The most comprehensive data on angel investing in Europe

An Overview


The Data Compass includes 3700 investments into 1300 startups, which has been collected systematically by FiBAN since 2010. It allows you to explore angel investment data interactively. What’s your own top findings? Here’s a few of ours:

  • Angel investing is a foundation for economic growth, and its importance for the economy is increasing.
  • There are indications that the Finnish startup ecosystem is maturing (chart 3.2 and 4.1).
  • For every 1 M€ invested by business angels, 19 new jobs are created (Section 5).

Finnish early-stage growth companies’ funding

In 2019, startups and growth companies raised a new record amount, totaling 511 million euros. Business angels invested 54 million, a new all-time high, and Finnish venture capital (VC) funds invested 113 million euros. Foreign investors invested 295 million euros in Finland. The most significant increase in investments came from foreign VC funds, which invested 180 million into Finnish companies, while the share of other foreign investments dropped to 115 million euros.

Finnish early-stage financing by number of target companies

Finnish business angels are actively investing in large numbers of startups, creating the critical mass needed for there to be a few to grow big with the help of later-stage funding. Without investment from business angels, many startups would not make it to the VC-rounds. In this sense, business angels feed the deal flow of venture capital funds.

Centered in Helsinki, FiBAN members can be found all over the world

FiBAN members by city of residence

By having a geographically diverse network when investing in startups, angels can get access to the best deals in multiple locations which might otherwise be difficult. Many FiBAN members participate in cross-border syndicates, especially in the Nordic and Baltic regions.

Angel Investing by the Numbers


In short

  • Startups in Business Services have attracted most angel capital (chart 2.1)
  • Business angels typically invest in early-stage startups (chart 2.4)
  • Most investments are done as co-investments with other angels (chart 2.6)

Capital invested by FiBAN angels 2010-2019:

236 M€

In the last five years, the capital invested by FiBAN members has increased by 164 %. In 2019 alone, it grew by 66 %.

Capital by industry

Over the last seven years, FiBAN members have invested 28 M€ in Business Services, the largest beneficiary of angel capital in Finland. Companies in Business Services and Cleantech & Bioeconomy alone have raised over 50 M€.

Number of deals by industry

FiBAN members invest in all industries. While most angels focus on sectors that they themselves understand well, many are also sector agnostics, investing in lucrative opportunities across all industries.

Investments by funding round size

Even though most angels invest in funding rounds smaller than 0.5 M€, many also invest in larger funding rounds. Many angels participate in larger follow-up rounds to avoid dilution and help the startup on their journey.

Investments by funding round

In 2019, almost half of the invested capital went to A and later rounds, while 54 % was invested in early-stage startups. In the number of investments made, the Seed stage was the most frequent stage of the investment targets, with 57 % of the investments.

Total invested per angel

Two out of three angels that have answered our surveys throughout the years have made an investment in the given year. Looking only at these, the share of angels that invest 100 – 200 k€ annually have been steadily increasing. The capital is usually split between 2-3 companies.

Syndication practices

FiBAN members are highly networked investors. 83 % of investments made in 2019 were co-investments. Investing together rather than alone has many benefits both for the investors and the founders: a larger network, access to diverse skills and experiences and access to larger sums of capital.

Name Your Price: Valuation


In short

  • The median valuation of a startup that receives angel investment is 1.0 M€
  • Startup valuations in Finland are increasing (chart 3.2)
  • Startups in Gaming and Entertainment have received highest valuations (chart 3.1)

Median valuation of all startups that have received funding from a FiBAN member 2013-2019:

1.0 M€

Median valuation per sector

Most of the industry sector median valuations are close to the overall median, 1.0 M€, but there are outliers. 12 % of all companies that received funding 2013-2019 is valued higher than 2.0 M€, while 36 % is between 1.0 M€ and 2.0 M€. However, the spread is big in all sectors.

Median valuation per year

Finnish startups that have received angel funding from FiBAN members have, on average, become more valuable throughout the years. This might be an indication of a maturing startup ecosystem in Finland.

Median valuation per sector and year

Explore valuations deeper by using the controllers above the graph.

Harvesting the Returns: Exits


In short

  • The share of very profitable exits is increasing (chart 4.1)
  • Still, 40 % the investments results in losses (chart 4.1)
  • As large corporations choose to buy rather than build innovations internally, acquisitions are the most common type of exits (chart 4.2)

Return on investments

Successful exits are the ultimate metric for angel investors. Years of failing and learning has had an impact on the profitability of angel investing for FiBAN members: the share of very profitable exits is increasing. This might be another indication that angel investing and the startup ecosystem in Finland is maturing.

Type of exits

IPOs are usually the most successful exits for angels and other investors, but the share of IPO exits is relatively small. Acquisitions are the most common type of exit since many large companies choose to buy rather than build innovations internally.

Angel Investing as a Catalyst for Growth


In short

  • An effective way to boost growth is to have an angel on board (chart 5.1)
  • Angels invest mostly in startups with fewer than 5 employees (chart 5.2)
  • Angel investing has positive repercussions on employment (chart 5.3)

For every 1 M€ invested by business angels,

19 new jobs are created.

Source: Bisnode & FiBAN Annual Survey. The data set includes 720 investments into 490 startups between 2013 and 2016.

One of the ways to boost growth is to have an angel on board. 4-6 years after an investment, 18 % of the startups have grown their revenue by more than 1 M€, compared to only 6 % of the startups that pitched at Pitch Finland but didn’t receive funding that year. However, 2 out of 5 startups have failed, indicating the high-risk nature of startup investing.

In terms of number of employees, angels prefer to invest in startups a little bit further down the road than many that pitched at Pitch Finland but did not receive funding.

Almost 1 out of 10 angel-backed companies have grown very large, while 99 % of startups that pitched at Pitch Finland have either lost employees or employed moderately. The 39 % (funded) and 42 % (not funded) of startups that have discontinued their operations are included in the “Lost employees” bars, meaning that around one in four startups have lost employees during the 4-6 years but still continue their operations.

The Aspiring Superstars: FiBAN Deal Flow


In short

  • Hundreds of startups apply for funding through FiBAN each year (chart 6.1)
  • They tackle a wide range of SDGs (chart 6.2)
  • Startups in our deal flow have a higher median valuation than funded startups (chart 6.3)

Explore how many startups reach each stage in the FiBAN Deal Flow!

FiBAN Deal Flow

Every year, hundreds of startups apply for funding through FiBAN. Explore how many reach each stage in the FiBAN Screening process!

SDGs targeted by applicant startups

FiBAN has implemented the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the Deal Flow application process. Here’s how the startups applying for funding through FiBAN respond. The most targeted SDG is Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, followed by Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being.

Median valuation of startups in the deal flow

Every year since 2015, startups that have been screened by FiBAN have had a higher median valuation than startups that received funding in the same year. This might suggest that founders apply for funding with an optimistic valuation figure in mind.

The FiBAN deal flow finds its origins mainly in Finland, while funding through FiBAN is gaining popularity especially in the Baltic region.

Appendix


1. About

FiBAN, one of the largest and most active business angel networks in the world with over 650 private investor members, annually conducts an investment survey of its members. The survey has been sent out to all FiBAN members since 2010, the year FiBAN was founded. This constitutes Europe’s most comprehensive yearly survey of business angels. Through quality research and analysis we aim to offer valuable and unique knowledge for the whole startup ecosystem.

Since FiBAN’s data is based on voluntary questionnaires annually collected from our members, it is more indicative than exact. The response rate has increased throughout the decade reaching all-time high close to 70% towards the end of the decade. Our figures consist only of the data provided to us: we do not cover all angel investing activity in Finland. However, by pooling data, FiBAN can look into trends and findings which benefit the whole angel investor and startup community.

2. FiBAN Data Sharing Policy

FiBAN handles all data confidentially and with care. All data is processed anonymously. Read more about our Data Sharing Policy in the document below.

3. Contact

We are happy to discuss any questions, comments or suggestions you might have related to the Data Compass! Shoot our Investment Analyst Oscar an email at oscar.bjorklund@fiban.org.

4. Glossary

The glossary presents terms and definitions as used in the FiBAN research processes, most notably as used in the Annual Survey. It is reviewed annually. Open the glossary in a new tab: fiban.org/glossary.