If you have been keeping up to date, then you might be guessing that this upcoming year is going to be big for the region. Look at it this way, a while back investments were a little scarce and we were happy when we got to write about them, at the moment it looks like there is one almost every day and there were three in a row just yesterday.
The investor activity is also suggestive of good times ahead. At the close of last year, Creandum, Atomico, Vision+ & Northzone all closed new funds. Gorilla Acceleration Fund was also launched just a few weeks back and today Vendep Startup Fund is announcing a EUR 5 Million fund to be invested into 15 to 20 Finnish startups over the course of four years.
It is very interesting to note that among the investors, are 43 Finnish Angels, which makes it one of the most “Angel heavy” funds to date. Their activity is also going to be something to look out for, as the fund has already invested into their first company, one that is: “offering search engine services for financial analysts and investors”. Any guesses?
Out of the five million, three came from private investors and two million was matched by Finnvera. If you are looking for other indicators of promising investor activites, Sakari Pihlava, Founding Partner at the fund and the CEO of the Vendep accelerator, told us that the fund was oversubscribed in just four months and they could not take more people in, so we hope that they will be just as active when it comes to startups.
You are probably typing your applications and preparing your pitch decks already, but before you do, here is the focus: B2B companies that offer web-based services and have shown market traction outside of Finland. It also helps if you are in the Tekes NIY program. How much could you get? Up to EUR 500 000 per startup, in total funding.
Pihlava was confident in their focus and commented that “B2B is very important for us because we see it easier to validates these types of business models. If you are able to validate that model in Finland it gives you significant chances for growth.”
The team behind this is the same as for Vendep accelerator, which is also a part of Vigo. There are four people on the team and they have already done 13 investments prior to closing this fund.
We are starting to get the feeling that the sea is boiling, investors are gathering and startups are mobilizing. What is causing all of this activity is, as always, up to debate. However what matters is that the l seed and pre-seed funding gap seems to be closing.