FVCA Newsletter – May 2021

Hi everyone,

 
A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of sharing some great news: Startup funding in Finland in 2020 broke all previous records. Finnish startups raised nearly a billion euros of funding last year, meaning that the amount doubled compared to the two previous years.

And talking about good news: in this newsletter, you can read about three new funds that have been recently announced: congratulations Armada, Icebreaker.vc, and IPR.VC!

In this newsletter you will find:
You can also read about:
Recent News
Finnish Startups Made History - Startup Funding Nearly Reached the Billion-Euro Mark in 2020
In 2020, Finnish startups raised almost one billion euros of growth funding. The previous two years were already record-breaking, both with about half a billion of funding raised, so the amount nearly doubled in just a year.

⚡️ In a nutshell:
  • The amount invested increased from about €500 million (2019) to about €950 million (2020)
  • Venture capital investors still make up the major investor group
  • The funding from domestic venture capital investors doubled in a year, from €113 million to €223 million
  • Last year's statistics also included a new investor group - other Finnish investors, such as larger enterprises and pension companies
💥 Over the past five years, startup funding has grown by leaps:
  • all startup investments x 3 (in 2020 a total of €951m)
  • foreign investments x 3 (€543m in total)
  • all venture capital investments x 3 (€495m)
  • foreign venture capital investments x 5 (€272m in total)
  • later-stage investments x 10
💡 What makes Finland the rising startup hub of Europe? Why is our startup ecosystem the one to watch? Tech talent from Nokia glory days, vibrant Venture Capital industry, gifted people from the demo scene, serial entrepreneurs, Slush - this is why Helsinki is going to be the Venture Capital of Europe.

Here are some insights from our operations manager and analyst Jonne Kuittinen.

Read the blog from here.
The success of our startups were noticed widely in media in Finland, and also in international news:

✏️ AMWatch (subscription): Finnish startup funding hits new record – foreign VC investments more than double (21st April 2021)

✏️ Good News From Finland: Finnish startups raise almost EUR 1 billion in 2020 (27th April 2020)
More Than Half of the Private Equity Investments Received by Finnish Startups Come From Abroad, from 42 Different Countries

We recently published a report that examined where the investments in Finnish startups come from and who are the investors active in Finland.

Here are a few key takes:

🌎 Since 2013, 272 foreign venture capital investors from a total of 42 countries have invested in Finnish startups.

🏆 Of the international investors, Heartcore Capital, EQT Ventures and Creandum invested most actively in Finland.

🎯 83% of international financing rounds are directed at the portfolio companies of Finnish angel and private equity investors or are made together with Finnish investors.

Read the press release here
✏️ AmWatch: Finnish VC club expects record year for foreign investments (14.4.2021)
FVCA's New Chairperson & Board 

At the annual meeting, our association elected a new chairperson for the board, Janne Holmia from Verdane. He believes that investors need to have even more industry-specific expertise in the future.

Read more about Janne here.

We warmly welcome new board members Riku Asikainen from Evli Growth Partners, Inka Mero from Voima Ventures, Jaakko Lampela from Nordic Option, Marika af Enehjelm from Norvestor, and Mia Sirkiä from Saari Partners.

Get to know our new board members.
 
Diversity - What is Happening in the Industry?
Diversity is a hot topic in the industry - and for a reason. Several studies show that diverse teams are the most successful. However, it is much more difficult for female entrepreneurs to raise funding.

💡 Gorilla Capital has created a systematic method for screening potential early-stage investment targets with inbuilt diversity & inclusion.

Read more here.

💡 A New study from NGP Capital: The Outsized Role of Gender in European Venture Funding. In this study, NGP Capital compares how women, men, and mixed founding teams fare depending on the technology sector and founder background factors in Europe. 

Read more here.

💡Tesi also published their diversity survey. In the survey, Tesi examined their own organisation, the investment teams of their portfolio funds, and the boards of their portfolio companies. Diversity has been measured in terms of gender, age, and citizenship.

Read more here.

💡 Inklusiiv released their annual D&I study to shed light on the current state of D&I work in organizations. Altogether the survey reflects data from 60 different companies with over 20 employees based in Finland – such as Kone, Supercell, S Group, and Wärtsilä.

Read more here. 
Blogs

Meet our new member, the London-based PROfounders: “We’ve Been Actively Investing in Finnish Startups – the Likes of Small Giant Games and Applifier – for 10 Years"

Read more here.
Funds, Investments and Exits
Armada closes Armada Fund V at EUR 210 million to invest in debt and equity in Northern European growth companies. Read more. 

IPR.VC closes IPR.VC Fund II at 65 million to invest in media and entertainment. Read more.

Helsinki-based Icebreaker raises €120 million in fresh funds. Read the article here.

Sparkmind.VC portfolio company Lexplore raises €5.0m to accelerate international growth. Read more.

Voima Ventures portfolio company, weather intelligence company Skyfora launches the world’s lightest weather sonde. Read more.

Butterfly Ventures portfolio company Xfold Imaging closed a seed round in January and targets global markets. Read more.

Inventure: Record-breaking investment in groundbreaking Danish AI: Abzu announces a 5.8m € seed round. Read more. 

HEI Schools has received €2 million investment from Practica Capital and Tesi in its latest funding round. Read more. 

 
MB Funds to strengthen the growth of LähiRahoitus - read more here.

Helen Ventures portfolio company, earth observation startup LiveEO secures €5.25 million funding. Read more.

Icebreaker.vc portfolio company Sellforte raised 4M€ funding round. Read the whole article here (in Finnish).

Voima Ventures portfolio company, weather intelligence company Skyfora launches the world’s lightest weather sonde. Read more. 

Play Ventures’ US$135M Fund II To Power Future Unicorns of Gaming. Read more.

Vendep Capital portfolio company  AppFollow raises $5 million Series A round to expand its all-in-one app management platform globally. Read more. 

Lifeline Ventures: Large-scale CO2 removal startup Carbo Culture raises $6.2M Seed led by True Ventures. Read more.

 
Read more in the newsroom
Upcoming Industry Events
Deloitte | Tax in the Nordic Financial Services Industry | 5.5.
What are the major regulatory changes and events impacting how tax is managed within Financial Services? 

Join our member Deloitte for an afternoon with FSI Tax professionals around the Nordics and get yourself updated on the issues that will have an effect on your organisation and your role. During the event, Deloitte will address trends in the Financial Services Industry for 2021 and beyond.
Viva Technology | 16.-20.6.
VivaTech is Europe’s biggest startup and tech event. It brings together people from startups, corporates and VCs to ignite growth, business transformation and positive change. June 16-20, Paris and online worldwide, this is where business meets innovation.

There is a 30% discount code available for FVCA members – contact juulia@fvca.fi for more info.
Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs
News that will definitely make you smile: our CEO Pia Santavirta was on the jury of Finland's largest young people's entrepreneurship competition, and she was very excited about how innovative, brave, and energetic young entrepreneurs are growing here.

The first prizes went to Jyväskylä and Helsinki. The winner of the primary and secondary school category was DiscRelease NY from Jyväskylä, which sells and buys used frisbee golf discs. The winner of the higher education category was Get Lost Adventures from Helsinki. The 'Little Entrepreneurs of the Year' prize went to FiveFire from Lappeenranta.

We congratulate the winners and tip our hats to all the brave participants!
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Pääomasijoittajat / FVCA
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Finland

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