Norway Startup Scene Has the Potential to Scale-up

“Norway has been a bit of an underdog in the Scandiwegian startup scene for a few years. But in just a few short years has gone from been a pretty bleak affair to being a real – if nascent – startup ecosystem”. This is what Haje Jan Kamps wrote on TechCrunch last June1.

SEP research confirms that Norway startup scene has the potential to go huge. We tracked 44 scaleups in Norway, that is 10% of the total of the Nordic region.
They collectively raised $0.6B (9% of the total capital collected by Nordic scaleups).
Norway has 0.85 scaleups every 100 thousand people and 0.18% of the GDP invested in scaleups.

These numbers are slightly lower than the Nordic average and show that the Norwegian ecosystem is still in its early stage. This is also demonstrated by the dominance of small scaleups both in terms of number and capital raised.
Out of the 12 “scalers” (companies able to raise over $100M in funding) spotted in the Nordics, one lives in Norway: Thin Film Electronics ASA.

23 Norwegian startups got an exit via acquisitions in the last 5 years. As usual in Europe, US companies are the most frequent buyers (40% of the total).
Some Norwegian scaleups are relocating abroad by implementing the dual model: three moved their headquarters to Silicon Valley, while others relocated to Berlin and London.
But Norwegian stock market seems to serve well scaleups. Over 40% of the total capital made available to Norwegian scaleups comes from the stock market. This is the highest percentage not only in the Nordic region but also at a European level.

To be noted that Norwegian stock market attracts scaleups also from other Nordic countries. Three scaleups from Denmark went public in Norway.
That said, there are scaleups among the fjords. More to come in the upcoming years.

Alberto Onetti
Chairman, Mind the Bridge Foundation Coordinator, Startup Europe Partnership