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Finland leads Europe in GDP-adjusted private equity investment

Led by managing director Anne Horttanainen (centre), FVCA found that 65% of private equity investments in Finnish companies in 2023 came from foreign investors.


Companies in Finland in 2023 received more private equity and venture capital investments relative to gross domestic product than companies anywhere else in Europe.

The investments corresponded to 0.83 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, a ratio that is almost twice as high as the continental average of 0.46 per cent. The second-highest ratio of 0.828 per cent was recorded in Sweden, which was followed by Denmark (0.763%) and the UK (0.752%).

According to the Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA), Finland bucked what was a notable downward trend in Europe.

While European companies recorded a year-on-year drop of 25 per cent in private equity investments, their Finnish counterparts saw no change in the investments. In Finland, the largest private equity investments were received by Virta, Haltian, Hostaway, Huutokaupat.com and Rantalainen.

Virta raised 85 million euros in 2023.


Finland ranked first on the continent in minority investments in scale-up and established companies, third in majority investments in established companies and sixth in startup investments – a category it had topped four times in the past five years.

“Finnish startups have frequently led the rankings,” noted Jonne Kuittinen, deputy chief executive at FVCA.

“[A]s they have scaled, we have now taken the top spot in that category [of scaleups]. In addition, with the help of domestic private equity investors, we have also developed an increasing number of strong internationalising companies in more traditional sectors that are of interest to foreign investors.”

Foreign investors, indeed, accounted for 65 per cent of the investments recorded in Finland, compared with 61 per cent in Norway, 44 per cent in Sweden, 41 per cent in Denmark and 24 per cent in the UK.

The global appeal is naturally a positive, but it can also be read as an indication of market immaturity given that in established markets domestic sources tend to account for a larger share of investments, according to the Finnish Venture Capital Association.

“It’s great that Finnish companies attract international investments, but we lag behind many European peers in domestic investment. There’s room for improvement in our private equity market. We need larger and more international domestic funds to further develop our companies with local resources,” said Kuittinen.

By: Aleksi Teivainen