WORLD’S LEADING STARTUP EVENT.
During what is – let’s be honest – the sh*ttiest weather season of the year, Slush brings together the leading actors of the global tech scene to Helsinki for something very special. Described by many as “Burning Man meets TED”, the event has grown in just a few short years to 20,000 attendees and 1 million live stream viewers.
In 2017, over 2,600 startups, 1,500 venture capitalists, and 600 journalists from over 130 countries gathered to Slush to drive business, and to experience the phenomenal atmosphere.
NOT THE CALIFORNIAN SUN, BUT HONEST SLUSH.
Slush has grown from a 300 person assembly to a world-renowned event, now spreading globally. The philosophy behind Slush has remained the same: to help the next generation of great, world-conquering companies forward.
Held during the darkest time of the year in Helsinki, Finland, Slush has always been characterized by a unique energy and enthusiasm. The very core of Slush is to facilitate founder and investor meetings and to build a world-wide startup community.
Slush is a student-driven, non-profit movement originally founded to change attitudes toward entrepreneurship. In 2016, Slush was organized in Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore.
Think of Slush as a collision of a festival and a conference. It’s not a business, but a community of people who love what they do.
Slush is run by the youth who want to make a difference in their societies. Several successful entrepreneurs such as Niklas Zennström (Skype & Atomico), Taizo Son (GungHo), Ilkka Paananen (Supercell), and Risto Siilasmaa (Nokia) among others, have already become a part of the non-profit initiative that is radically changing how entrepreneurship is perceived in Northern Europe, Japan, and China.
Scaleup Finland: A key scaleup ecosystem for Europe with a (still) unexploited potential
Brussels, September 5th, 2018 – Finland is a key scaleup ecosystem for Europe, but still shows an unexploited potential, according to the last “Tech Scaleup Finland” Report presented today by Mind the Bridge and Startup Europe Partnership with the support of Business Finland.
219 scaleups have been in fact identified in Finland (equivalent to about 4% of the total amount tracked in Europe), totally raising $1.9B in funding since inception (2.3% of the total capital raised by European scaleups to date).
In addition, Finland ranks 9th in the Scaleup Country Index 2017*, between The Netherlands and Denmark, with only Sweden, among the five Nordic countries, outperforming it both in capital raised and scaleup population. In these terms, the gap with larger ecosystems such as the UK, Germany or France is likely far too wide to be bridged: UK scaleups raised, alone, 15 times more capital, the German about 8 times more, the French 5 times more.
“Though absolute numbers suggest that Finland is really far from UK, Germany, France, and Sweden, the conversation changes in relative terms – commented Alberto Onetti, Mind the Bridge Chairman and Startup Europe Partnership Coordinator – Starting this year we introduced two indicators to better understand the efficiency of a scaleup economy as it relates to the size of the country in question. Finland outperforms the rest of the continent for what we labeled the ‘Scaleup Density Ratio’ by producing an average of 4 scaleups per 100,000 people, compared to 2.5 in UK, 0.6 in Germany and 1.0 in France. And it scores well also against the ‘Scaleup Investing Ratio’, with 0.75% of GDP dedicated to scaleup innovation, 1.7x more than the European average, doubling the European powerhouses Germany (0.40%) and France (0.34%), being substantially aligned with the Nordics average of 0.82%.”
“Finland is definitively a key scaleup ecosystem for Europe with a still unexploited potential.” added Isidro Laso Ballesteros, Head of Startup Europe European Commission.
“The startup ecosystem is already now effective and flourishing in Finland. One can see an upward trend in the share of foreign VC investments and the growth in exit valuation levels.There is always room to improve. We are constantly building the Finnish startup community to the next level together startups, accelerators and investors. High-growth, scaleup companies create jobs and exports and thus are crucial for our national economy.” commented Marjo Ilmari, Executive Director, Startup & Fast Growth Business Finland.
Growth – Scaleup Population and Capital
The Finnish scaleup ecosystem increased its size in 2017 with 16% growth in scaleup population (+34 new scaleups) and raised $0.3B more capital, with a YoY increase of 17%. These numbers place it behind Sweden in the growth charts (35% increase in population, 30% in capital), but Finland still runs faster than its other Nordic siblings Denmark (13% increase in population, 6% in capital), and Norway (11% growth in population, 15% in capital).
Since 2013 the scaleup population of Finland has been growing a consistent 15-17% without any fluctuation, up to 10 point less behind the European average of 28% for the years 2016-2017. 2018 will be not different with a 18% YoY growth figure. Also on the capital raised side, despite the fact that in 2017 the country had a YoY loss of 20%, the $318M that the scaleups raised was good enough to add another 34 scaleups to the count. A constant growing trend is expected this year.
Capital Raised: 96% comes from VC, a few IPOs, no ICOs.
When it comes to capital raised, 96% comes from Venture Capital, while only 4% (about $0.1B) comes from the IPO channel. In 2017, 2 more companies joined the IPO club: Next Games and Rovio, not surprisingly reinforcing the impression that Finland remains the “land of gaming”. Both IPOs were around $40M, below the European average ($120M). Surprisingly Finnish scaleups have not jumped on the ICO train yet, as we didn’t track a single company which has launched a crypto offering the previous few years.
Scaleup Migration to the US
There are 33 (15% of total) companies in Finland that moved their headquarters abroad (typically to have access to capital) and we can classify as “Dual Companies”. These 33 raised $552M altogether, amounting to 29% of the total capital raised by Finnish scaleups. They mostly moved to the US (19 of them, 11 to Silicon Valley) and outperform in terms of capital raised, having attracted an average of $16.7M, compared to the $7.3M average of companies that choose a domestic growth path.
Founding vs Funding
Despite a recent story of the scaleup ecosystem in Finland, only 25% of the scaleups have been founded in the last 3 years. Finnish scaleups are very active in raising capital constantly: 52% had a funding event in the past 2 years. In 2017 56 scaleups registered a funding event.
Sizes don’t matter
The scaleup scene in Finland is dominated by “small” scaleups: the ones that raised between $1 and $10M, represent in fact the large majority (79%) of the population. Only the 3% raised above $50M (tech giants). However, in Finland size doesn’t seem to be that relevant in the Finnish ecosystem: the Scalers (companies attracting over $100M in financing) account only for the 13% of the total funding, while the “middle class” segment ($20-$50M) attract the most funding among the cohorts. The smaller ones raised 27% of the total.
Geography of fundings
Of all capital poured into Finnish scaleups, one third (34%) comes from Finnish funds, while US funds account for slightly less than one third of investments (27%) and British for a little minority (6%). Investments coming from the rest of the world are relevant as well, accounting for a consistent 10% of capital (coming mostly from Chinese and Singaporean investors).
“Startups ecosystems in Europe start to be connected among themselves. But we need to do still more – added Isidro Laso Ballesteros, Head of Startup Europe European Commission– Our competitive advantage is to be united in diversity. Advantage that can only be realised by working at ecosystems level to be a Startup Europe: a startup continent.”
To Game or not to Game?
Finnish companies operating in the Gaming industry are only 13% of the population and have attracted almost $400M, 21% of all capital made available to scaleups to date. But if we remove the 2 IPOs by Rovio and Next Games, investments in Gaming are actually slightly declining over that period. YoY growth (2017/2016) is anyway the highest, 3.7x.
Medtech (11% of the population) attracted 8% of the total capital ($142M) with a YoY of 1.5, Cleantech the 10% ($190M) with a YoY of 2.0, while traditional industries such Hardware and Software collected respectively 8% ($153M) and 9% ($161M), covering the 9% of the population each.
The capital city of Helsinki hosts 131 scaleups, which raised altogether almost $1.2B. This concentration is 60% of the total population, and contains 63% of the capital raised. If we add Espoo, home of other 33 scaleups, concentration rates go up to 75% and 82%. Outside of the capital, Oulu is the largest scaleup hotspot, followed by Tampere and Turku.
The Finnish ecosystem is definitely seeing momentum in M&A activity. With a total of 112 acquisitions of Finnish startups and scaleups since 2010, after a relatively stale M&A activity, each year since 2013, 2017 signed a turning point with 45 M&A transactions, 3.5x compared to 2016. Nevertheless, they are still a domestic business, since the 38% of Finnish startups are acquired by Finnish companies. 28% belongs to US, 16% other countries, 13% to other Nordics and 5% to other countries (mostly Chinese and Japanese companies).
Not surprisingly, the Gaming startups get the third spot in the industry ranking of Finnish startup M&As with 11 deals (the 10% of all), right behind Software Solutions (first at 18 deals, the 16%) and Enterprise Software (14 deals, the 13%).
* Notes on Methodology
Scaleup Density Ratio: number of scaleups per 100K inhabitants. A measure of density of scaleups in a given ecosystem.
Scaleup Investing Ratio: capital raised by Scaleups as a percentage of GDP. A measure meant to measure the capital invested in scaleups in a given ecosystem, compared to the size of the overall economy of that country.
Scaleup Country Index: country ranking built upon Scaleup Density Ratio and Scaleup Investing Ratio. A measure of the overall innovation commitment of a given ecosystem and its ability to produce significant tech players.
The indicators above are produced and monitored by Mind the Bridge.
The most effective matchmaking startup event in the Nordics and Baltics.
The focus is on making deals and quality networking. We have 15 Tracks focused on various topics, industries and technologies from Talent and Digital Health to Smart Cities and Virtual Reality. Industry players can use the time efficiently and gather under one roof. The core of it all is 1-on-1 meetings in Deal Room. Networking is optimized to the absolute maximum with Pre-Event Matchmaking, Ad-Hoc Meetings, Networking Areas, Side Events, Workshops and Roundtables.
Arctic15 is optimal size. We bring together 450+ startups, 300+ investors, 150+ corporates and media from 60+ countries.
40% of Arctic15 meetings lead to real deals. We provide an online matchmaking tool and app prior to the event. That enables you to screen other participants and pre-book 20 minute meetings to efficiently plan your business days. Our online matchmaking tool and app allows you to make requests to all of our participants: Speakers, Investors, LP’s, Media, Entrepreneurs, Corporate Reps.
During the event we have a dedicated space with private tables for each meeting. You can also book a table during the event. All services are included in the ticket price.
Over 3500 meetings held in 2016 and 4000 in 2017. Get ready for your business day.
We couldn’t be more honoured to host some of the most innovative investors to come from all over the world. See the full 2017 list here.
Quality networking is the name of the game and we are proud to have one of the best startup-investor-corporate ratios of any startup event out there. People do not hide their badges at Arctic15, as the ratio is just right.
Survey: Exits by Finnish BA’s are profitable, but the risks are high
A new study on the profitability of angel investing, made by the Finnish Business Angel Network (FiBAN) together with Ruben Moring (Åbo Akademi University), is the first broad study on the national angel activity in Finland. This is the largest study made about the angel exits in the Nordics.
By Claes Mikko Nilsen
For professional angel investors, the role of exits is vital and maintains interest towards startup investing. The study covered 126 business angel exits measuring the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) that observes the profitability of the whole investment lifecycle. The key results of the study show that the pooled IRR is 25% and overall realization multiple is 3.75. This shows that the IRR of the exits of professional business angels in Finland is excellent and in line with international studies. However, more than a half (54%) of the exits that were reported during the survey were unprofitable. Also these results are in line with the general risk level of the business angels.
The survey included only one IPO and no unicorn exits. Therefore, the results show that also smaller exits can be quite successful. The average holding period in Finland was 5,5 years, which is longer compared to the international level. Finnish business angels have also been very active with their portfolio companies; on average they have used 28 hours in a month for a company.
“This survey is an excellent initiative to raise understanding on the profitability on angel investing, and compare the activity internationally. By these means, the results seem excellent. Even if an entrepreneur is not expected to actively think of the exit possibilities, for many investors this is a matter that needs to be planned.” comments Torsti Tenhunen, Chairman of FiBAN, in a press release.
Investors with exits behind them bring positive returns
Even though the returns have been excellent it’s important to notice the high risk of angel investing. Investors’ experience and activity in the startup scene avails the probability of making positive exits.
“It’s been interesting to compare the results of the survey to my own exits. I can see that gaining more experience in angel investing, and having wider network covering the startup ecosystem really supports my possibilities towards positive exits. In my experience, many investors that have made exits will do new startup investments.” says Riku Asikainen, Vice Chairman of European Business Angels Network (EBAN).
FiBAN will continue making and developing IRR survey also in the future, aiming to make Finland one of the leading countries comparing startup data to business angel activities.
WORLD’S LEADING STARTUP EVENT.
During what is – let’s be honest – the sh*ttiest weather season of the year, Slush brings together the leading actors of the global tech scene to Helsinki for something very special. Described by many as “Burning Man meets TED”, the event has grown in just a few short years to 17,500 attendees and 1 million live stream viewers.
In 2016, over 2,300 startups, 1,100 venture capitalists, and 600 journalists from over 120 countries came to Slush to drive business, and to experience the phenomenal atmosphere.
Five startups will represent Finland in the Final of StartUp Europe Awards
More than 16 startups from six cities all over Finland were competing for a prestigious StartUp Europe Awards in a National StartUp Europe Awards Pitch Competition, brought to Finland this year by Nordic Female Business Angel Network sponsored by NewCo, Helsinki Business Hub, Nordea and Slush.
The organizer NFBAN received 22 applications from Kotka to Turku and Tampere. 16 semi-finalists were invited to an online pitching event on November 16. Each startup had a time slot of 10 minutes, during which they were pitching their company for 5 minutes and had 5 minutes to answer questions from 6 members of jury, representing experts from 3 different countries with diverse industry backgrounds, active and well established within the startup ecosystem.
High quality of presentations made jury’s task of selecting finalists and a winner quite a challenge. In the ceremony held at Newco on Thursday 24 November, from a shortlist of 8 finalists, were chosen five outstanding startups to represent Finland in the European final of StartUp Europe Awards.
PromoRepublic, a Finnish SaaS that helps Small Businesses and Marketers create amazing social media posts based on the context of the day: holidays, trends and events,will represent Finland in the ICT Category, and they also received first prize of the Pitch Competition.
For the ENERGY category, the winner isTespack, specialized in providing a complete mobile energy experience by combining latest technology and renewables with a focus on generation of energy on-the-go.
Heimo, the anonymous & safe online community for untellable stories, was chosen in the category of SOCIAL.
For the TOURISM Category the jury chose Duara, a platform for communities in low-income countries to offer home stay experiences to impact-minded travelers.
Finally, Bryom wicht urns smartwatches into a personal safety system replacing most elderly care wearables, devices and sensors with a single nice looking smart watch, will represent Finland for the category of HEALTH.
StartUp Europe Awards is promoted by the European Commission and supported by the President of the Committee of the Regions, several members of the European Parliament as Ambassadors and it is implemented by Finnova Foundation in collaboration with Startup Europe
For more information please contact Florence Korhonen, founder and Chair at NFBAN – Nordic Female Business Angel Network: email: firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: +358 40952 6370.