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Finland is home to a growing number of cleantech companies

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A recent study by Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment) reveals that Finland is steadily increasing its number of cleantech growth companies and that these companies show promising growth rates. Financing availability for the early stages of these companies is fairly good, but there is cause for concern about financing for their later-stage growth. Less than 15% of their later-stage funding rounds are raised entirely domestically, so dependence on international investments is high.

Over the five-year review period (2018–2022), Finnish cleantech growth companies have developed rapidly, achieving an average annual growth rate of over 30% in terms of both net sales and number of employees.

The sector’s promising development is mainly driven by large growth companies such as Relex, a supply chain optimiser, and Swappie, a refurbisher of used mobile phones. However, the billions of euros in clean transition investments seen, for instance, in Sweden have not materialised in Finland.

“Although growth is now driven by large growth companies, especially in Finland’s case, new companies were also established in previous years. This means that there is a lot of undergrowth, and promising companies promoting a clean transition are growing,” comments Jakob Sandell, Research Manager at Tesi, who compiled the report.

Cleantechs have succeeded in securing funding in previous years. Over the five-year 2018–2022 period, the number of venture capital investments raised by growth companies in the clean transition sector almost doubled – from just under 30 to nearly 60 investments annually. The total amount of VC investments secured in 2018 was some €90 million, while over the next few years this figure exceeded €300 million almost every year.

However, there is cause for concern about financing for companies’ higher-growth or industrial production phase: less than 15% of follow-on funding rounds exceeding €20 million are raised entirely in Finland.

“Foreign investors are increasingly cautious about investing outside their home countries. That poses challenges – especially when a company needs financing for international growth or for starting up its first production facility,” says Sandell.

Nevertheless, adequate domestic funding is important.

“A domestic anchor investor often plays an important role in helping to convince international investors of the project’s opportunities,” comments Pia Santavirta, Tesi’s CEO. “The involvement of a Finnish investor also strengthens Finnish ownership since the company will not be sold abroad so quickly. Meanwhile, the companies driving growth and the clusters of expertise formed around them stay on to strengthen and transform Finland’s business community.”

Click here to see the full study.

Click here to read more community news.

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Nurcin Metingil
Nurcin Metingil
A permanent student, a passionate first reader and nowadays doing master’s degree in Publishing Management. Beside these, I am up for games! I have been playing games since I was 6. Now, I am whispering "Business. Business. Numbers. Is this working?"

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