State of Funding 2017: Over 1 Billion Invested in Danish Tech Startups

Danish tech entrepreneurs received 1.3 billion DKK in investments in 2017 and up-and-coming fintech was the most successful industry. Check out the biggest investments, and the most active investors in Bootstrapping’s State of Funding analysis.

104 Danish startups received investments worth 1.3 billion Danish kroner (DKK). That sums up 2017 from a funding perspective.

When it comes to funding, Danish startups are good, but they have difficulty growing really big. And getting the really big investments. And if they actually do get really big, they move abroad.

Together with Nordic Tech List, Bootstrapping has taken a look at investments in Danish tech startups in 2017, and here are some of the most important figures.*

Total funding sum for Danish tech startups

In total 104 Danish tech startups received investments in 2017, and we have the figures for 71 of them. The combined sum of money received by the 71 companies amounted to 3.97 billion DKK. If you disregard Unity Technologies the number is 1.31 billion DKK.

But even though the founders are Danish, we can no longer call Unity a Danish company. They have moved their headquarters to the US, and therefore we have not included Unity in our figures from the industry, because the company distorts the big picture of who actually received funding.

The 5 highest funded companies

The 2.65 billion DKK funding for Unity from Silver Lake makes up a whopping 67 per cent of the total investment sum.

ViaBill and TrustPilot were the only other Danish tech startups that published funding rounds of over 100 million DKK in 2017. Logpoint, which makes security software, and Labster, which has made an online learning programme with virtual laboratories, was respectively number three and four. RFRSH Entertainment just made it into the top 5 with funding just north of 50 million DKK.

Biggest industries in terms of number of investments

Fintech has quickly turned into big business in Denmark, and Copenhagen Fintech and their Fintech Lab is carrying a substantial part of the growth. But it is ViaBill from Aarhus that leads the way with a grand 300 million DKK funding in 2017.

Artificial Intelligence is said to be one of the massive trends of 2018 and already in 2017 Danish startups managed to get a piece of the pie.

Biggest industries in terms of money invested

If we had included Unity on this list, the industries that Unity is a part of – that is, games, VR, and 3D – would have been both first, second, and third (!) on the list of industries in terms of the amount of money invested.

Reviews and recommendations also has its high score from a single company; TrustPilot, which also had a great 2017.

Number of investments ranked by size

In 2017 in Denmark there were by far most investments in the 2 to 20 million DKK range, and when you get into funding sizes over 50 million it is a very narrow field. Only three companies landed between 50 and 100 million DKK, and just three companies got more than that. This is still very far from our Swedish neighbours, who in 2017 landed 12 of the 20 biggest investments in the region. Denmark got two if you do not count Unity.

RFRSH Entertainment only just wiggled its way into the exclusive group of companies with investments for over 50 million DKK. They received 53.6 million DKK in a funding round in June 2017 where Creandum, David Helgason, and Tommy Ahlers, amongst others, invested in the e-sport company.

Most active investors

The biggest investors who have made the funding size public are still the institutional government-funded players like Seed Capital, Innovationsfonden, and Vækstfonden. Most angel investors had two investments or fewer in 2017.

One exception is Peter Sandberg, whom Bootstrapping has previously written about. He was on an outright shopping spree in 2016 and 2017. On many of his investments, however, the sum is undisclosed, as it is for many angel investors.

Another exception is David Helgason of Unity, who made four investments in 2017. However, only two of his investments were Danish startups. 

Read more: Neil Murray’s collective analysis of the Nordic countries on The Nordic Web. Spoiler alert: Denmark is not a big part of the total Nordic market.

  • Only the Danish companies that Nordic Tech List has defined as tech startups are in this analysis. In total 464 Danish tech startups are registered on Nordic Tech List. We have supplemented database information from Nordic9 and Crunchbase when needed.