Published 27 January 2020

Venture Capital Statistics - 2018

Every year, Tillväxtanalys is required to present a report on Swedish companies’ formal investments in venture capital, VC. This report covers the period 2008–2018. The statistics are based on data provided by the Swedish Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (SVCA) in collaboration with Invest Europe. The data material is based on the funds’ own assessments of the portfolio companies’ branch/sector affiliation (in broad categories) and development phase (seed, start-up, launch and expansion). A tripartite breakdown is used in the statistics: state venture capital funds, Swedish private VC funds and foreign VC funds.

Because of systematic falloff and confidentiality, it is not possible to follow up the total population of portfolio companies. In addition, since the statistics are reviewed underhand, the data in Tillväxtanalys’ annual statistics reports may differ.

Investments in Swedish portfolio companies increased considerably during 2018

Since the peak year of 2008, when almost SEK 5 billion was invested in Swedish portfolio companies, investment volumes have decreased. Over the past eight years (2010-2017), the average annual investment volume has been SEK 2.2 billion. The largest deviation was in 2015 when the investment volume was only SEK 1.5 billion. In 2018, the investment volume was SEK 3.32 billion, an increase of SEK 998 million (+ 43 percent) compared with the previous year.

Increase attributable to increased investments from foreign funds and Swedish private funds

In 2018, foreign funds increased their investments by 63 percent while those by Swedish private funds increased by 59 percent compared with 2017. During the same period, Swedish state funds reduced their investments by 11 percent. Foreign funds invested more than Swedish private funds and state funds combined. All in all, foreign funds invested SEK 1,674 million, Swedish state funds SEK 540 million, and Swedish private funds SEK 1,114 million during 2018. The figures show that Swedish private funds have increased their investments in Swedish portfolio companies considerably. The state is still the main investor in portfolio companies in the earliest phase (seed), while foreign and Swedish private funds invest to a higher degree in the three other phases (start-up, launch and expansion).

Life science and consumer products, services and retail were 2018’s hottest sectors

ICT (Information and Communication Technology), life science, and consumer products, services and retail stood for 91 percent of the total VC investment volume in 2018. Compared with the previous year, investments in ICT decreased while life science and consumer products, services and retail increased considerably. The branch/sector statistics show that SEK 838 million or 25 percent of the total investment volume was placed in ICT while SEK 1,348 million or 40 percent of the total volume went to life science. SEK 844 million or 25 percent of the total investment volume was placed in consumer products, services and food.

Investment in environmental technologies remained slow during 2018

Broadly speaking, eagerness to invest in environmental technologies (cleantech) is still limited. Cleantech investments have decreased substantially since the peak year of 2008 when the investment volume was SEK 700 million. From 2007 to 2011, many Swedish private funds stated they had invested in cleantech. However, since 2013, it has been primarily state funds that have declared they have invested in cleantech companies. In 2018, SEK 51 million was invested in cleantech. This came solely from state and foreign players. That is a decrease of SEK 22 million compared with the previous year.

About half of the investment volume was placed in portfolio companies who had not received venture capital previously

In 2018, a total of 299 identified portfolio companies received formal investments in venture capital. Of these, 146 (49 percent) received VC for the first time. The remaining 153 companies (51 percent) had received VC one year or several years previously.

Concentration of venture capital investment in metropolitan municipalities

Of the total SEK 2,410 million invested in 2018, SEK 2,255 million (94 percent) was placed in companies in the metropolitan municipalities, SEK 131 million (5 percent) in urban municipalities and SEK 24 million (1 percent) in rural municipalities.