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.
SEP ELITE Tech Scaleup 100 – The ranking unveiled!
The first 100 European tech scaleups have been unveiled today, during the second SEP Scaleup Summit taking place at London Stock Exchange Group in London. Mind the Bridge in collaboration with ELITE, London Stock Exchange Group’s business support and capital raising programme, as part of Startup Europe Partnership (SEP), launched the “SEP ELITE Tech Scaleup 100” a ranking of the top 100 tech European scaleups.
Inclusion in the ranking is based on an algorithm that factors capital raised by the company since inception and qualitative parameters (such as employee growth, competitive position, IP and trademarks, traffic growth, sentiment analysis and M&A activity), analyzed in partnership with AI startup Zirra (*). The weight of the qualitative component will be increased over time, as more parameters are added and data is collected, increasing the accuracy and training of the AI models.
Announced three month ago, on the occasion of the first SEP Scaleup Summit hosted by Borsa Italiana in Milan, today is the unveiling of the first SEP ELITE Tech Scaleups 100 names.
Top 3 EU tech scaleups are Spotify, Delivery Hero, and IHS Markit.
Out of the top 100, 32 are from the UK, 17 from Germany and 11 from France. 18 countries represented in total. Fintech is the dominant industry (19 scaleups out of the top 100), followed by E-Commerce (10) and FashionTech and Enterprise Software (8 scaleups each).
“In Europe, but above all outside of Europe, we don’t have a clear perception of what’s happening at the forefront of innovation on the Continent. Actually, the truth is that in Europe we are able to produce fast-growing startups”, Alberto Onetti, SEP Coordinator and Mind the Bridge Chairman commented. “Through this new Index we aim to provide international visibility to the best European tech companies by tapping into the analytical methodology we have developed in these last few years with Startup Europe Partnership.”
Luca Peyrano, CEO of ELITE, added “Scaleups are companies with great ambitions and high growth potential. They are the future of tomorrow’s economic prosperity. We are pleased to support the first edition of the Scaleup Summit together with Mind The Bridge, EBAN, the European Startup Network, The ScaleUp Institute and the support of the European Commission. Together we are committed to creating a dynamic European ecosystem that is conducive to growth, innovation, and where entrepreneurs can access the appropriate support and tools they need to thrive. ELITE’s mission is to support dynamic fast-growing companies because of their unique ability to innovative, create jobs and because they represent an extraordinary driving force for economic development in Europe.”
The ranking is to be issued on a quarterly basis with the goal of regularly providing a snapshot of Europe’s high-tech industry and to showcase the most innovative European startups that are scaling up. The ranking is not an indicator of investment or business quality, rather a way to highlight some of the most active tech scaleups in Europe, raising awareness on one of the most important segments for Europe’s future prosperity.
“Today the ranking of the top 100 European tech scaleups has been unveiled. We plan to issue the SEP ELITE Tech Scaleup 250, SEP ELITE Tech Scaleup 500, SEP ELITE Tech Scaleup 1000 in the coming months.” – continued Alberto Onetti – And the algorithm will be adjusted to better factor in the quality of the companies and to go beyond quantitative proxies.”
“Our technology ingests and makes sense of news articles, websites, social media posts, legal and regulatory filings – all types of publicly accessible data on the web – said Aner Ravon, co-founder and CRO of Zirra – Using a suite of domain-customized Natural Language Processing techniques together with a variety of Machine Learning algorithms, we identify companies, people, acquisitions, product launches and many other events. We sift through the millions of inputs to assemble an accurate company fingerprint. Beyond just the facts, Zirra identifies insights, signals, relationships and trends. The SEP ELITE Tech Scaleup index presented here is created using scoring built from some of the signals that Zirra continuously tracks on all companies in our database. Future plans include utilizing Recurrent Neural Networks for processing, analysis and scoring. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute with our technology to support the European scaleup ecosystem”.
Companies interested in getting a more comprehensive valuation can provide further information by completing the digital self-assessment tool ELITE Growth Compass, whose score will be included in the algorithm. A link to the tool can be found here: https://etinerary.elite-growth.com/en
(*) The qualitative analysis – produced in partnership with Zirra – currently factors in the following eight parameters: employee growth rate over the past 12 months, years active, funding trajectory, competitive position, IP and trademarks, traffic growth (current month vs. past six months), M&A activity, and Google sentiment analysis. The algorithm will be adjusted to factor in revenue and revenue growth plus other indicators. For private companies, revenue will be considered only if disclosed by companies.
Acciona and Autodesk join SEP and launch EU platform for Digital Construction & Infrastructure
Startup Europe announces: ACCIONA and Autodesk Join Startup Europe Partnership and Launch first European Platform for Digital Construction and Infrastructure
The Spanish group and the US tech leader enter the Startup Europe’s Open Innovation Platform led by Mind the Bridge. The platform will be open to other international construction, engineering and technology companies.
ACCIONA, a leading supplier of sustainable infrastructure solutions and renewable energy projects, and Autodesk, Inc., a globally leading 3D design, engineering, and construction software company, will join the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) and support the global growth of European companies. Seeking to play a central role in Europe’s economic future and in Industry 4.0 transformation, ACCIONA and Autodesk will power the new SEP vertical platform dedicated to Digital Construction and Infrastructure.
The goal of this new platform is to stimulate and accelerate European startups and scaleups able to provide innovative and digital solutions in construction, helping reduce costs and carbon emissions, improve profitability and efficiency, and create a smarter more diverse construction industry.
ACCIONA’s and Autodesk’s entry into SEP is a commitment to the “startup challenge” with the goal of assessing opportunities for possible procurement, investments and acquisitions.
“I am delighted that ACCIONA and Autodesk have joined the Startup Europe Partnership open innovation platform, part of the European Commission’s Startup Europe initiative, to help European startups innovate and digitalize the construction industry that plays a relevant role in Europe,” said Isidro Laso Ballesteros, Head of Startups and Scaleups at the European Commission.
“The European startup landscape isn’t just about young micro-companies. It is also about scaleups and large corporations working together in a win-win for all. “As industries embrace digital transformation, the potential of improvement is exponential” said Alberto Onetti, Mind the Bridge Chairman responsible for Startup Europe Partnership. “Moving the Construction industry from Analog to Digital, we can produce annual savings over $1 Trillion, beyond reducing waste and increasing safety on the work place. That said, we are thrilled to partner with ACCIONA and Autodesk and other companies that will decide to join us on this very important challenge whereas European startups can play a key role.”
“We believe that innovation and startups have the power to change the future of the cities and infrastructures” said Telmo Perez, Chief Innovation & New Business at ACCIONA. “Digital technologies as robotics, 3d printing large scale or AI are about to change the construction industry like never before and require total different approaches as this alliance with Autodesk and Mind The Bridge, or ACCIONA’s open innovation platform I’MNOVATION www.imnovation.com. We are looking for European startups that help us to build that future.”
“The construction industry is a $10 trillion market, expected to grow to $17T by 2030 with the challenge to build one thousand new buildings per day” said Uwe Wasserman, Director, Business Development AEC at Autodesk. “The construction industry is aggressively embracing digitization and Autodesk is eager to continue our support for the industry’s transition into the era of digitization and connection. The startup ecosystem is proven to be of tremendous value by bringing innovation, productivity and savings to construction and with BIM360 and Forge Autodesk is offering an open platform helping startups to build solutions addressing all different phases of the entire construction project lifecycle from design, preconstruction, construction execution and handover into operations.
ACCIONA and Autodesk will create a new SEP vertical platform dedicated to Digital Construction and Infrastructure. The goal of this new platform is to stimulate and accelerate Europe’s startups and scaleups able to provide innovative and digital solutions in construction, helping reduce costs and carbon.
The platform will be open to other international construction, engineering and technology companies that have the possibility to join as “Corporate Partners”.
An ongoing call aimed at looking for European innovative startups and scaleups, managed by Mind the Bridge, is available here: https://startupeuropepartnership.eu/vertical-platforms/
Selected startups will be introduced to ACCIONA and Autodesk and other key players in the industry in dedicated sessions during the next SEP Scaleup Summits with the goal of assessing opportunities for possible procurement/co-development, investments and acquisitions.
The main areas of interests and challenges to be addressed are:
Digitalizing the Design and Construction Process
- Design to Fabrication
- Design to Preconstruction
- Design to Construction
- Industrialization of Construction
- The Connected Work Site
- Automation & Robotics
- 3D Printing, additive manufacturing
- Connected BIM workflows (e.g. VR/AR/MR, Generative Design, Machine Learning, Computational Design, Reality
- Capturing, Simulation and Analysis etc)
- Autonomous machinery and vehicles
- Other: data, blockchain, etc. (i.e.. Safety, Monitoring, Management & Administrative)
Data focused Operation & Maintenance of Infrastructures
- Remote control and monitoring
- Predictive forecasting and maintenance
- Advanced delivery
- Connect BIM & GIS (Master planning > Project planning, Hand Over > Infrastructure maintenance
The Future of Cities
- Design & Planning
- Mobility & Transportation
- Connected New Services
- Reduce Risk and Costs
- Drive profitability, Safety and Sustainability
- Generate new revenue lines and business models
The Times covers Startup Europe Partnership
“There’s no disputing Silicon Valley’s status as the global capital of the technology industry but an almighty tussle is under way to be the leading European hub.
On measures including combined venture capital investment in its companies, London appeared to be edging ahead.
Research last year by Startup Europe Partnership, which is based in Berlin, found that the UK was the most prolific country in Europe in terms of the number of technology companies showing growth potential and total capital raised.
However, rival European cities have spotted an opportunity to steal a march after the Brexit vote. Berlin has been the most aggressive, perhaps because it believes that it has the most to gain.
German officials have even paid for a van, below, to drive around London landmarks emblazoned with the message, “Dear start-ups, keep calm and move to Berlin”.
Startup Europe Partnership, which links promising companies with larger businesses, published a blog this month claiming “London may well lose its status as the start-up capital of Europe” with Berlin “most likely to steal the crown of tech capital in Europe”.
Stefan Franzke, one of the people leading Berlin’s campaign, is in London this week, having postponed a visit to New York’s start-ups in favour of spreading the word about the German capital in an attempt to lure the best and brightest entrepreneurs.
“We changed our plans because we’ve had so many enquiries from the UK,” Dr Franzke, chief executive of Berlin Partner, a German government-financed agency, says. “In the first 48 hours [after the referendum], our telephone rings, rings, rings. People thought they were going to be forced to leave Britain in the next week, there was a bit of panic.”
Dr Franzke says that five London technology companies have decided to move to Berlin, and 40 more are considering it. They are typically young companies with between ten and 40 staff, which have just taken on investment and want to expand into foreign markets.
“The uncertainty about Brexit is the problem. Maybe after two years, it might be better to be in London but nobody knows how the British government will approach it.”
The main concern is continued access to a pool of skilled and young European labour, Dr Franzke says.
“These companies have international teams. I’ve just had an email from a young British games company. They have 15 employees from ten nations and they don’t know whether they will still have free movement of people.
“They don’t know if workers will still come to London. In Berlin, they will still come. They want to grow and in this uncertainty, Berlin is the right place to be.”
Berlin Partner has been running a marketing show in Soho this week with German music, food, art and entrepreneurs. Also of interest to British companies are the strikingly low costs in Berlin. Commercial property in a prime location can be less than a third of the cost of London and private rents are cheaper too.
“You need less than half the sum in Berlin than you do in London to set up a team and an office. It means you can invest more,” Dr Franzke says.
With fears over London’s ability to remain as a centre for selling financial services across the single market, he has also been fielding enquiries from international financial technology, or “fintech” companies, a strong sector for Britain. “Typically, finance companies from Asia or America, when they come to Europe, they do not consider an alternative to London. There is no thinking about another location. But now we are getting enquiries from fintech companies from China, Silicon Valley and New York. It was totally new for us and a surprise but it makes sense for them because of the concerns over [financial services] passporting.”
Berlin’s post-Brexit intentions are clear but Dr Franzke insists that the rivalry is a friendly one that should ultimately benefit both capitals.
“It is a battle between London and Berlin, and it’s a good battle, it will force both to do better things which is good for the whole of the European technology ecosystem.
“I don’t think there is only one hub in Europe, there is space for two great ones. We’ll still be battling in ten years’ time.”
The open-minded choice
Cornelia Yzer, Berlin’s senator for economics, technology and research, recently wrote to 100 London technology companies to warn that Brexit would “severely affect your operations in the UK”.
Ms Yzer talked up the attractions of Berlin as “an international open-minded city” with the “No 1” European start-up community.
Stefan Franzke, of Berlin Partner, says that the targets of this letter were more established businesses than those that have already agreed to relocate, many of them with more than 100 staff. These companies are in no rush to leave London just yet, Dr Franzke admits.
“We are having a lot of talks with established London-based companies. They are responsible for 100 to 500 staff so they don’t want to leave now. They have time to analyse what happens over the next one or two years.””
Retrieved from The Times on 24/10/2016