A record-breaking number of investments – 479M€ into Finnish startups
March 26, 2019
Finnish Business Angels Network (FiBAN) and Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) have collected their annual statistics of investments into startups and early stage growth companies in Finland. In 2018, the total amount of investments hit a new record.
Finnish Business Angels Network (FiBAN) and Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) have collected their annual statistics of investments into Finnish startups and early stage growth companies in 2018.
A record-high figure of 479 million euros was invested into startups and early stage growth companies in Finland in 2018. Of the total sum, foreign investments accounted for 291 million euros. Finnish Venture Capital (VC) funds invested 101 million euros and business angels invested 36 million euros. Foreign VC funds allocated 103 million euros of direct investments into Finnish companies. The amounts of investments from both Finnish and foreign VC funds has grown significantly from the previous year. FiBAN’s business angels invested in 435 startups and early stage growth companies. VC funds invested in total of 154 Finnish startups and early stage growth companies in 2018.
The maturity of the startup investing ecosystem leads to bigger investment rounds
The business angel statistics produced by FiBAN show that angel investments by FiBAN members grew from the previous year. The statistics are based on the FiBAN annual investment statistics survey, which is Europe’s most comprehensive yearly survey for business angels.
“The early stage funding environment in Finland has developed a lot since FiBAN was founded in 2010. Startup investing has established itself as a vital part of the Finnish economy. Today, business angel investing is based on several proven conventions and practices. Another sign of a maturing field is the stabilisation of many key statistical figures. Fortunately, the early-stage funding ecosystem is also undergoing constant renewal and diversification”, notes FiBAN’s Managing Director Reidar Wasenius.
In 2018, the total number of startup investments surged thanks to the increasing amount of large investments made by foreign investors to the best startups in Finland. This also grew the share of foreign VC investors in the investor pool in Finland. The number of investments made by Finnish VC funds also increased considerably (35%) from last year.
“A well-functioning, networked and diverse business angel and VC market is a prerequisite for making use of Finland’s strong technical know-how. This know-how is the accelerator of growth for Finnish startups and early stage growth companies. Foreign investors are interested in great companies, and will also consider them for those bigger investment rounds. And that’s great news for Finland and Finnish companies”, comments Pia Santavirta, Managing Director of Finnish Venture Capital Association.
Startup investors play a major role in the development of the Finnish business environment
Early stage investments made by business angels are crucial for the creation of successful startups. Business angels invest their time, knowledge and personal wealth at a stage when the investment risk is very high. In 2018, business angels invested in 435 startups.
“For a startup that receives a business angel investment, a handful of experienced people coming on board typically makes a big difference. Over the course of several years, the business successfully reaches one milestone after another as the investors keep believing in the business as much as the entrepreneur and jointly invest a lot of time and effort into its development. Investments made by private investors at the grass root level of the ecosystem are vital for Finnish ventures to sprout and become flourishing growth companies”, says Wasenius.
VC investors and their business know-how accelerate the growth of startups furthermore. A recent study carried out by Finnish Venture Capital Association and KPMG mapped the development of growth and revenue of Finnish startups that had received venture capital during the period of 2010 to 2017. During the three years after receiving venture capital, the startups’ average annual growth rate was 7 times faster than that of the control group (without the share of Supercell). During the same period startups’ personnel grew by 1000 persons, annual growth rate being 5 times faster than the one of the control group’s.
Angel investing in Finland
“Angel investments have established themselves as a key component of early-stage funding in Finland. Business angels invest over 30 million euros into more than 300 startups per year. This year, a record number of companies have received vital funding and know-how from business angels”, Wasenius explains.
According to the 2018 statistics, the average investment per angel was 42 000 euros and the median investment per angel was 18 000 euros. The median size of an investment round was 200 000 euros. The median valuation of a startup was 900 000 euros, the median stake acquired by an investor being 2%. On average, a business angel invested in 1.8 companies.
“I’m glad to see that 70% of the respondents invested during 2018. In addition, 88% of respondents already have invested or plan to invest in 2019”, Wasenius adds.
Diversity grows among business angels – female investors are in high demand
“FiBAN represents an increasingly diverse group of business angels who invest in a wide variety of ventures. Due to a relentless demand for new investing, we need to constantly keep developing new services. The newest example is FiBAN Follow – a globally unique investment vehicle”, notes FiBAN’s Chair of the Board Janne Jormalainen.
“Talking about diversity, there are several very successful female investors among our members. However, the share of women has remained at ca 11% since 2015. We therefore welcome especially women to our network of angel investors” Jormalainen adds.
This summer, Helsinki provides unique opportunities to meet business angels during Europe’s biggest business angel gathering: EBAN Helsinki 2019. The 20th annual congress of the European Business Angels Network (EBAN) will now be hosted for the first time by FiBAN in Finland. Over 500 investors from around the world are expected to converge in Helsinki on 3-4 June 2019.
- Reidar Wasenius, Managing Director, FiBAN, +358 400 432 100, reidar.wasenius(at)fiban.org
- Janne Jormalainen, Chair of the board, FiBAN, janne.jormalainen(at)fiban.org
- Pia Santavirta, Managing Director, FVCA, +358 40 546 7749, pia.santavirta(at)paaomasijoittajat.fi
- Sami Lampinen, Chair of the board, FVCA, +358 40 520 5295, sami(at)inventure.fi
Finnish Business Angels Network (FiBAN) is a non-profit association enabling its 660+ members to be increasingly successful startup investors. It is the largest and most active business angel network in Europe. The European Business Angels Network (EBAN) rewarded FiBAN as the Business Angel Network of the Year in 2012 and 2014. FiBAN received the esteemed Internationalization Award of the President of the Republic of Finland in 2017. FiBAN – Inspiring Private Investments. www.fiban.org
Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) is the industry body and public policy advocate for the venture capital and private equity industry in Finland. As the voice of the Finnish VC and PE community and the entrepreneurs they fund, it is our role to demonstrate the positive impact of the industry on the Finnish economy. FVCA – Building growth. www.paaomasijoittajat.fi/en