479 million in funding

Business angels invested in a total of 435 startups in 2018. The same year, over 1 800 investors joined Slush, representing close to 300 VC funds and over 200 billion dollars in assets under management.Slush / Jussi Hellsten

Finnish early-stage growth companies and startups raised 479 million euros in investments in 2018, representing a 31 per cent increase from the previous year.

The investments have been on an upward trajectory for the past seven years, an indication of the maturation of the Finnish early-stage financing ecosystem. The sharp increase from 2017 was driven by a 40 per cent increase in foreign investments, which suggest that Finland is an increasingly appealing location for investors.

“During FiBAN’s past eight years, we’ve seen the early-stage financing space develop tremendously in Finland. Today it is a vital and well-established business for Finland,” explained Reidar Wasenius, CEO of the Finnish Business Angels Network (FiBAN).

Notable exits forecast in near future

The biggest funding rounds in 2018 were pulled off by HMD Global (85 million euros), Small Giant Games (33 million euros) and ICEYE (29 million euros).

“We’re proud of the funding rounds completed by domestic companies. Premium growth companies are plentiful and they’re luring in more capital than before, which is used especially for fast international growth,” commented Sami Lampinen, chairperson of the Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) and partner at Inventure. “The markets are functioning well and we’re sure to see a handful of notable exits this year and the next.”

Three new Finnish VC funds were also founded in 2018: Maki.VC, Evli Growth Partners and Nordic Ninja Ventures. However, according to a recent survey, Nordic venture capital funds are still lagging behind in terms of investment size, the Nordic average being 1.2 million euros and the European 1.7 million euros.

“To enable growth, we’ll need to inject new energy into early-stage seed funds; investment volumes will need to be built up quickly by increasing both the number of funds and the amount of capital,” Lampinen continued.

Foreign venture capital investments grew by 58 per cent and other foreign investments by 31 per cent year-on-year. Image: FiBAN
By: Samuli Ojala