Marianne Vikkula and Miki Kuusi discussing on a couch
 Wolt’s Marianne Vikkula (left) with CEO Miki Kuusi. The combined revenue of Finnish portfolio companies owned by both domestic and foreign private equity investors is over 20 billion euros. Image: Wolt

Private and VC-backed companies outpace others in Finland

Finnish companies owned by private equity and venture capital investors are growing significantly faster than other companies in terms of turnover and headcount growth.

Aleksi Teivainen

11.10.2022

Such companies managed to increase their annual turnover eight times faster than other companies over the three-year period starting with their first investment, at a clip of 45 per cent compared to 6 per cent. In addition, the headcount of such companies grew almost 20 times faster than other companies, by 39 per cent compared to 2 per cent in the three years.

The findings are from a study conducted by the (Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA)) and PwC, which underlines that the overall combined revenue of Finnish portfolio companies owned by both domestic and foreign private equity investors exceeds 20 billion euros.

In addition to such well-known companies as Wolt, Supercell and Musti and Mirri, private equity and venture capital investors have had a hand in the growth of many companies in Finland, said Jussi Lehtinen, partner at PwC. “Even at this moment, more than 600 growth-oriented companies have a [private equity] investor as their owner, and new portfolio companies are constantly being bought,” he told.

Pia Santavirta poses for the camera

Aiming for bold growth has a significant social impact, according to the FCVA’s Pia Santavirta. Image: FCVA

Jonne Kuittinen, project manager at FVCA, added that although acquisitions are a key element of the strategy of investors, most of the increase in headcount is attributable to the jobs created by the growth of companies.

“This group of fast-growing companies would often also have the desire to recruit more, but there is a shortage of skilled labour in both startups and growth companies,” he said.

Private equity investors invest in companies outside the stock market. Companies in the portfolios of capital investors made up about five per cent of both the combined turnover and headcount of Finnish companies in 2021.

A graph detailing the growth of revenue and headcount of PE-backed companies

Both revenue and headcount are growing at impressive rates. Image: FVCA

“The results of the study show once again that [private equity] investors accelerate the growth of Finnish companies with skilled capital and create sustainable profitability in Finland,” interpreted Pia Santavirta, managing director of FVCA. “The owner group aiming for bold growth has a significant social impact. It is especially emphasised in this kind of market situation, where growth may otherwise slow down and productivity development is bland.”

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