July saw us welcome the latest member of the Nordic unicorn club, as one of Denmark's biggest tech successes raised a monster Series C, while one of their most promising up-and-coming startups was acquired by PSA Group and Opera was finally sold, but not how we expected.
Danish Unity raises $181 million monster round at a reported $1.5 billion valuation
Another month, another Danish unicorn... While that is a clear exaggeration, it should be noted that this is actually the second Danish unicorn to pop up in the last three months (Sitecore was the other).
Unity have long been one of the Danish scenes' biggest successes and their 'official' unicorn status is hardly a surprise, as all we were waiting on was the confirmation. And it came when they announced they'd raise a monster $181 million Series C. Rather surprisingly, Unity had only raised $25 million in total until this point, making this round a bit of an anomaly.
However, such is the opportunity in AR and VR right now, Unity are better placed than any to take advantage of this, already accounting for 90% of AR and VR gaming content being built, providing the infrastructure required to build the next generation of games. Much has been written about Pokemon Go, but perhaps the least reported part of this success story is Unity's involvement. And with Pokemon Go taking AR into the mainstream, Unity look set to play a big part in dictating where it goes next.
PSA Group acquires a majority stake in Danish Autobutler
Not an exit per se, as essentially PSA have just bought out the existing investors, nonetheless, it still represents a good strategic 'exit' and direction for AutoButler, as traditional car manufacturers increasingly look to get some skin in the tech startups that are disrupting the automotive industry.
Rather disappointingly, Danish media chose to focus on the angel investor now being able to afford a new car (yes, really!), however, despite this not being the end of the road for the founders, this story should be about them, as with PSA Group coming in with a majority stake, Autobutler are now in a position to assist with the strategy of Europe's second biggest car manufacturer.
Chinese consortium’s $1.24 billion bid to acquire Opera Software fails, $600 million deal agreed instead
After looking like it would be the latest $1 billion+ exit from the region, Opera is eventually going to be sold for just $600 million, well some of it that is, as only parts of its consumer business will now be sold, including the browser part of their business.
There were murmurings from those close to the company that the original deal wasn't a good one for the company, despite what the shareholders were saying, so I think it's fair to assume that they are even more disappointed with the final deal.
However, before the original deal was announced, Opera had registered some strong quarters, and it was certainly my impression that things were better at the company than they had been for a long time, so it will be interesting to see if they can carry this positivity through to their remaining businesses, Opera Mediaworks, Apps & Games and Opera TV and take advantage of the fact that these now remain within the company.