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VC Per Capita: Finland $46, Sweden $45 (US $72, Europe $7)

Last week we published a post on venture capital per capita. In those figures, Europe was shown in a light not too respectable. Where as Israel received a whopping $142 of venture capital per capita, Europe was at mere $7. Last week some other interesting statistics came out regarding Finland's investment amounts for this year. Mikko Suonenlahti, in a Kauppalehti article, forecasts Finland to receive some 175 million euro of investments this year. If you divide this by the 5.37 million people Finland has, it turns out to some $46 per capita, only this year. Naturally we wanted to find out what the figure is for Sweden and it's pretty close: $45 per capita (overall investments 2.67 billion SEK and a population of 9.35 million people).

The Swedish figure comes from the Swedish Venture Capital Association and are for 2010, while the Finnish number is an estimate for this year based on the comment Mikko Suonenlahti gave in Kauppalehti. Mikko Suonenlahti sits on the board of Finland's Central Chamber of Commerce.

$46 for Finland and $45 for Sweden of venture capital invested this year is not too bad, though it's still far from the high figures of the US, not to mention Silicon Valley itself (about $1800 per capita).

Of the 175 million euro Finnish companies ought to receive in venture financing this year, 30 million euro went to Rovio only. It's by far the largest single investment round this year. That alone is almost $8 per capita in Finland this year, putting Finland above the EU average with a single investment.

The Swedish figures have come down dramatically in 2009 (3 billion SEK) and 2010 compared to the record year of 2008 when venture capital per capita was at $97 (5.8 billion SEK) even topping US.

So while Europe isn't exactly doing well, these figures support the fact that the Nordics (we'll see if we can dig up figures for the Baltics) are far more interesting for investors in comparison to the rest of the Europe. This of course means, Northern Europe has all the chances of becoming the "Arctic Valley" of Europe.

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Michel Lemagnen June 22, 2011

I think one thing you need to also look at is Private Equity investment. I already have many comparative reports on this (as we subscribe to a service called Zephyr) and will see what I can give you without breaching their IP.