In addition to our monthly curation of the previous months investments, exits and top stories from the region, we now take a deeper look at one highlight from each of these categories that we consider particularly notable and worthy of further detail.
Gelato Group raising $9 million
Gelato Group have gone from being pretty much unknown to Norway's most likely candidate for a unicorn, (still a LONG way to go, but now worth $180 million) all within the space of a month. Norway's best kept secret won the Oslo Innovation Award a couple of weeks ago, and in doing so released some rather impressive numbers. Gelato leverages the cloud to disrupt the printing industry providing a convenient solution with lower prices and faster deliveries. The size of the opportunity Gelato are chasing is huge, with the printing industry 26 times the size of the music industry. Gelato Group currently enables delivery of printed materials in 40 countries and reaches 2 billion people over one single print cloud, with revenues this year set to triple from 2014, with 300MNOK projected.
Norwegian mCash is acquired by Sparebank1
Norwegian bank Sparebank1 bought the technology behind payments startup mCash for an undisclosed amount. It's pretty much a classic case of a more traditional bank seeing an opportunity to make a move into the digital world by acquiring an existing technology. The deal will help Sparebank1 compete for the domestic market in Norway, while the money going to mCash will help them turn their focus to an international market. Norway has been a challenge for mCash recently, with the DNB-backed Vipps entering the market and seeing a faster adoption. For more on the future challenges for mCash, and now Sparebank1, read Kjetil Holmefjord's excellent analysis: Vipps vs. mCash: What happens when the incumbent is the startup?
In conclusion, this deal looks like a great one for mCash, but one that may come with more challenges than benefits for Sparebank1, although it does give them the foothold in the market that they require.
Northzone and the Swedish founders exited on Avito
Although technically a Russian exit, this was one which was very much born in the Nordics, from its Swedish founders, through to its Nordic investors.
The founders are already planning on investing in Swedish startups with the cash they are receiving for their stake, while Northzone have profited from a return of x13 on the deal, cashing in on $155 million.
We regularly talk about how important exits are for an ecosystem from a company perspective but big exits like this for local investors is also imperative, meaning although this is technically a Russian exit, it's one that will hopefully greatly benefit the Nordics.
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