In Q1 2016 there were 156 investments in Nordic startups totalling $1.36 billion
With a week or so of the quarter left, we issued a warning that although early-stage investment was still increasing, there was a surplus of larger later-stage rounds meaning that Q1 looked set to come in under Q1 2015 for the total amount raised. We spoke too early though, as a sudden influx of big deals meant that even disregarding Spotify's monster $1 billion debt round, Q1 2016 ultimately came in at $359.2 million (and $1.36 billion including Spotify).
The 156 investments that Q1 2016 saw is in line with our research that the number of investments has increased fourfold in the last couple of years, as this is nearly as many investments as the whole of 2014 (181).
And despite the welcome addition of some larger rounds at the end of the quarter, it was clearly at the early-stages that we are seeing the majority of these extra investments occur.
The $1 billion debt round by Spotify clearly has a HUGE impact on our data and subsequent analysis, with its biggest contribution the impact it has on the percentage of the capital that Sweden saw in Q1 compared to its Nordic neighbours.
However, what is really interesting, is that if we remove Spotify from the equation, then it was actually Finland, and not Sweden that raised the most investment in Q1 2016, with Denmark not far behind the Swedes, suggesting a fairer split of where the capital is being deployed in the region so far in 2016.
This is largely in part due to the massive increase in early stage investments in Sweden, while Finland benefited from two $30 million+ rounds in Q1 in both mFiles and AlphaSense. And as we can see, when it comes to the number of investments that are being made, Sweden is still miles out in front for attracting investor's interest.
As we alluded to earlier this week, FinTech looks set to stay as the Nordics most backed vertical, and in Q1 it led the way for investments once more.
After a fairly slow start to the year, the final weeks of Q1 ultimately meant that including Spotify's $1 billion debt round, this was the most successful quarter ever for Nordic companies raising capital. And it was certainly the quarter where the most Nordic startups raised money, meaning that 2016 shows no sign of slowing down yet.
In fact, 2016 will likely see Nordic startups pass $2 billion collectively raised for the first time, just 12 months after 2015 saw Nordic startups pass $1 billion for the first time, further cementing the Nordics as one of the main hubs in Europe with the ability to attract major investment.
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