Finland is also an important Scandinavian market. Unlike Norway, Sweden and Denmark, their primary language, Finnish, is only understood by aliens from far away galaxies, in tiny Estonia across the Baltic and historically in Hungary. That’s not a problem as English is the official language of many businesses. Finland is famous not just for vodka, but also Nokia. The engineering talent in Finland is hard-core, as is product design. One of my favorite VCs on the planet is Antti Kokkinen, co-founder of Nokia Ventures, now rebranded as BlueRun Ventures – a truly good global VC fund. After conquering the world Antti has finally returned home to Helsinki.
The other truly great VC of the land is Jarkko Penttilä of Conor Venture Partners. It’s all about people. Jarkko is a vet from Eqvitec. Experience does matter.
There are plenty of home runs that came out of Scandinavia such as Skype, Spotify and MySQL. Shareholders in these hits have created a strong local angel market backing new entrepreneurs. The venture market in Scandinavia took a beating in the economic recession and some of the best entrepreneurs have moved to the US and London in search of more investors and more vibrant ecosystems.
You will find below the League Table of Most Active VCs in Sweden. My search criteria were a minimum of $3m raised by the operating company in 2010 to 2011. The most active VC in Sweden, Industriefonden, is a government backed VC that has re-invented itself quite a bit. My favorite IT funds are Northzone, Atomico (cash from the founders of Skype), Creandum, InnovationsKapital, Nordic Venture Partners, Conor Venture Partners and Sunstone. I would also advise Swedes to contact the top funds in other Scandinavian countries, in London and VCs in the US. Depending on your industry, you might also contact VCs in the US, France and Germany. More info at http://www.svca.se/.
European VC Roundtable & Book Tour Events
I am planning a series of VC Roundtable & Book Tour events in Europe in May and June of 2014. I am planning events in London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. If you are a VC and want to participate on one of my VC panels please get in touch. If you are a law firm or accelerator / shared startup work space and host events or if you want to sponsor an event please get in touch. In each city I also organize a VIP dinner the night before or after with a max of 20 people, typically sponsored by wealth managers. Get in touch if appropriate.
League Table of Most Active VCs in Sweden
|1||Industrifonden AB||Stockholm, Sweden||US$ 40||12|
|2||Investinor||Trondheim, Norway||Government||US$ 338||12|
|3||Finnish Industry Investment Ltd.||Helsinki, Finland||US$ 829||9|
|4||Sunstone Capital A/S||Copenhagen, Denmark||Venture Capital||US$ 644||9|
|5||Northzone Ventures AS||Oslo, Norway||Venture Capital||US$ 337||6|
|6||Viking Venture||Trondheim, Norway||Venture Capital||US$ 169||6|
|7||Creandum||Stockholm, Sweden||Venture Capital||US$ 144||5|
|8||HealthCap Venture Capital||Stockholm, Sweden||Venture Capital||US$ 893||4|
|9||Sustainable Technology Partners Nordic||Stockholm, Sweden||US$ 70||4|
|10||Vaekstfonden||Hellerup, Denmark||Venture Capital||US$ 361||4|
|11||Accel Partners||Palo Alto, CA||Venture Capital||US$ 6,000||3|
|12||Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd.||Cambridge, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||US$ 844||3|
|13||Fouriertransform AB||Stockholm, Sweden||Venture Capital||3|
|14||Hafslund Venture ASA||Oslo, Norway||Corporate Venture Capital||3|
|15||Investor Growth Capital Inc.||Stockholm, Sweden||US$ 1,800||3|
|16||SEB Venture Capital||Stockholm, Sweden||US$ 306||3|
|17||Veraventure Ltd||Kuopio, Finland||Venture Capital||US$ 168||3|
|18||Alliance Venture||Oslo, Norway||Venture Capital||US$ 65||2|
|19||Atomico||London, United Kingdom||Venture Capital||2|
|20||Capricorn Venture Partners NV||Leuven, Belgium||Venture Capital||US$ 135||2|
|21||Energy Capital Management||Oslo, Norway||Corporate Venture Capital||2|
|22||Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Co.||Helsinki, Finland||2|
|23||InnovationsKapital AB||Gothenburg, Sweden||Venture Capital||US$ 41||2|
|24||Inventure Oy||Helsinki, Finland||Venture Capital||US$ 56||2|
|25||Life Sciences Partners BV||Amsterdam, Netherlands||Venture Capital||US$ 601||2|