In recent years, the Nordic region has emerged as a powerhouse in the global startup ecosystem, showcasing a unique blend of innovation, sustainability, and high-quality education.
The Nordic region, consisting of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland, has fostered an environment conducive to the thriving of startups.
Cities like Stockholm, Helsinki, and Copenhagen have become key players in the global startup landscape. In the region, there are upcoming cities such as Oslo and Reykjavik that are also attracting substantial investments and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship.
Nordic startups raised $11.7B in 2022. This figure represents a 36% decrease from the all-time high in 2021, but is still over 50% higher than pre-pandemic numbers.
Nordic startups have raised $3.4B in early-stage investment in 2022, just a 6% decrease from their peak in 2021.
Iceland and Norway, the two smallest Nordic ecosystems by VC funding, were the fastest growing in early-stage investment.
Access breakout-stage funding rounds into Nordic startups here on the Dealroom platform.
Megarounds of $100M+ have become much scarcer in the Nordics, halving in volume in 2022.
In the Nordic region, for VC investment raised, Sweden stands out as a frontrunner, followed by Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland.
The below chart shows the proportion of VC investment that has gone into each Nordic country on a percentage basis, showcasing the same trend seen in the chart above.
While there has been a general fall in VC investment into the Nordics region, with most of the leading industries experiencing a similar proportionate fall in investment.
Explore all investment rounds into each industry in the Nordics on the Dealroom platform here.
Most active investors in the Nordics
There are more than 700+ investors headquartered in Nordic countries with at least one recorded round.
Early stage VC investment sources of capital
Local investors play a foundational role at early-stage, especially in Sweden.
In Sweden, local investors represent over 40% of early-stage investment since 2017.
Later stage VC investment sources of capital
Late-stage investors are more geographically diverse, but local investors maintain a significant role, particularly in Denmark.
In Denmark, local investors represent over 40% of late-stage investment since 2017.
The Nordics have produced 10 new unicorns in 2022, bringing the region’s total unicorn count to 70+.
Follow the link to explore all Nordic unicorns on the Dealroom platform.
Sweden, Norway and Finland rank within the top 10 countries in Europe for VC investment while Denmark and Iceland rank within the top 15 and 50 European countries respectively.
Compare Nordic startup ecosystem metrics against its European and global counterparts down below or here on the Dealroom platform.
When looking at Nordic leading ecosystem hubs in the continent, Stockholm leads the region and ranks 4th after startups based in the city raised over $5B of VC investment in 2022.
Helsinki and Oslo are also key players in the continent with a host of other Nordic cities featuring in the top 50 European hubs by VC investment such as Reykjavík and Gothenburg.
Impact Deep Dive
Annual Impact VC investment
The Nordics have established themselves in being an global impact powerhouse, with its impact startups raising $4.2B in 2022. This is double the amount of impact funding raised in 2020.
In terms of proportion of investment into Impact startups, the Nordics is a global leading region, with over 35% of all VC funding going into Impact startups in 2022, compared to 22% for all of Europe or 7% for North America.
When looking at impact investment into the Nordics, it's important to consider the impact that the unicorn Northvolt contributes to the total sum of VC investment into impact companies in the region given its size.
The below chart shows that while Northvolt made up over 50% of impact investment into the Nordics in 2021, the Nordics region still set record levels of investment, especially proportionate to other global regions.