Danish Biotech: a rapid rise

Covid provided a big publicity opportunity for biotech. Investors of all kinds started taking interest in the companies that had the power to shorten the pandemic, and save millions of lives, through things like vaccine development and rapid variant analysis. For Dansk Biotech’s spring summit, we dived into the rich emerging biotech ecosystem in Denmark, among the fastest-growing in the world.

Report - Danish biotech: VC trends and insights

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Biotech – a rapid growth journey

While accelerated by the pandemic, biotech was already on a rapid growth journey. Global VC investment in biotech reached an all-time high in 2021 of $41B, a 3.4x increase in five years. By the end of 2021, the combined value of biotech companies globally passed $2.0T, up 5.3x on 2016’s combined total, albeit this total has fallen back by ~5% in the first few months of 2022, due to a public market rout.

Denmark – #2 for investment growth

Denmark has among the fastest-growing European nations for biotech investment. VC investment in Danish biotech startups has more than doubled in the last year alone, hitting $434M in 2021, and is up 11.8x in the last five years, second only the Netherlands on the continent for pace of growth.

Where do these investments come from? Danish biotech startups are increasingly attracting international investor attention. By breaking down 2021, we see 25% of the VC funding in Danish biotech startups came from domestic investors, 35% came from the Rest of Europe and 32% from the US. 68% of all Danish biotech investment came via early and mid-stage rounds of under $100M, suggesting there is still a lot of room for growth in a relatively early-stage ecosystem (this figure for leader US closer to 45%).

Building biotech companies in Europe

Nordic biotech investors are playing an active role in funding and expanding the biotech landscape, in particular driving an active Seed and early-stage ecosystem at home and abroad.

But in recent years the investor landscape has also become more crowded, diverse and international. International as well as sector agnostic and traditional tech funds have been on an educational journey as they have branched into biotech.

As institutional investors retract from volatile traded biotechs, and late-stage companies put plans to go public on hold, VCs will play a crucial role in the next 12 months for biotechs globally. Consolidation may be a key trend for 2022 but the pipeline of early-stage innovative biotech startups in the Nordics remains strong.

Learn more about Europe and the Nordic’s rapidly growing biotech sector by checking out our full report:

Report - Danish biotech: VC trends and insights

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