H1 2021: The Nordic region is buzzing with activity
Argentum recently published our latest Number Crunch. It showed that investments in the venture and buyout never have been higher in a half-year period, that we should expect a record within the buyout segment by year-end, and that the annual record for PE-backed IPOs is already equalled. ‘
A total of 321 investments was made in Nordic private equity in the first half of 2021. For the first time in Argentum’s monitoring of the market, there are over 250 transactions in a half-year period.
Of these, 212 were venture deals, also a new record level. According to our estimates, the amount invested in Nordic VCs skyrocketed, amounting to 1.9 billion euros. In comparison, the same amount was collected in the five past H1 periods combined. Among the significant investment rounds, we find four tech companies: Wolt, Cognite, Vivino and Epidemic Sound.
Looking at buyout deals, it is the first time we see a three-digit number in a half-year period. In addition to many transactions, the amount invested was very high with a growth of 111 per cent compared to the average in the last five years. The most significant transactions involve the pest control company Anticimex, the pharmaceutical company Recipharm, the transport group Torghatten, and the grid operator Caruna.
After a decline in recent years, PE-backed exits are increasing in H1, predominantly in the buyout segment. Buyout funds completed a total of 68 exits, a figure that is equivalent to the activity in the whole of 2020. Compared with the activity in H1 in the last five years, the exit level is 40 per cent above average. If this trend continues, 2021 could be a record year for divestments in the buyout segment.
After many huge funds closed fundraising rounds in 2020, the level of fundraising among Nordic PE funds declined in the first half of 2021. We see that many funds are still in the market to raise capital and expect a solid end to the year. If the predicted fundraising succeeds, there might be a new annual record in the venture segment.