Tesi’s survey of investment returns: Finnish VC & PE funds top European league

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Tesi’s (Finnish Industry Investment) survey of investment returns reveals year-on-year improved performance by Finnish venture capital and private equity funds. The venture capital funds established since the financial crisis, in particular, excelled in comparison to their European peers, while also generating substantial returns compared to the listed market.

Newer venture capital funds (inception between 2009 and 2015) have produced an annual return of 25% for their investors. With returns rising to an attractive level, the funds have also returned capital to investors at a record pace.

”There has been a distinct and positive change in the Finnish venture capital fund market compared to the early 2000s. In the survey, so called ‘next-generation’ funds – vintage years after 2009 – topped the European league, which is testimony to a growth in expertise and to the development of Finland’s startup ecosystem,” says Matias Kaila, Tesi’s Director, Fund Investments.

“Finnish startups raised an all-time record amount of financing last year, a total of EUR 1.2 billion. The largest investor group was venture capital investors. Professional fund investors are increasingly interested in profiting from this growth by investing in venture capital funds. That trend, combined with a high level of returns, is very good news for Finland’s fund market,” comments Finnish Venture Capital Association’s CEO Pia Santavirta.

Most of the reported returns in the venture capital market are still unrealised. The final returns of funds are determined not only by portfolio companies’ success but also by the business climate and how active the exit market is – in other words, finding new owners for the next phase of growth.

“Finnish VC funds have returned capital to their investors at a slightly faster pace than the European average. An increasing number of Finnish VC backed companies have found good growth avenues, and investors are now turning their attention to how well VCs are able to exit from these companies and realize returns for their investors,” explains Tesi’s Investment Associate Samuel Wendelin, the person behind the survey.

Buyout funds also show good progress. Newer buyout funds, inception between 2009 and 2015, have generated annual returns of 17% for their investors and have continued to return capital at a steady pace.

The survey covered some 40 Finnish venture capital and private equity funds ranging in size from EUR 10 million to EUR 350 million. The sample funds were divided into venture capital funds and buyout funds. The funds were further subdivided, according to the year of their inception, into old vintages (inception 2002–2008) and newer vintages (inception 2009–2015), to obtain as realistic and balanced an overview as possible of such a small market. The returns on venture capital and private equity funds are based on their portfolio companies’ development, which can typically only be seen after about five years. For this reason, funds established during the last five years were not included in the survey.

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More information

Tesi, Matias Kaila, Director, +358 40 40 720 1324, matias.kaila@tesi.fi
Tesi, Samuel Wendelin, Investment Associate, +358 50 512 5656, samuel.wendelin@tesi.fi
Finnish Venture Capital Association, Pia Santavirta, CEO, +358 40 5467 749, pia.santavirta@paaomasijoittajat.fi

Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd) is a state-owned investment company that wants to raise Finland to the front ranks of transformative economic growth by investing in funds and directly in companies. We invest profitably and responsibly, together with co-investors, to create the world’s new success stories. Our investments under management total EUR 2.4 billion.

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Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) is the industry body and public policy advocate for venture capital and private equity investors in Finland. We represent a diverse group of investors who build sustainable growth through portfolio companies employing over 70,000 people. Finnish Venture Capital Association – Builders of Growth

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