Veraventure, a Finnish government backed early stage investment organisation, will open up access to its angel network for all startups. Veraventure is known as the government’s investment arm to leverage private investors’ efforts. Over the years it has accumulated quite an attractive network of private investors from Finland.
Veraventure runs a service called SijoittajaExtra (in English, InvestorExtra) which has been available to private investors who were willing to invest into small growth companies, both by themselves and in a group. These investors were given dealflow based on how well the companies matched Veraventure’s investment criteria and policy. This is somewhat understandable as Veraventure’s primary goals are to run its own business and it is financing the management of the angel network out of its own pockets.
I believe there has been a lot of demand from the private investors towards Veraventure to open up the process for all startups, regardless how well they suit Veraventure’s own investment requirements. Surely there has been a lot of possibilities passed due to this mismatch.
This of course is great news for startups. As of next week, August 16th, Veraventure will open up the service for all startups to apply. Startups are able to apply funding through Veraventure’s website by submitting in an executive summary of their business and needs. Templates are available in English and Finnish. Companies looking for funding up to 150k€ will be able to apply for the angel network and sums larger than that go through Veraventure’s own investment process.
These submissions will have to be made by certain deadlines which correspond to events called ExtraEvents. In these events, selected companies are able to pitch to the investors. Presenting companies are chosen by a rotational three member group made up of private investors from the network.
Veraventure states that they will run these between every six weeks or so, therefore the later two investor events for this year (and thus deadlines for submissions) will be in late October and early December. There are over 100 members in the network, so in a sense it can be considered one of the largest investor networks in Finland.
Even though there is a screening process for submissions, I think this is a great step forward. It’s not the optimal solution for early stage financing, but it’s a lot closer to where we should be compared to 6 months ago. Essentially, all this would need to become transparent in a sense that no screening processes are needed – a marketplace for opportunities. The service would function in a way that no investors are harassed too much while still keeping the barrier of entry for startups as low as possible.
We certainly at ArcticStartup welcome this initiative and wish it the best of luck.