FVCA Newsletter – September 2021

Hi everyone,

28.9.2021
Rainy Helsinki received great news a little while ago – one of the biggest startup events, Slush, is coming back at the beginning of December! We are excited that entrepreneurs, investors, and the whole network can finally see each other face to face.

Even though COVID has had its effects on the world, investment activity in Finland has been lively and fundraising sure has been active: As many as three Finnish venture capital funds were announced in mid-September. Congratulations Nexit Ventures, Maki.vc and Vendep Capital!

One of today's newsletter's main themes is gender diversity. A year ago, we published a report on the gender gap in the top management and boards of Finnish VC & PE investors' portfolio companies for the first time. Recently, we conducted a follow-up study to monitor the situation. Read more about the report below!

In this newsletter you will find:
In addition, you can read about:
Discussing Diversity
 New Diversity Study: Only Minor Changes in the Gender Diversity in PE and VC-Backed Companies
We conducted a study together with KPMG to find out the gender balance in the top management and boards of Finnish PE & VC-backed companies. Here are the results in a nutshell:

📌 In company boards, the share of women has decreased slightly: in 2021 the share of women was 10%, 2020 it was 11%.

📌 In top management, the situation is slightly better: in 2021 the share of women was 20% when a year earlier it was 19%.

📌 The biggest change was seen in the top management of venture capital investors' portfolio companies, where the share of women increased by three percentage points and is now 18%.

Read the press release here.
There is a lot happening in the industry to further gender diversity. Here are some examples of the actions taken:

 💡 Voima Ventures recently arranged a Women to Boards event, which attracted a lot of interest. At the event, Voima's portfolio companies introduced themselves to the potential board professionals. Numerous discussions on advisory, management team, and board roles have begun since the event, and one woman has already joined a portfolio company's board through the initiative.

 💡 Earlier this year, FVCA took part in a training programme initiative with Nasdaq Helsinki. The aim of the initiative is to further diversity in the top management of Finnish companies.

 💡 There are a lot of active members in the Level 20 programme in Finland. Level 20 is a network that works to support women in the PE industry. If you want to find out more, read more here. 
 ✏️The Finnish media took interest in this topic as well and, for example, Helsinki Times wrote about it: The wide gender gap in startup & growth company leadership in Finland persists (18 August 2021)
 Tesi´s Impact Review 2020
Yearly, Tesi reviews the state of corporate responsibility in its portfolio companies. A part of the review is about how gender-diverse the management teams and boards are. Here are a few key numbers from the review:

📌 Three out of four companies have at least one sustainability development target.
📌 Women are present in 61% of management teams and 41% of the boards.

You can read the review here.
ESG and Sustainable Finance
The EU sustainable finance disclosure regulation applies to private equity and venture capital investors along with other financial sector actors. The regulatory package is extensive and delays have not been avoided. Here is just a brief summary of things to know about the current situation of SFDR:
  • The SFDR level 1 entered into force on 10 March 2021. You can read more from the FIN-FSA website.
  • The Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS), which complement the regulation already in effect, are still being processed by the Commission. The final version of the RTS should be published before the end of the year and will enter into force six months later than initially planned, on 1 July 2022.
  • The regulation already has implications for the fundraising of Finnish PE and VC funds, as the Financial Supervision Authority FIN-FSA requires that funds must define when applying for a marketing authorisation whether it intends to market itself as an Article 8 fund ( light green) or Article 9 fund (dark green).
The ESG theme has been discussed a lot in the industry lately, and it is great to hear concrete examples on how doing well and doing good can go hand-in-hand. Evli Growth Partners has written about the subject:

🌎 They started a collaboration with Compensate, a non-profit organization that aims to reduce the carbon footprint. You can find the blog post here: “Doing well by doing good” – active ownership at the core of responsible investing with Evli Growth Partners

💡 Do you want to read more about the actions investors can take to further sustainability in their portfolio companies? Read more here: Sustainability highlights from Evli Growth Partners: concrete measures to drive value as an active owner
 Participate in Research
❔ Want to participate in this year’s State of European Tech survey? If you’re a tech company, entrepreneur, founder, investor, developer or individual involved in Europe’s startup community, it’s an opportunity to have your perspective represented and help paint an accurate picture of the European tech sector. The results of the survey will be published by Atomico, in partnership with Orrick, Slush and Silicon Valley Bank. You can find the survey here.
❔ Is sustainability important for European tech investors? If you are a European tech industry investor, you can fill out the survey and contribute to shaping how startups and scale-ups approach sustainability. Survey results will be compiled in a report by Impact House, sustainability consulting for fast-growing tech companies. The survey is executed in collaboration with GreenTech Alliance, Rundit, and tech2impact.
Funds, Investments, and Exits
Intera Creates a New Real Estate Management Company by Investing in Avara Isännöinti and Provia Isännöinti - Read more.

Award-winning Internet Law Service Aatos.app Raised €1,2 Million Funding Round Led by Innovestor Ventures. - Read more (in Finnish).

Melt&Marble to Raise a €750K Seed Round Led by Nordic FoodTech VC to Create Fats That Close the Taste Gap Between Animal and Plant-based Meats. - Read more.

Juuri Partners Exits Vitality and Group. - Read more (in Finnish).

Pikespo Invest Oy Becomes a Minority Owner After Cleantime Oy and Real Clean Finland Oy Merge. - Read more (in Finnish).

StemSight Cures Blindness with Stem Cells - Announced a €500k Seed Round from e.g. Voima Ventures. - Read more.

Vendep Capital launches third specialist fund to back B2B SaaS startups in the Nordics and Baltics. - Read more.

Nexit Venture´s investment allows Tosibox to accelerate its international growth. - Read more.
Metsä Spring Invests in Innomost, a Startup Producing Valuable Bioactive Products from Birch Bark. - Read more.

Estonian Satellite Operations and Space Cybersecurity Startup Spaceit Raises €1M Led by Icebreaker.vc. - Read more.

Evli Growth Partners Leads the $54M Series B of Refurbed, one of the Leading European Marketplaces for Refurbished Electronics. - Read more.

Nordic Umami Company Closes a Seed Round Successfully Led by Nordic FoodTech VC. - Read more (in Finnish).

Pirkanmaan Mittauspalvelu Oy, partly owned by Oy Wedeco Ab, has acquired the Pirkanmaan surveying business of Ympäristönsuunnittelu Oy. - Read more (in Finnish).

Maki.vc Publishes a €100M Fund for Deep Technology and Brand-driven Growth Companies. - Read more (In Finnish).

Voima Ventures Investment: Photodetector Company Elfys Raises €3M to Ramp Up the Production for the Growing Wearable Market. - Read more.

Sontek Ventures participated in the funding round: Book Salon raises €1M seed funding to revolutionize payment processing for beauty and wellness entrepreneurs. - Read more.
Read more in the newsroom
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