Significant arrangement in the Finnish venture capital market: Innovestor acquires majority stake in Seed Fund Vera
Today on 16 December 2016, Innovestor Kasvurahasto I Ky, which is managed by Innovestor Ventures Ltd, has purchased an approximately 80% share of Seed Fund Vera Ltd from Finnvera Plc. The acquisition is the biggest arrangement in the history of the Finnish early-stage venture capital market.
Innovestor, a venture investor and provider of equity funding solutions, has purchased a significant share of the seed fund, which will also transfer management of the fund to Innovestor.
The fund is an investor in approximately 100 Finnish rapidly internationalising growth companies in various fields of technology. They include medtech and life science companies Forendo Pharma and Physiotouch, cleantech companies Wello and Gasera, ICT company Goodmill Systems and e-commerce companies Dealdash and Swap.com. Another investee is the Finnish clothing brand Makia, which has also attracted international interest.
Together with Finnish and international investors, the seed fund has invested approximately EUR 350 million in the target companies. According to Innovestor Ltd CEO Tommi Äijälä, the arrangement will significantly benefit the companies.
“The coming years will be years of strong growth for the target companies. This arrangement will ensure that they have sufficient further financing opportunities and the resourcing to ensure their growth potential,” says Äijälä.
Another significant financier has been Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, and the companies will continue the co-operation with Tekes in the future. The combined turnover of the target companies will be approximately EUR 250 million this year, most of which will be generated by sales abroad. The companies employ approximately 1,200 people altogether.
Seed fund to continue with the same team
With the acquisition, Petri Laine, Hannu Jungman and Janne Juhola, who have been responsible for building and developing the seed fund’s portfolio, will transfer to Innovestor Ventures.
“The acquisition will remove the uncertainty that has long surrounded the seed fund and bring a significant amount of private capital to the venture market. The transfer of the team also brings continuity and predictability to the fund’s operations,” says experienced business angel and investor Ari Korhonen. Innovestor Kasvurahasto I Ky will focus on follow-on investments in its current portfolio companies. Investors in the fund include Finnish institutional investors, such as Nordea Life Assurance Finland Ltd, Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company and Mandatum Life Insurance Company Limited.
Tommi Äijälä, CEO, Innovestor Ltd, tel. +358 50 364 1825
Petri Laine, CEO, Innovestor Ventures Ltd, tel. +358 400 909 447