Venture capital investments in Swedish companies 2021

This report presents statistics on formal venture capital (VC) investments in Swedish companies in the period 2011-2021. The statistics are based on data from the Swedish Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (SVCA) in collaboration with Invest Europe.


The data use funds’ own classification of portfolio companies into broad sectors and development phases (seed, start-up, other early stage and later stage venture). The statistics are broken down between three types of VC fund: Swedish government funds, Swedish private funds and foreign funds.

Since the data are updated and revised each year, the numbers presented in these annual statistical reports from Growth analysis (Tillväxtanalys) may differ. For reasons of systematic non-response and confidentiality, it is not possible to identify and follow up all portfolio companies.

VC investments in Swedish portfolio companies have increased sharply in 2021

Since the peak year of 2008, when almost SEK 5 billion was invested in Swedish portfolio companies, investment volumes have decreased. During the period 2010-2020, the average annual investment volume was SEK 2.2bn, and the lowest was SEK 1.5bn in 2015. After a sharp increase in 2018, investments stabilised in 2019 at a slightly lower level. In 2020, investment volumes continued to increase sharply compared with the previous year. In 2021, we see continued significant increases in investment volumes. Total VC volume increased from 6.2 billion (2020) to 9.3 billion (2021).

The increased VC investments in 2021 are mainly due to markedly increased investments from foreign funds

Foreign funds increased their investments by 63,6 % in 2021, while Swedish private funds increased theirs by 44,3 %. At the same time, government funds reduced their investments by 3,7 %. The year 2021 can be compared with the 2020 investment pattern with sharply increased investments from the foreign funds. All in all, Swedish private funds invested SEK 3,169m, foreign funds SEK 5,595m and government funds SEK 569m. We can state that both the Swedish private and foreign funds' VC investments have increased in Swedish portfolio companies.

In relation to the focus of VC investments on investment phases, we see reduced investment volumes in the launch phase and greatly increased in the expansion phase during the year 2021. SEK 946 million less has been invested in the launch phase and 3,324m more has been invested in expansion phase in 2021 than in 2020. The government is no longer the largest investor in portfolio companies in the seed phase. The foreign and Swedish private funds have above all increased their investments during the expansion phase.

VC investments in Life sciences and ICT increased sharply in 2021

The three largest sectors – information and communication technology (ICT), life sciences and consumer products – accounted for 83 % of total VC investments in 2021. The corresponding figure was 89 percent last year. This means that the degree of concentration in industry investments is still high in 2021.

We can state that there has been increased VC investment in all three major industries, but the biggest change from the previous year has taken place in life sciences. VC investments in life sciences increased during the previous year (SEK 411 million). During the year 2021, VC investments in Life Sciences have amounted to SEK 3,054 million (33 percent of the total VC investment volume) and SEK 2,818 million to ICT (31 percent of the total VC investment volume). The increase is largely due to increased investments from foreign funds.

A clear trend break with greatly increased VC investments in Cleantech in 2021

There has been a clear positive trend break in the investment volumes in environmental technology (Cleantech) during the year 2021. After peaking in 2008 at SEK 700m, cleantech investments have dropped off significantly. In 2007-2011, many Swedish private funds invested in this area, but since 2013 it has mainly been government funds that have invested in these companies.

In 2018, Swedish government funds accounted for almost all investments in cleantech. The positive development that we saw in 2019 with increased investment volumes from foreign funds was slowed down in 2020. But during the year 2021, the investment volume has increased to a total of SEK 1,016 million, which means an increase of SEK 884 million from the previous year. The investment level is now, for the first time, clearly higher than the peak years of 2008 and 2009.

45% of portfolio companies first-time recipients

In 2021, 141 of the portfolio companies identified, or 45 %, received VC investments for the first time. This is 3 percentage points higher than in 2020.

VC still concentrated in the big cities

There were no major changes in the distribution of investments between different types of municipalities from 2020 to 2021, and they were again concentrated in metropolitan areas (94 %).

Venture capital investments in Swedish companies 2021

Serial number: Statistik 2023:01

Reference number: 2013/167

Download the swedish report Pdf, 1 MB.


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