At the end of the day, for a VC it is all about exits. We are in the business of building companies and then selling our shares at a (hopefully much) higher value than we originally purchased them for.

As a VC in the Nordic region, we wanted to understand if the market in which we operate is attractive enough in terms of if it is producing enough exit value. We also wanted to improve our knowledge of:

  • are there differences between the Nordic countries
  • in which sectors value creation has occurred
  • impact of VCs both local & international
  • exit market in terms of IPO vs M&A and important geographies for exits
  • the time it takes to build companies that get exited

As a result, we have over the last few years collected information about more than 250 Nordic technology exits relating to the areas in which we invest. The focus has been on VC & angel investments plus companies that Nordic VCs or angels had the opportunity to invest in.

I have included a presentation of some of our findings which you are most welcome to make conclusions from. In general, it is not easy to make conclusions on what works and what doesn’t, but it is usually very beneficial to have discussions around some of the pieces of data that we have collected.

Here are some of the conclusions we drew:

  • The Nordic region is an attractive market – relatively much larger exit value than rest of Europe
  • Technology sector is maturing – more substance, less expectation exits
  • IPO & exit to US companies are vital for large exit value BUT IPO dried up after 2001 and US economy is not as dominant any more – what will the impact be?
Presentation is found here.
DISCLAIMER: We have put Skype as a Swedish exit. Since this is not really correct (I guess that Denmark, or even UK, Estonia, or Luxembourg would be as accurate), we have excluded Skype in some of our comparisons. We have also excluded Norwegian REC in some charts since it is such a big exit that it distorts the data.