International VC ZoneThe purpose of International VC Zone is to increase the activity of international risk capital investors in Finland, the greater St. Petersburg area in Russia, and the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. VC Zone offers financiers services that facilitate entry to these markets, by increasing visibility among local companies and making reaching them as easy as possible. International VC Zone helps financiers find interesting opportunities, organize meetings and visits, and network with local financiers and other players. VC Zone strengthens international financier networks by sharing them. Partners of International VC Zone are Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship, Greater Helsinki Promotion, Sitra, Technopolis, and Tampere.
International VC Zone was also present at Mobile World Congress to introduce investors to deal flow from the Baltic Rim as well as promoting the region as a hub of hi-tech, hi-growth and hi-ambition companies. On our web page you can find information on current members, upcoming events reports on investment activity and companies looking to broaden their network and/or looking for financing.
With Supercell and Rovio being the two major media magnets in Finland, it is easy to overlook what else is happening in the region. We have earlier put a claim on Helsinki being the world's mobile gaming capital, which with Supercell making over USD 2.4 Million a day and Rovio claiming over €152.2 million in sales, is probably a fair argument.
However when it comes to day-to-day success, it is definitely not all about Helsinki. Tampere, a city in southern Finland with a population of just 217,000 is the second biggest gaming hub in Finland and has a lot of initiatives that foster the gaming industry.
Perhaps in some sense, the Tampere gaming industry has an even longer history than that of Helsinki. Traditionally Nokia's biggest R&D site was based in Tampere and in 2007 THQ, the North American games publisher who at the time had a turnover of over $1 billion, bought the Tampere based gaming company - Universomo.
This is the story that will explain everything you need to know about the Baltic investment market, outlining the current trends, introducing the key players, listing major investments and exits. It does not get much more comprehensive than this, so grab a chair, get a coffee and dig in.
HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE INVESTMENT MARKET
Before we start with the statistics and introductions, let us take a look at the Baltic investment market in general. The scene has been changing and developing and over the course of the last 5 years, the number of startups coming from the Baltic States was growing rapidly, most of them requiring seed and early stage investments.
Editor's Note: This post is part of a partnership with International VC Zone
With nearly 100 companies participating or exhibiting, Finland and the Baltic States clearly made a lot of noise at Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year, the worlds largest exhibition for the mobile industry. The companies from the region clearly demonstrated that this is an important location for everybody, especially investors to be interested in.
As Michael Jackson, former COO of Skype and currently the general partner of Mangrove Capital Partners told Arcticstartup: "This year's MWC was huge! The new venue is massive, and I would say it needs a year to settle down."
Nokia is no longer the single focus point and there are many others that are making a dent in the market thanks to an abundance of talent and strong entrepreneurial spirit. This creates the perfect ingredients for companies that are aiming to conquer the global market. Companies from the region do so through breakthrough innovation and an understanding that in order to be a global player, they need to think big right from the start.