Investments in Nordic venture deals
239 transactions were completed in the venture segment (venture, VC) in the first half of the year. Despite the fall in the stock market and rising inflation, the high level of investment in Nordic ventures has persisted. We estimate that the amount invested in Nordic ventures is a total of EUR 1.7 billion. Only in the first half of 2021 has the amount invested in Nordic ventures been higher in six months than in 2022.
Investments by seed, venture and growth funds in Nordic companies in the first half of the year.
The number of venture investments in the first half of the year has been very high, amounting to 239 investments, despite the unrest in the market due to geopolitical unrest, increased interest rates and sky-high inflation. The level of activity is about the same in 2022 compared to the first half of 2021, with 239 investments, compared to 240 in H1 2021. Compared to the average for the first half of each of the last five years, however, the number of investments is up a whopping 48 per cent. The investments so far in 2022 are distributed roughly equally between the first and second quarters. 56 per cent of Nordic venture investments are in ICT companies, a slightly lower proportion than in recent years.
Sectors that attract a larger share than previously are industry and finance. Norway stands out relative to the other Nordic countries by having significant growth in the number of venture investments. At the opposite end, we find Denmark, which has a lower proportion of Nordic venture investments (Sektor- og landfordeling).
The amount invested in Nordic ventures was EUR 1.7 billion in the first half of 2022. Only in the first half of 2021 has the amount invested in Nordic ventures been higher, i.e. EUR 1.9 billion. Compared to the average for H1 over the past five years, the amount invested is up a whopping 88 per cent, which illustrates how high the level of the invested amount has been since the start of 2021. The majority of the capital was invested in the first quarter, but there are no signs of an abrupt stop in the second quarter of 2022, despite unrest in the market.
Amount invested in Nordic venture in the first half of the year.
Sector and country distribution
Technology attracts more than half of the investments, which is somewhat lower than the share it has traditionally attracted. Compared to the average for the first half of each of the last five years, however, the number of investments is up 48 per cent in the first six months of the year. Furthermore, industrial goods and services attract 11 per cent, followed by the consumer sector and the financial sector with 10 per cent. These three sectors are attracting a greater share of venture capital than they have in the past five years.
Number of venture investments in finance in the first half of the year, 5 percentage points up on the average for the same period in the last five years
Although activity has been high in the Nordic region in the first half of the year, the trend in the level of activity differs between the countries within the Nordic region:
- Norwegian companies attracted 31 per cent of Nordic VC investments, a much higher share than is usually the case. The number of investments in Norwegian companies was 170 per cent higher than the average for the first half of the past five years.
- The number of investments in Denmark fell significantly and was 14 per cent lower than the average for the past five years. Danish companies attracted 12 per cent of Nordic investments, a lower share than usual.
- However, it is Swedish companies that still attract the most investment. They made up 36 per cent of the market, and there was significant growth in the number of investments compared to the corresponding period in the last five years (up 47%).
- The activity in Finnish VC has been more stable, with a moderate growth of 17 per cent in the number of transactions, compared to the average for the first half of each of the last five years. Finnish companies attracted 21 per cent of investments in Nordic ventures.
Due to some large investments, it was Finnish companies that attracted the largest share of the capital in the first half of the year. 44 per cent of invested capital in the venture segment was invested in Finnish companies. The second most went to Norwegian companies, amounting to 25 per cent, closely followed by Swedish companies with 19 per cent. Danish venture companies attracted the least amount of capital, amounting to only 11 per cent of the total amount invested.
Large single transactions
If we look at the number of investments where new investments are involved, there are a selection of transactions that are particularly large. The eight largest are listed below, divided into the technology and energy sectors.
- In February, Finnish RELEX Solutions raised EUR 500 million in a round led by Blackstone Growth. The finance round is a Finnish record.
- The Finnish software company Aiven raised USD 210 million in a round led by Eurazeo.
The transaction valued the open-source company at USD 3 billion (read more)
- In March, Ardoq raised USD 125 million from EQT Growth and One Peak Partners, among others. The transaction valued the Norwegian company at more than USD 300 million (read more)
- The Swedish provider of logistics technology, Instabox, raised EUR 120 million.
The round was led by Verdane and ended with a unicorn valuation (over USD 1 billion).
- Finnish iPhone repair company Swappie raised EUR 108 million in February. The round was led by Verdane, together with existing investors Lifeline Ventures, Inventure, Reaktor Ventures and TESI (read more).
- Nysnø climate investments invested in Morrow Batteries, which has plans for sustainable battery cell production. The company raised EUR 100 million in the financing round, which was led by Siemens Financial Services and ABB.
- Smart energy provider Tibber raised USD 100 million in a round led by Summa Equity. Investors such as Balderton Capital, Eight Road Ventures and Schibsted Ventures also participated in the round (read more).
- Norway's PortalOne, which develops a comprehensive gaming platform, raised USD 90 million in a round led by Tiger Global, in addition to a number of other investors who participated in the round (read more)
The eight companies mentioned above raised approximately half of the capital invested in the first half of the year (52%). In contrast to previous years, where one or two investments have driven the amount, there were generally many investments with a relatively large value. The same trend can be seen in oppkjøpssegmentet.