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Venture-capital flood gates open for startups in Finland

Pia Santavirta of the Finnish Venture Capital Association views that the latest developments consolidate Finland’s status as one of the most rapidly growing startup hubs in Europe.

The Finnish Venture Capital Association

Startups in Finland have raised a record-smashing amount of venture capital this year, exceeding the total for last year between January and June.

The Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) on Thursday revealed that local startups raised 560 million euros in venture capital investments in the first half of the year, surpassing the total for last year by 57 million euros. Almost three-quarters of the total was received from foreign and the remaining 151 million euros from domestic investors.

Pia Santavirta, managing director of the FVCA, said the surge in foreign capital is attributable to large funding rounds completed by the likes of Aiven, Oura and Wolt.

“Finnish investors have been involved in financing these top companies since their onset, and together with international investors they often also participate in the larger rounds that follow,” she commented.

In the first half of 2021, total sum of investments received by Finnish startups rose to the highest levels in history. Image: Pääomasijoittajat / The European Data Cooperative

Wolt in January announced the closing of a whopping 440 million-euro funding round, the largest in the history of Finland. The delivery platform provider reported last week it has entered into an agreement to be absorbed in a seven billion-euro transaction by San Francisco, the US-based DoorDash.

News of the takeover and the investment statistics both magnify the message that the country is one of the most rapidly growing startup hubs in Europe, according to Santavirta.

The FVCA estimated that this year looks “excellent” in terms of overall startup funding.

Venture capital, it reminded, made up a little over a half of the almost one billion euros raised by startups in Finland in 2020. Santavirta also highlighted that venture capital firms in the country have raised nearly 800 million euros in the past couple of years, indicating that more and more startups should receive the funding and support they need for their growth endeavours.

Finnish venture capital firms made investments worth 196 million euros in a total of 136 domestic and foreign startups in the first six months of the year, breaking previous records at all stages of startup funding.

By: Aleksi Teivainen